In a coup for local sport, Eastern Province Rugby and the Port Elizabeth-based Planet FitSmart signed a landmark sponsorship deal valued at over R300 000 today.
Planet FitSmart – a division of Planet Fitness – says the deal is much more than just a mere membership programme for provincial rugby players.
“We are committed to help bring about a sustainable turnaround for rugby in the province through this unique partnership,” says Steve Murray, owner of Planet FitSmart in Walmer. “We would like to be part of the solution.”
Murray says it is the first time that the group has entered into an agreement of this nature and that they are keen to play whatever part they can in the revival of rugby in the region. “We are an Eastern Cape-based business and as such it is our duty to make a positive contribution to our community.”
Pat de Silva, president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, says they are very excited about the new partnership. “This deal will enable the Mighty Elephants to turn over a new leaf, with the focus on the conditioning of the players.
“We are very grateful for the sponsorship and are confident that we will be able to show good results with their ongoing support.” De Silva adds that apart from the inherent financial value for the union, both parties stand to benefit from the association.
Planet FitSmart will sponsor the EP squad of 30 players and five support staff with complimentary 12-month local premier VIP memberships.
“In addition to the memberships, we will put the players onto our key4Me member tracking system, which will allow us to report back to conditioning staff and team management on player progress and compliance.”
Murray says two dedicated personal trainers will be working in conjunction with EP Rugby’s strength and conditioning staff to supervise workouts and to work with individual players.
According to the agreement, the U/19 Craven Week squad of 22 players and five support staff will receive six-month premier VIP memberships.
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