Montpellier, in partnership with an unknown benefactor, have launched a unique scholarship programme at Grey College.
A donor, who is a confirmed international businessman, but wishes to remain anonymous, initiated the Badawi Legacy Scholarship Programme, and through his association with Montpellier has involved the French club in the project.
Grey College announced on Friday that the scholarship programme, to be launched soon, will make contributions in three areas at the school over the next five years, including the introduction of French as a voluntary subject from 2018 onwards.
- Funding the appointment of a French language teacher for a period of five years.
- Funding support for at least 50 scholarship holders, which translates into partial funding support of over 200 student years.
- The commitment from Montpellier to make resources available to Grey College, including sharing coaching methods and exchange programmes for rugby coaches.
The scholarship programme to attend Grey College will be awarded on a means-tested basis to scholars who lack similar or readily available alternatives. Scholarship holders will demonstrate potential in leadership and/or academia, and particularly the sport of rugby.
World Cup-winning utility back Frans Steyn, who currently plies his trade at Montpellier, says he is excited about the initiative.
‘As a Grey old boy, it is wonderful to know that our beloved school went to such lengths to ensure young boys get the opportunity to join and experience the Grey family,’ said Steyn.
‘I’m proud of the fact that my alma mater has made such a lasting impression on prominent business people in France that they [the businesses] immediately jumped at the opportunity to invest in this programme, which will see talented kids hone their skills at the best school in the world.’
Montpellier currently have six former Grey pupils – Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, Jan Serfontein and Henry Immelman – on their payroll. But it remains unclear whether this initiative will allow them to increase that number by snapping up Grey alumni immediately after the boys finish high school.
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images