Fortress Loftus was on Saturday stormed and invaded by approximately 5000 little boys and girls aged from 6 to 8 years old for the annual Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day.
While the pint-sized players imitated their Vodacom Bulls heroes, the day succeeded in its primary goal of instilling sportsmanship, a love for rugby and the Vodacom Bulls franchise.
The event is described as controlled chaos with matches being played on 22 fields and overseen by 530 referees.
Vodacom’s Janus Kloppers, Brand Manager – Sponsorships & Regional marketing said: "We are extremely proud to be involved with the Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day as it lays the foundation for the future development of South Africa's rugby talent.
"However, Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is about more than developing future sports stars as it is an inclusive event with a strong emphasis on participation and integration."
Since it's humble beginnings 21 years ago, Vodacom Bulletjie rugby has developed into the biggest mini-rugby project in South Africa and the first initiative of its kind in the country.
Vodacom Bulletjie rugby was first introduced to young boys back in February 1993 with the aim of introducing them to the joys of rugby and in turn instill the love for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Turning the clock back 21 years, approximately 1500 boys participated on the four consecutive Fridays which concluded with a father and son camping event at Loftus Versfeld fields.
The first formal Vodacom Bulletjie Day at Loftus Versfeld was held in 1996 where 2000 boys had the unique experience of playing at the famous stadium.
General Manager: Game Development at the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and founder of VodacomBulletjie rugby, Johan Schoeman said he did not expect the initiative to take off the way it did.
"The Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Days have grown massively in popularity since Vodacom got involved and contributed immensely in making it a memorable experience for the little players,"Schoeman said.
"Our vision from the start was to create a formal mechanism where beginner rugby players were introduced to the game in a way they can enjoy themselves and where participation is the main priority."
While it is understandable that parents are passionate in their support for their kids, they are constantly reminded that Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is not about competition but rather about the principles that rugby teaches everyone that plays the game.
The mutual respect and the honesty it teaches those who are involved with the game lies at the heart of what makes the Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day such a memorable occasion.
The day has a strong development theme and with that kids from township schools in its development clusters are invited.
This year was no exception with kids from 32 township schools - Atteridgeville, Mamelodi,Eersterust and Soshanguve - who also participated in the festivities.
Video content from the event will be available on Monday 2 June.
Photo available from Trinergy, please email Shelly@trinergyconnect.co.za should you wish to have access to photos.