By: Puleng Maphisa – 08 September 2023

Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic on South African shores, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Rugby was a force to be reckoned with, making significant strides in both local and university-level competitions. With a remarkable history of success, dedication, and a vision for the future, the team has set its sights on achieving even greater heights.

VUT Rugby experienced its golden era, winning the USSA groups in 2017 and then again in 2019. These victories were not the only highlights, as the team also triumphed in a local derby by defeating NWU VAAL. Dominating the local league, VUT Rugby emerged victorious against formidable opponents like SASOL COBRAS in Sasolburg and NIGEL.

The excellence extended to the 7s format as well, with VUT Rugby securing the title of Falcons 7s winners in 2019. These achievements were the result of relentless dedication, unwavering teamwork, and a commitment to giving their all on the field.

At the heart of VUT Rugby is a spirit of brotherhood that unites every member of the team, from the head coach to the last player. This unity is a driving force that propels them forward, ensuring that they never back down from a challenge and always fight for victory. The motto is clear: “One team, one goal.”

VUT Rugby has set ambitious goals to continue its journey of success. The first and foremost step is to rebuild rugby at VUT, aiming to bring back the numbers of players participating in the sport on campus. Their vision extends beyond campus boundaries, with plans to see VUT Rugby competing on the big stage of club rugby. Qualifying for the Varsity Shield competition is on their agenda, which would put VUT on the map in the rugby world.

Furthermore, VUT Rugby is committed to promoting women’s rugby, with plans to establish an all-women’s team. This aligns with the growing development of women’s rugby in South Africa, and VUT aims to be a leader in this department by offering numerous opportunities for female players in the sport.

The journey of VUT Rugby would not be possible without the support of dedicated sponsors. New Vaal Motors (Mercedes Benz) has played a significant role in the development and growth of VUT Rugby. Their commitment to investing in the team and building rugby at the Vaal campus has been invaluable. It is heartening to know that New Vaal Motors plans to continue this partnership in the coming years.

The aftermath of COVID-19 presented challenges, but VUT Rugby rose to the occasion with significant improvements in the 2022 season. As they strive for bigger and better performances in the future, the team remains committed to their goals and values.

A big thanks go out to the individuals behind the scenes who have worked tirelessly to make VUT Rugby a success. John and Leonie, for their administrative prowess, Oom Gert, the union chair, Stanely, the go-to person at VUT Sport, and the dedicated coaches who put in countless hours on and off the field. It is the collective effort of everyone involved that has brought VUT Rugby to where it is today.

VUT Rugby is a testament to what can be achieved through determination, unity, and a clear vision for the future. As they continue to chase their dreams, the team serves as an inspiration to aspiring rugby players and sports enthusiasts alike. With New Vaal Motors and a dedicated team behind them, the future looks bright for VUT Rugby, and they are poised to make even more dreams come true in the world of rugby.