Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus awarded honorary doctorate

Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus awarded honorary doctorate

A humbled Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus reacted with huge gratitude upon finding out that the Council of the North-West University had decided to award him an honorary doctorate.

The NWU Council approved the decision during their ordinary meeting on Thursday, 16 November 2023. The request for the awarding of the degree Philosophiae Doctor (Honoris Causa), in the discipline Coaching Science, was made by the NWU's Faculty of Health Sciences.

"I'm extremely honoured and humbled to receive this recognition but I have to give all the credit to the Springbok team and management for their resilience and determination over the last few years who made this possible," said Erasmus.

"Rugby is a team sport and success is a collective effort. So, although this is an incredible achievement for me personally, all credit must go to everyone who made a massive contribution and huge sacrifces throughout the last few years and to our supporters who have been unwavering in their support for the national team."

The NWU announced on Friday that the honorary doctorate will be bestowed on Erasmus in recognition of his innovative and exceptional management of the Springboks during their victorious 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup campaigns, his significant standing in the international rugby coaching arena, his strong drive and focus on diversity and inclusion, and his commitment to social responsibility.

The university said that in addition to his visionary leadership, Erasmus has also shown an unwavering commitment to the Sport Transformation Charter - which is included in the Strategic Plan of the Department of Sport and Recreation - that has resulted in a systematic change in the development of talent and skills across the national rugby spectrum.

"Rassie embodies the principles of resilience, determination and teamwork that we at the North-West University hold dear in our educational mission," said Bert Sorgdrager, Council chairperson.

"His contributions to South Africa, both as a rugby strategist and as a nation builder, serve as a shining example of what can be achieved when passion, dedication and visionary leadership come together.

"This esteemed recognition is not only well deserved, but also a testament to the remarkable contributions and exceptional impact Rassie has made in the field of sport and innovative sports management.

"His commitment to inclusivity and transformation in sport has not only revitalised rugby but has served as a powerful symbol of reconciliation and unity in a nation with a complex history. Under his guidance, the Springboks not only achieved rugby greatness, but also became a unifying force, bringing together people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

"His emphasis on teamwork, discipline and dedication has resonated far beyond the sports arena, offering life lessons that inspire not only aspiring athletes, but also individuals in their everyday lives.

"He has meaningfully used his sphere of influence to advocate for social change, fostering an environment in which diversity and inclusivity are celebrated, and differences are seen as strengths rather than weaknesses."

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