With the high school Matric results recently released in South Africa. A number of graduates are left in the open with either a lot on their plate or in many case very limited options. FirstStep.me spoke with Alie Brand from Stellenbosch Rugby Academy (SRA) about opportunities that matriculants should take note of.

Stellenbosch Rugby Academy

Stellenbosch Rugby Academy

In terms of using a sporting background with education as is the case with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy, does this also serve a similar platform as an academic bridging platform? - Basically does sport help students adjust to higher education - Yes, it is of importance in the case of the Rugby Academy that our students are put on the correct career path. This process normally takes 6 months, and then the student can start studying.

Students who have matriculated in South Africa and are still unsure of their future decisions, what would you recommend that they do? Do not study if you are unsure. Do a Gap Year and/or work and then decide.

The concept of a bridging or foundation year has become a topic of debate for universities helping to assist students adjust to higher education. What are you views on this? We currently believe that learners in South Africa completing their secondary schooling need to be better prepared for their future academic endeavors. This combined with poor career guidance at a school level can create a limitation in terms of career options. Hence examples of world wide trends such as Gap Years have become popular for individuals to pursue. Therefore our solution (SRA) was to structure the following 3 programmes:

    - Rugby High Performance programme (there are also a specialist programme for coaches, referees and game analysts)
    - Matric Support and exemption
    - Sport Management and Coaching programme (SRA, Unisa)

This can be done in 1 year, and then students must start studying a formal qualification, while they continue with the Rugby programme.

About: Alie Brand - Higher Diploma in Education, BA and MPhil degree (Stellenbosch University) - is the founder of SRA.