Ikey Tigers 5 Year Vision: 2018-2022
On Thursday 28 September 2017, the Ikey Tigers Club Chairman, Greg Fury, presented the Club’s 5 Year Vision to players, coaches, staff and supporters at UCT’s Neville Isdell Rugby Centre. For many years the Ikey Tigers have been forced to operate in survival mode, only able to plan at best twelve months ahead at a time. That is changing and all Ikey players, coaches and supporters are invited to get behind a vision that promises purpose, adventure, hard work, reward and inspiration.
Best… watch the ‘Spirit of Ikey Tigers’ video before reading any further to get a taste or reminder of what the Ikey Tigers are all about!
In rugby’s professional era the Ikey Tigers have largely been managed, coached and funded through volunteer contributions. Many times the writing has been on the wall. However, by the skin of our teeth we have not only survived, but also had more than a few memorable highlights on the field along the way. To name a few – 2004 Intervarsity (in the days before Varsity Cup when Intervarsity meant so much more); 2011 and 2014 Varsity Cup titles; multiple U20 and 2nd XV league victories; and the 2015 World University Rugby Cup).
South African rugby could be in a better place than it currently is and that makes us cognisant of the importance of our contribution to risk-taking, skillful, intelligent, running rugby. For the most part our competitor universities are far better resourced and more professionally-minded than we are. Our vision therefore has to take this into account and provide strategic direction so that we can compete effectively, while remaining a club that champions the excitement of amateur, student rugby.
UCT has recently taken the bold step of piloting a new framework for UCT sport governance and management with the rugby club, in part in the hope that our success can be the inspiration for other sports clubs at UCT. We are very positive about this move, believe that it will remove much frustration and provide new impetus for UCT team sports wanting to drive student participation and compete at the highest levels. Find out more by clicking here.
By pursuing the following five pillars we expect to be one of the world’s leading university rugby clubs.
Some of the hallmarks of success under these five pillars:
1. We want to be competitive in the Varsity Cup and WP Leagues; our players and coaches should have access to world-class sport science support; we will defend our title at the World University Rugby Cup in Japan 2019; go on an international tour in 2021; and be known as a club that celebrates diversity.
2. Providing academic support and mentorship; building on our record of achieving greater academic success than UCT’s average; providing a network for job opportunities post-graduation; preparation for professional life; and having a strong social dynamic to our teams, staff and supporters.
3. Send out players who pursue a professional rugby career as rounded, well-balanced individuals; be a voice in South African student rugby and Western Province rugby for rugby’s traditional values of fair play, enjoyment, respect and camaraderie; be involved in grassroots rugby development; and showcase the value of excellence in sport to the broader UCT community.
4. Known for having a full pub; welcome families and supporters of all ages; build friendships off the field; fantastic match day experience; and strong student support.
5. Be less reliant on volunteers for executive management, coaching and sports science; be more reliant on a greater number of volunteers for culture, community and continuity; and be able to offer at least 10 full new bursaries each year.
If we are going to achieve this vision we need to have more funding available and there is going to be bucket-loads of hard work.
On the finances side we need to reach an annual budget of R9.6m (in 2017 Rand terms) for this vision to be a reality. While this is still a fraction of our competitors it will allow us a reasonable bursary budget and the ability to hire critical staff. This means we have to raise at least R4m per year (over and above our currently secure funding) for the next five years – work on this front has been underway for some time and we are confident this will be achieved by the end of 2017. UCT’s contribution to this will be no more than 1% to 2% – we need to, and are ready to, secure the Club’s funding without relying on the university.
Much of the hard work to achieve our vision will be undertaken by these Ikey supporters, players and staff.
There are many more opportunities for volunteer contributions! Some of these areas of activity are currently served well, others have been identified as areas where we can improve and need more hands on deck. One of the best ways for this to happen is for two or three Ikey mates to join forces and have some fun together while putting their shoulder into making a difference in an area of the Club. Get in touch if you want to experience the satisfaction of joining dozens of Ikey supporters taking the Club to new heights. If you are not sure where you can help, we will find a spot for you!
Our renovated Ikeys pub is already looking magnificent, so why not diarise every Monday evening in February and March 2018 for some live or televised rugby viewing. It is the perfect environment to connect with Ikey supporters and be inspired to make Ikey Tigers one of the world’s leading student rugby clubs.