Retired athletes to benefit from Betway 12th Man Programme second iteration, as calls for support from corporate sector soars

BETWAY 12th Man programme revisited and will be a permanent feature going forward.

This was the view of Jason Shield- sponsorship and Ambassador manager at Betway, at the launch of the second iteration of the 2024 programme, that seeks to aid athletes after retirement from off- field.

“Having launched in 2029, we’ve repackaged this years’ second edition with more focus on business development, such as inculcating the players on how to prepare a compelling business plan on ventures that exist in the corporate world, and how to better themselves going forward,” says Shield.

Betway, South Africa’s leading online sports and gaming brand, unveiled this year’s programme attended by SA’s prominent sporting greats and retired athletes at the ceremony held at the swanky Melrose Arch, on a chilly Tuesday evening.

12th Man programme will be a four-month journey with 12 retired athletes representing a wide spectrum of sporting codes such as football, rugby, netball, boxing, mixed martial arts, and canoeing.

It will begin in earnest from June until September, and will work in tandem with the Harvard University.

It will be a monthly in-person workshops hosted in Johannesburg led by well-known internationally acclaimed speakers and facilitators.

The programme contents will have a strong focus on Business Development, with the sole purpose of guiding the participants with practical steps of breaking into the ever-evolving industry of Sport Management, Business, Sponsorship, Media, Sales and Marketing amongst other key subjects.

The Betway 12th Man participants also have an opportunity to enter a competition where they stand to win capital funding for their specific business ideas.

The participants will be paired up with mentors over a four-month period, who will guide them along the journey leading up to the business presentation in the final month of the programme.

The process leading up to the final presentation will be to provide the participants with the necessary skills to polish their pitch. They will present their business ideas to a panel of judges who will then assess the participant’s business case.

Posed to Shield, on what led to the stop and go approach, he shielded himself but uttering that in 2019, since it was a launch pad, there were points that were overlooked and to make up for such, decided to revisit the programme, re-packaged it and will be an annual event, forging ahead, he said, without committing if neither of the international speakers are former athletes themselves, since internationally the brand also sponsors other big sporting outfits.

The likes of legends Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe, Simphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala, coach Simphiwe Dludlu and Jean de Villiers, who were in attendance, will share insights into their different experiences of transitioning into retirement.

Coach Dludlu lamented that corporate sector should also come on board and join the likes of Betway, in trying to transform ‘our’ societies.

“Fun and school should be intertwined, since this programme will benefit both current and retired athletes. School and research allows one to reinvent him or herself, since knowledge is virtue, commented Dludu, who summed-up that sustainable development is imperative and such programmes should be fun, as it benefits you for future independence.

“The Betway 12th Man is one of the many programmes dear to the Betway brand. As a brand that has proudly positioned itself as caring and empathetic to the communities that we operate in, the return of such an impactful initiative underscores Betway’s commitment to giving back and playing an active role in contributing to the sport, both on and off the field,” says Betway South Africa, Head of Marketing, Mark Rowles.

Image supplied (Betway 12th Man programme participants at the launch).

“We have invested a significant amount of time and resources into putting together a programme that is credible, impactful and life-changing as a token of appreciation to these sporting icons, who have sacrificed so much in exchange for our entertainment over the years. We look forward to a successful and memorable Betway 12th Man season,” added Rowles.

The first workshop officially gets underway on Wednesday, 19 June with Personal Mastery being the theme that headlines a number of key topics over the two-day workshop.

Betway 12th Man Season 2 Participants:

MBenedict Vilakazi Football
FMaude KhumaloFootball
FJanine Van Wyk Football
MBenson MhlongoFootball
MMangaliso MosehleCricket
MAyavuya MyoliCricket
MMorgan NewmanRugby
MHekkie BudlerBoxing
FPhumza MaweniNetball
FNontle GwavuNetball
MDino BaggatinMixed Martial Arts 
FBridgitte HartleyCanoeing

Top image provided ( Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe, Simphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala, coach Simphiwe Dludlu, Jean de Villiers and Jason Shield- Sponsorship and Ambassador Manager at Betway, at the launch on Tuesday, at Melrose Arch).

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