Tellumat Defence sponsors SA Air Force Rugby Week 27 years on the trot


The company is supporting the South African Air Force Rugby Week for the 27th consecutive year.Tellumat Defence, the defence technology division in the Tellumat Group, has extended its sponsorship of the South African Air Force Rugby Week for the 27th consecutive year.

A proud tradition and important event on the Air Force calendar, SAAF Rugby Week is attended by the Air Force`s chief officer and used to promote team spirit and sporting endeavour in the corps.

Colin Meintjes, Tellumat Defence managing executive, says during Tellumat`s tenure transformation of teams has become more visible, with one base fielding a 100% black team last year. In addition to the selection of an official SAAF Rugby team, a development team has also been chosen for the last two years.

He says Tellumat`s desire to back a competition with relevance in a changed society is closely aligned with its strategy of reflecting the country`s demographics in its staff list, ownership, skills development and community support.

The company has pushed hard for transformation, putting effort and resources into helping with development of historically disadvantaged individuals. Tellumat`s Rugby Week sponsorship involves an annual cash amount covering the costs of the tournament, as well as player gear, bags and occasional travel.

As the centrepiece of the event, held in the Cape last year, Tellumat again awarded the Tellumat SAAF Rugby Trophy. Designed and sculpted in 1981 by London silversmiths, which is otherwise on appointment of Her Majesty the Queen, the trophy depicts a rugby ball framed around an accurate scale model of Tellumat`s Umlindi radar antenna. The Umlindi, also known as the AR-3D Air Defence Radar, is still in use with the SA Air Force, after another major upgrade to it last year.

The trophy is the source of much pride to the winning team and Tellumat, after almost three decades of adorning display cabinets at the various bases that fielded the winning team of the year.

About 12 teams are entered every year. On finishing the competition, an SAAF team is picked to represent the Air Force in matches against other SA National Defence Force units, and occasionally even the British Royal Air Force – with the last such trip, to the United Kingdom, arranged by Tellumat.

Meintjes recalls the SAAF team beating the Royal Air Force a few years ago – a formidable combination that had two players in the Wales and England teams.