Q&A with Alie Brand of the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy (SRA) about the benefits of a Rugby Gap Year!
 
Rugby Gap Year with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy - Image source: Stellenbosch Rugby Academy

Rugby Gap Year with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy - Image source: Stellenbosch Rugby Academy
 
How and why did Stellenbosch Rugby Academy establish its Gap Year program?  
 
It was initially started for school leavers who want to focus on their rugby/sport for a year, or are uncertain and seek guidance about their choice of career or field of study, or want to study the following year. SRA follows SARU's (South African Rugby Union) High Performance requirements and guidelines for national rugby academies - including quality players / programs, as well as a life after rugby. We go even further, and have a holistic approach which means we take players on potential (not just talent) and help to develop students. The focus is not only on rugby, but rather on using rugby as a vehicle to help develop balanced, well-rounded young individuals who reach their full potential in life.

The best of 2014 with On African Soil - *Images courtesy of On African Soil

The best of 2014 with On African Soil - *Images courtesy of On African Soil  
 
A Gap Year, Year Out, Year Abroad, Sabbatical or Travel Adventure done with a purpose - to help protect the environment.
On African Soil recaps the best of 2014 with seven purposeful conservation features!
 
The focus of the Endangered Species Centre programme is on the cheetah and during the course participants are involved with the everyday care of the cheetahs.  
 
The Primate Sanctuary’s mission is to prevent the extinction of chimpanzees through conservation, research and education.  
 
The Living with Lions property has been split into two areas, the carnivore area and one area for the herbivores such as zebra, giraffe, and various plains antelope and other grass-eating animals. These indigenous animals roam around the area as freely as possible in their natural environment.  

LEGOLAND® Deutschland

LEGOLAND® Deutschland
 
Growing up with LEGO® I felt that anything imaginable was buildable. Then again I grew up in the eighties and MacGyver was the pocketknife hero of the decade! So if he could save the day with a Swiss Army knife, as a child, I thought I could create my dreams one LEGO brick at a time.

The Kaltenberger Ritterturnier Image source and credit: BreakingStereotypes.org

The Kaltenberger Ritterturnier Image source and credit: BreakingStereotypes.org
From the Breaking Stereotypes team for FirstStep.me
 
In 2001 A Knights Tale was released starring the now late Heath Ledger...
It was full of pomp and merged modern day pop culture with medieval ruggedness. It kicked off with “We will rock you” by Queen and genuinely entertained. Audiences discovered a notion that knights equated to an early version of high profile rock ‘n roll sport stars type celeb A-list people! From chivalrous antics to action packed jousting and sword fighting, being a knight quite simply Rocked!
 
So when I was given the chance to live the adventure first hand – I jumped at it. Welcome to the modern adventures of Knights, Wizards, Witches, Kings, Queens and Barbarian Hordes!
 
Welcome to the Kaltenberger Ritterturnier
 
In the case of a Knights Tale which was set amongst the landscapes of England, my adventure however found me in a different place altogether, Bavaria. More specifically in Kaltenberg, which is a charming drive from the city of Munich and for one month a year, is the home to a journey back in time.

The Gap Year Evolution

The world is full of adventure. Earth is a planet filled with non-stop action, and yet this article was written behind a desk...
Perhaps it’s that widespread desire to embark on adventures like Indiana Jones, or seek gruelling tests like Bear Grylls. Even hearing David Attenborough’s voice is enough to stir a desire in us that sees us long to swap the daydreams for the dunes.