Rugbydump’s Grant Constable join’s BPF’s board of trustees
It’s not long now until we launch our fifth consecutive project in as many years, Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Rugby in Africa 2016. As part of the build-up, we’ll share with you news and updates in the lead-up to our 24th January start-date.
Speaking of which, we’re thrilled to announce that one of rugby’s biggest – yet perhaps most under-the-rader – writers, bloggers and promoters, Grant Constable, is joining Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
In an exclusive interview, we’ve quizzed Rugbydump’s founder with insight into why rugby motivates him so much…
Grant, the charity’s very pleased to have you on board as a trustee. Before we talk about your connection to Bhubesi Pride Foundation, we’re really keen to know where your inspiration came from for Rugbydump.com. How did it all come about?
“Since my high school days I’ve always felt that great rugby moments could be watched over and over again. Nobody really knows this but I actually wrote to SuperSport at one stage to suggest something like a ‘Hit of the Week’ feature on their magazine show, Boots & All. They read the email out on air, but didn’t take it too seriously.
Roughly ten years later in 2006, YouTube was just one year old. That meant there wasn’t a whole lot of rugby footage available online. So I set out to create a basic blog that archives the best available videos. I wrote short editorial bits with them, and that soon caught on with fans, to the point that within a few years, Rugbydump was able to reach up to 500,000 users a month.
That’s the short version!”
At what point did you hear about Bhubesi Pride Foundation and what was your initial reaction to ‘rugby in Africa’?
“I first heard about Bhubesi Pride Foundation roughly five years ago, when founder Richard Bennett got in touch to tell me all about it. I was admittedly a bit sceptical about this ambitious undertaking, and where Rugbydump could fit in, but Richard’s energy and passion was infectious, and the vision was something I could relate with and buy into.”
Rugbydump.com reaches out to a vast rugby audience globally. What have you done in recent years to support the charity and how has it helped the Pride?
“We’ve helped in creating great awareness for the charity, particularly when it comes to letting future ‘Pride members’ know about upcoming projects. With the reach that we have we were able to share the message and get more like-minded individuals excited to get involved.
Over time we’ve managed to have Rugbydump users involved in all – if not most of – the yearly expeditions.”
Why did you decide to come on board as a trustee?
“Becoming a trustee is both an honour and a new challenge, the latter being something that one should never shy away from! It solidifies and formalises the relationship and from both sides it makes it quite clear that we are serious about making a difference in Africa.”
You grew up in a rugby-mad nation, Grant [South Africa]. What is it about rugby that you personally love so much?
“Rugby wasn’t actually my first love and I started quite late (13) by some standards, but as anyone who knows the sport will testify to, playing the game is incredibly infectious. I could write pages on this but the two things that probably stand out the most for me are the physical aspect – being able to get stuck in with your mates all around you backing you up – and then that leads to the other element, the camaraderie. An old coach once said that the friends you make playing rugby will be your friends for life and, so far anyway, that certainly holds true.
While some sports come fairly close, I truly believe rugby is the greatest game on the planet.”
As a rugby man through and through, what value do you believe rugby represents for communities in Africa and how would you like to see the charity progress, now that you’re involved?
“For me the charity represents hope. There are places that Bhubesi Pride Foundation visits that really just need a bit of a ‘pick me up’. Life in Africa can be tough, especially with conditions that most in the western world just wouldn’t believe people live under. To be able to go in and introduce them to something new and put smiles on faces, as well as help towards making sustainable positive changes, that is key.
From my side of things, while I’m in Africa for some time every year, I hope to be able to join one of the trips soon and get to experience things first-hand so that I too can make that difference on the ground. Until then, I aim to use my experience, know-how and reach to help drive the charity forward from an online and marketing point of view. I want to see Bhubesi Pride Foundation grow year on year, and get the recognition and support it deserves.”
Grant’s official biography is coming soon.