PROFILE OF Tuks Rugby Supporters Club (TROK)
The Tuks Rugby Supporters Club (TROK), as part of the TuksSport Alumni programme, was officially launched on 10 March 2001, under the Chairmanship of Wynand Claassen, (the former Tukkies, Northern Transvaal, Natal and Springbok captain).
The reason for this was that over the previous decade, it was clear that the wonderful tradition of TuksRugby has dwindled somewhat and that a great need exist to revive this tradition (which has always been the pride of Tukkies). To achieve this, it is important to involve former players and supporters some way or another with TuksRugby.
During the founding meeting, the following committee was elected: Prof. Daan Swiegers as Patron, Wynand Claassen as Chairman, with Tommy du Plessis and Ewoud Malan as two former player members, Zack du Plessis and Sias van der Berg as two former students, with Christo de Vries and Piet van der Walt as two Parent members/Friends of TuksRugby. Ex-Officio members are Dr. Dawie Marais (chairman of Tuks Rugby Club), Jan du Raan (Marketing Director of TuksRugby), Gert van Coller (Director TuksRugby), Kobus van der Walt (Director TuksSport) and Dr. Jaco Joubert (UP).
The aim is to transform the TuksRugby Supporters Club into one of the biggest and most active clubs, which would put TuksRugby again on its rightful position. That is why a Membership Drive has been launched, where new members would enjoy certain benefits.
AIMS, ACTION PLANS AND BENEFITS OF THE OCCASSION
Various Business Initiatives has already been launched in an effort to bring about funds for TuksRugby and other Sporting Codes at the university. A few of the priority projects are hereby briefly mentioned:
• Regular monthly Business Lunches with a guest speaker are being held to bring former players and supporters closer to TuksRugby and to keep everyone informed what is happening at the club. Guest speakers who have already addressed the meetings in the past, were i.e Rudolf Straeuli, Francois Pienaar, Burger Geldenhuys, Dick Muir, Ray Mordt, Pierre Edwards, Pierre Spies, Anton Ferreira, Rudy Joubert, John Robbie, Jeremy Fredericks, Moaner van Heerden, Jock Seeliger, Tjokkie van der Merwe, Joel Stransky, Hugh Bladen, Tommy du Plessis, Dan Retief, Joost van der Westhuizen, Schalk Burger, Kobus Wiese and Niel Steyn.
• A Membership Recruitment Drive has been launched, whereby new members @ R600 p.a. or R50 p.m. will receive a Tuks Supporters' “Windbreaker”, a Cap, a Certificate as well as other benefits. The current paid membership are 220 with 20 Honorary Members.
• An old Tukkies Reunion Function of all eras was held in Pretoria during July 2003, on the eve of the SA vs New Zealand test match. It was a huge success with approximately 200 people who attended it. The second function was held during July 2004 with Naas Botha as the guest speaker. Last year's Reunion function took place during October 2005, which also included the former Pretoria Teachers Training College players.
• TROK also held its first Golf Day in 2003 at the Irene Golf Club, Uli Schmidt was the guest speaker. The following two year's Golf day took place at Monument Golf Club whereas 2006's event took place at the Pretoria West Golf Club during March.
• A Supporters' Train was organised to the Intervarsity at Stellenbosch in 2002, 2004 and in 2006, where each student received a Tuks supporter's cap and a Tuks supporter's T-shirt. Various Club Evenings was held on Monday evenings after practice when Zack du Plessis organised some of the young and upcoming artists, like Pieter Smith and the Bosveldklong.
• Various Donations have also been received from well-known businessmen over the years.
• TROK have supported the Rugby Club by granting R 57 500 to Bursaries for 11 players in 2003, R 50 000 to seven players in 2004 and R55 000 to eight players in 2005, as well as an R 80 600 expenditure on the glass show cases at the Clubhouse, the purchasing and instalment of two television sets, the purchasing of memorabilia and clothing for the supporter's club's members.
The TuksRugbySupportersClub is also aiming to sign up as many new members as possible, in order to create an established network of all the old-Tukkies, which wants to be associated with the rugby club.
A further initiative of TuksSport Alumni is also to attract the other sporting codes of Tukkies to the supporters-network, whereby the Supporters Clubs of both Athletics and Cricket have already been established during 2004 and 2005. Hockey and Netball will also come on board soon.