Bulletjie Rugby: Grooming the next generation of Blue Bulls players
Contributed by Dan Lombard
Bulletjie Rugby has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 1993. The programme focuses on young children between the ages of six and eight across 84 schools, including schools in previously disadvantaged areas, throughout the greater Tshwane area.
The programme has grown to such an extent that 6000 children participate each year with 1500 parents being used as Bulletjie coaches. The success of Bulletjie Rugby is best illustrated by the current Vodacom Bulls players, including Pierre Schoeman and RG Snyman, who cut their rugby teeth as Bulletjie players.
Bulletjie Rugby places a strong emphasis on non-contact skills that includes passing, handling and running lines with the help of Tag Rugby. The development of these core skills are important according to the Blue Bulls Rugby Union's General Manager: Game Development, Johan Schoeman.
"We strongly believe that the reason that South African rugby is falling behind the rest of the world is because a significant number of our players lack the core non-contact skills needed to excel. That is why we focus so much on developing these skills," said Schoeman.
Bulletjie Rugby has impressed World Rugby so much that the BBRU have been given a mandate to create a programme, Contact Confidence, that addresses the skills needed for a player to excel in contact. A skill that Schoeman believes is just as vital as non-contact skills.
"Contact Confidence will greatly assist players in learning to handle contact in the correct way. We believe that this will go a long way in the development of our local players," said Schoeman.
For more information on Bulletjie Rugby, please email Johan Schoeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.