Boishaai out of World Schools Festival 2019

From honeymoon to divorce in next to no time!

This news item has been fairly difficult to piece together for various reasons so hopefully it it achieves its desired goal of being factual. Plus there is so much that can be written about it but let’s try stick to the nitty-gritty stuff.

Paarl Boys’ High School, the hosts of the 2018 World Schools Festival (WSF) will NOT be taking part in next year’s WSF to be hosted by Paul Roos Gymnasium.

The reasons why Carinat, the organisation that controls the WSF decided to move it from Boishaai have still not been made public. As surprising is that it seems like the sponsors who helped get this year’s festival off the ground and turn it into something special, where not given the opportunity to voice their opinion on the decision to move. One influential Paarl based sponsor, who went out of their way to market the festival, accepted the financial and other challenges of launching the project and was hoping to reap the benefits from a Paarl based festival from year two onwards, indicated that a request for a formal meeting to discuss the venue did not materialise and next thing the media release was made that Paul Roos of Stellenbosch were hosting in 2019.

A fledging school rugby festival is usually a flop the first time around and it takes a few years to get it to become something that’s well-recognised and a crowd attraction. So under those circumstances, the inaugural WSF, the first of its kind in SA, did exceptionally well. It included a sell out final day. There were hiccups and aspects of the festival were criticised but all-in-all it was bold, ambitious, expensive and it left a lasting memory. The locals got behind it and when push came to shove, the Boishaai community defended the festival like it was their own.

The Boishaai community had good reason to believe the WSF was their own. The concept of the WSF was introduced to Boishaai in 2014 by their Head of Rugby Sean Erasmus. The successful 1st coach’s vision was for it to become Boishaai’s property. He brought Carinat on board to help make it a reality for the school’s 150th birthday celebration year. However somewhere along the line in the setting up of the agreements, Boishaai erred and allowed Carinat to gain full control. And at some point either before, during or after the festival, Carinat must have become dissatisfied with either the setup at Boishaai or the personnel they were dealing with at Boishaai or perhaps a combination of both. This seems like the only logical explanation for the move to a new venue, given what they had achieved in year one.

Something else that came to the fore was that parties connected to Boishaai asked Paul Roos not to accept the offer made to them by Carinat, in order to give Boishaai a chance to settle differences with Carinat, in the hopes of retaining the festival. Perhaps this is a different argument for a different day but there was no obligation or gentleman’s agreement in place to suggest Paul Roos’s should have worked with Boishaai. Stalling might have even cost Paul Roos the chance to host. In the end, the overwhelming opinion stemming from those close to Paul Roos was the matter/disagreement was between Boishaai and Carinat and not between Paul Roos and Boishaai.

It appeared that Boishaai were then omitted from the original 2019 invitation list. This was perhaps not surprising given the tension that must have existed between the Carinat and Boishaai representatives at the time.

Somehow Boland Landbou, a small school based just outside Paarl and one of the participants at the 2018 WSF then got dragged into the plot.

Boland Landbou found out that they were also not invited to the WSF 2019, which in its own right seemed odd, given their rugby pedigree. Both Boishaai and Boland Landbou were also not thrilled that fellow local school Paarl Gymnasium had received the green light to attend in 2019. At that stage Boishaai were contemplating launching their own international festival to rival the WSF. They informed Boland Landbou of this intention. So later when Boland Landbou were invited to the WSF for 2019, they declined under the auspices of Boishaai’s festival offer.

However Boishaai aborted their idea of a rival festival and accepted the invite to play at WSF 2019 when it eventually came. Worth noting is that even as hosts Paul Roos have little involvement in setting up the WSF. Those aspects are all controlled by Carinat. Nevertheless there is good reason to believe that Paul Roos played an instrumental role in securing the invite for Boishaai.

So there was a point in time when Boishaai were going to take part in the WSF 2019.

This left Boland Landbou out in the cold, although it must be added that in spite of their initial displeasure, they were perfectly willing to accept their fate. One party close to the school rugby even commented that not having the extra two fixture commitments would have worked in their favour.

Comradery between Boishaai and Boland Landbou once again came to the fore. In an attempt to create an extra place so that both Boland Landbou and Boishaai could attend, Boishaai proposed to the organisers that they grow the festival from 10 to 11 overseas teams. This failed. Boishaai then made the conscientious decision to offer their place to Boland Landbou and the latter seemed willing to suggest that both schools play a single match at the WSF 2019. This did not come about.

The conclusion is that Boland Landbou will take part in the WSF 2019 and Boishaai will not.

Paarl Boys’ High Press Release:


Paarl Boys’ High were fortunate enough to initiate and host the very first World Schools’ Festival at Brug Street this year. We will , however, miss out on next year’s event in Stellenbosch.

Our initial contract with the event organizers, Carinat, gave us the option to extend the hosting for another two years, but after lengthy discussions, it was decided rather to move the tournament around among schools, similar to the Craven Week.

Unfortunately, Boland Landbou School missed out on a place in next year’s tournament due to initial uncertainty and late changes. As a result, Paarl Boys’ High withdrew from the 2019 tournament to give Boland Landbou school a place as we felt they were the innocent victims of these very late changes.

Paarl Boys’ High will always be grateful for the opportunity to create and host the first tournament as part of our 150 year festivities. A huge thank you to Sean Erasmus who initiated the idea to create a world class tournament such as this. We would also like to thank all parties involved in making this initial tournament such a huge success. We had the privilege to see 21000 spectators come through our Brug Street gates during the week of the tournament and thanks to a very successful media team, more than R12 million worth of media value was created across the world. We would also like to thank Wimpie van der Sandt and his Bok Radio team for their huge contribution with the event and sponsorships, making it such a huge success.

We would like to wish Paul Roos the best of luck with next year’s event and would like to see the World Schools Festival become the best showcase of schoolboy rugby in the world.


  1. @beet: my experience of the festival was that it ended up just too long a day. most sport events are aiming at high impact but shorter (even t 20 is too long for some as the ecb is now looking at 100 balls). and with 2 groups of 3 teams you will probably end up with 4 days of rugby of which each play on 3. if you involve private schools such as wellington college or millfield or sedbergh in the uk, costs will not be an issue nor facilities. given the support of our garsfontein bloggers, I would suggest boishaai, garsfontein, from the uk wellington college and sedbergh and from nz auckland grammar and christchurch boys to be played at the stoop (harlequins)…

  2. @beet: You’re probably right. Maybe I’m just a bit p-off by the rumors that they don’t want to play Oakdale any more!!

  3. @apple: yeah some interesting views on maximising revenue.

    Pay-per-view vs free streaming to reach a wider audience in the hopes of generating higher advertising revenue.

    How do you maximise on gate ticket sales? a 5-match day fest with maybe 60% average capacity vs a 3-match day fest with close to 100% average attendance?

    Quality vs quantity: 20 teams (higher volume of loyal supporters) vs 6 teams (greater interest from neutrals)

  4. do think a smaller tournament with 6 teams, rotating between the uk, nz and sa, will be much more focussed and could access the deepest markets in terms of sponsorship. you can have two groups of 3 with a play off on the saturday rather than the sa vs rest of the world format which was nonsensical and too SA focussed. With paid live streaming etc to cover costs. phps it will turn out a blessing that boishaai missed this one.

  5. @Oakdale supporter: In the context of this WSF 2019 event decision, that doesn’t seem like a fair comment.

    Carinat took the event away from HJS.
    All indications were that Carinat approached PRG and not the other way around.
    9 other schools signed up to be part of the WSF at PRG.
    In spite of any disappointment, HJS were also willing to be part of the event at PRG.

  6. Paul Roos begin dink hulle kan maak soos hul wil en basta die res. Ek sien moeilikheid in die toekoms!!!

  7. @Grizzly: I dunno. I think as far as the schools are concerned this issue will become past tense. Boishaai already have other unique tour plans in the pipeline for 2019.

    The next obstacle might be the Affies 100th in 2020. I’m sure Affies would desperately like Boishaai to be part of that celebration. Perhaps they will have to arrange a separate interschools day at AHS which would be great.

  8. The WSF was a BH initiative.
    Carinet was brought onboard. They promised a lot, delivered on little.
    In the end BH basically did most of the hard work, attracted sponsors and sorted the huge operational issues.
    BH did not make one single cent profit. Fact.
    The expressed intention was always that this was not to make money, but to launch a truly unique international festival in spite of high hurdles expected, especially in the first year.
    BH expected to host the WSF for three years in Paarl – not only at Brug Street. The idea was that Gim and Landbou could also host should they wish so. Such an event would mean a lot to Paarl.
    Good luck to PRG and Carinet for 2019.
    It promises to be a better event than the initial year’s.
    But we know how the idea originated and what happened thereafter.
    One cannot fault Gim for wanting to participate, but it sill leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

  9. @Grizzly: It’s hard to get rival school officials to work together.

    A better bet is asking the schoolboys to stand together, they’ll get it done like yesterday. :)

  10. @A4ie: Yes,agree.Its not to late.What if Gym,BL, Affies and Grey withdraw as a sign of solidarity to BH and doing the right thing.The festival will be like a tri nation without the All Blacks.This will force the organisers to go back to the table with BH,I hope for something like this to happen…

  11. @Grizzly: Eish maybe a bad example used by me. I was trying to get you to apportion blame rather than pin it all on PRG.

  12. @Grizzly: “Do the right thing” I agree , is it about getting the youngsters playing the game or is it about money? What a shame that money and politics can potentially destroy relationships between schools and even the tournament.

  13. @beet: assume it is, but having said that, the comments are also extensive. it is mainly the matches with nz schools that have had the most hits by the look of things. re the top 20 legal power comment, a bad joke… a number of schools have been having legal issues lately and some have been more successful in court than others. boishaaai clearly did not look at the fine print.

  14. @Smallies: @Grizzly: In the blog it mentions that this is maybe an argument for a different day but perhaps today is that day.

    I do think that the second part of Grizzly’s comment is all about Heyneke Meyer and Co who essentially “took” Boishaai’s concept.

    But also Carinat’s claims to ownership are legitimate and will most likely hold up in court as Boishaai signed the agreements that made it that way.

  15. @beet: That will be a very comfortable excuse for PRG.As a nation we lost the ability to do the right thing.So this is my plan,my idea,I want you to invite this and that school,here are the sponsors,pay you good money to put everything together.Entered in good faith with you.Afterwards you go and file some bullsh#t papers and claim the event as your own?!I say your confuse, with a capital F#$K!!I’ll be heading to COURT Street and I’ll win…

  16. @beet: i kinda agree with grizzly PRG should have said no when they were approached… They do have a long history with BH and that should mean more than a couple of Rands for the use of their rugby field

  17. @Grizzly: Paul Roos aren’t the ones trying to make money off a SBR festival. Carinat are. The ramification comment should be aimed at Heyneke Meyer and Co. :-D

  18. @apple: I don’t understand this comment:

    and phps next year we can have a top 20 of schools with legal power though given grey’s issues with their principal lately they may not be above paul roos on that one.

  19. @apple: I hope management at PRG would appreciate the ramefications this action can cause regarding relationships with not only schools in Capetown,but country wide.The World Festival was was an Boishaai initiative and as such,belongs to BH.When approach by orginaicers,PRG should have done the right thing…

  20. and phps next year we can have a top 20 of schools with legal power though given grey’s issues with their principal lately they may not be above paul roos on that one.

  21. @Smallies: perhaps not in the current format, but i suspect that it will in one format or another. it is interesting the amount of youtube hits and comments the festival attract now that it has been posted there. there is a market in england / nz etc.

  22. @Smallies: perhaps not in the current format, but i suspect that it will in one format or another. it is interesting the amount of youtube hits and comments the festival attract now that it has been posted there. there is a market in england / nz etc.

  23. @Smallies: Yeah I agree. I heard there was a plan for some of the invited teams to play in Dubai before heading to the Cape, so perhaps from a cohesion perspective they would be better prepared but then again how well can a weak team prepare to face the challenge of a really strong team.

    Funding is an issue. Getting the best NZ schools out to SA comes at a huge travel cost. If the roles were reversed, at best a top SA school would consider a tour to NZ once per decade, so you would need 40 schools to be interested in making the trip over a 10 year period.

    It might make sense to downgrade the quality of the local schools participating to ensure better match-ups.

  24. Mens moet voel vir BH hier…. Maar ek dink as die selfde oorsee spanne weer gaan deelneem dit in elk geval n toernooi van baie min waarde wees in terme van kompetiesie…. Die meeste van daardie spanne was maar eintlik net slaan sakke gewees

  25. @apple: Yeah definitely agree with the wake up call bit.

    With regards to Noord-Suid, the feedback I received is that Boishaai felt they were undercooked coming into this season, which cost them at WSF. With NS opting for the 1st term end holiday over Easter for their festival it provided Boishaai with the chance to get interschools cricket out the way and get more game-time under the belt earlier on in the season. I think someone has to fill in the gap that I might have missed because NS is potentially more difficult than WSF.

  26. enough lawyers currently “employed” by stellenbosch clients to ensure paul roos will not make the same mistake. this experience will hasten the use by schools of moving from the handshake to full negotiation of all commercial aspects of its rugby offering. if you invite the wolves through the door, dont be surprised if they show their teeth. explain why boishaai is now in noord suid.


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