8 August 2013A R5-million prize purse will be shared out between the top teams in this season’s various interprovincial rugby competitions, including R1.8-million for the winners of the Absa Currie Cup. The victors will also receive a trophy that has been restored to its original glory.Thanks to the sponsors, Absa, the Currie Cup Premier Division, the First Division, the under-21 A Division and the 19 A Division competitions will all benefit from the prize purse.“The Absa Currie Cup is the ‘Holy Grail’ of South African rugby and now the winners will be rewarded as such and the trophy looks like it once more,” Jurie Roux, the CEO of the South African Rugby Union, said in a statement on Thursday.‘Status and historical significance’“The competition is massively important to the provinces, players, coaches and sponsors and by offering prize money for the first time in the competition’s history we’re underlining the Absa Currie Cup’s current status as well as its historical significance.”Roux said the prize money would be split as follows: Absa Currie Cup Premier Division champions – R1.8-millionAbsa Currie Cup Premier Division runners-up- R1.2millionAbsa Currie Cup First Division champions – R1-millionAbsa Currie Cup First Division runners up- R500 000Absa u21 A Division champions – R200 000Absa u21 A Division losing finalists – R50 000Absa u19 A Division champions – R200 000Absa u19 A Division losing finalists – R50 000 The prize money will be awarded to the provincial union in each case to be used at their discretion. However, R200 000 of the R1.8-million awarded to the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division winner must be allocated to the Academy structures at the victorious union.“The Absa Currie Cup is the oldest domestic rugby competition in the world, as far as we know, and the winners since 1891 have only ever received the trophy,” Roux said.“The awarding of prize money aligns our premier domestic competition with the modern tradition of many top sports tournaments worldwide by financially rewarding provinces and their players for their hard work.“Many iconic Springboks took the first meaningful steps in their senior rugby careers in the Absa Currie Cup and I have no doubt that this tradition will continue with the crop of young players coming through in South Africa,” he said.Anchor of South African rugbyBobby Malabie, Barclays Africa Group executive, said: “The Absa Currie Cup undoubtedly remains the cornerstone and anchor of South African rugby and the restored trophy and prize money will add to the prestige of the competition and serve as further motivation to players across all divisions.“At the heart of the game there is respect, integrity, the desire for excellence and the camaraderie of match day for players and fans. This complements our human spirit campaign which promotes these values.“At Absa we want to inspire people and work with them to excel. I am sure the 2013 edition of the Absa Currie Cup will live up to all expectations of another exciting season,” Malabie said.To coincide with the new season, the famous trophy – first presented by shipping tycoon Sir Donald Currie – has undergone an extensive restoration to recapture its former glory.A near century and a quarter of presentations and celebrations had taken their toll on a trophy that had been manufactured in 1875.The Cup was returned to Garrard of London, the Crown Jewellers, from whose workshops it had first emerged. The handle, which had been damaged in recent times, was remodelled and the whole trophy given back its golden sheen.“The trophy first arrived here 122 years ago and it was in need of a makeover after passing through so many hands in celebration,” said Roux.“It is now restored to its original glory and is worthy once again of being the centerpiece of South African rugby. It is an iconic cup and will be the source of many more memorable rugby moments in years to come.”SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby
Panel probing Games irregularities finds material changes in official documents so that Kalmadi could have complete control over the Organising Committee.The high-powered V. K. Shunglu committee has further slammed sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi for being the leader of a “sham OC with much lesser accountability and transparency”. A day after the panel, set up by the Prime Minister to probe the Games mess, blamed Kalmadi and his “club” for bringing shame to the country for CWG mismanagement, it came out with yet another 103-page report questioning his appointment.The report said the documents reviewed for Kalmadi’s appointment were not without tampering and undue changes.”We have found material changes in official documents by Kalmadi to get the post of OC chief and also to have sweeping administrative control over it,” the report says.The OC was constituted to retain absolute and unhindered control on the Games through a sham society with much lesser accountability and transparency even in comparison to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA, which Kalmadi heads), it adds.”We have therefore no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that a document (relating to the appointment of OC chairman) was created by Kalmadi or at his behest in the IOA for being specifically used to secure his ends, including the chairmanship of OC and justification for the commitments made by him at Montego Bay without any authority,” the committee says, citing instances of Kalmadi’s approach to get the key post.”It would also be pertinent to mention that all attempts made by the ministry of sports to open a dialogue with Kalmadi between November 2003 and September 2004 on the action to be taken for CWG 2010 were unsuccessful because Kalmadi was unwilling to open negotiations till he was assured of OC chairmanship,” the report points out.advertisementQuestioning the OC’s constitution, it says that on February 10, 2005, Kalmadi got a society named OC registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.This society, its memorandum, rules, executive board and membership should have been approved by the Group of Ministers. But no such approval was taken.”His (Kalmadi’s) continuance in both offices was not conducive to the efficient conduct of the CWG. More importantly, there were areas of conflict of interests between the OC and IOA,” says the report.It also takes a dig at the manner in which the government accepted, without due consideration, the Host City Contract to organise the sporting extravaganza in the Capital.Such was the mess in organising the Games till the last minute last year that a committee of secretaries (CoS) headed by the cabinet secretary too was “unable to get the agencies to complete the works in time. It is observed that incorrect reporting and lack of coordination at the lower levels prevented the CoS from taking corrective action at stages earlier than they actually did. Early warnings were ignored by the implementing agencies”. The report also questioned the decisions of the Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennel and its CEO Michael Hooper.The Shunglu Committee held Kalmadi responsible for appointing his close associates and inexperienced staff in the OC for individual gains.On Friday, PM Manmohan Singh said the committee’s report was being analysed by various ministries. “There are procedures. I am yet to get the analyses from the ministries,” he told reporters on the sidelines on the function to give away the Padma awards.