Our projects in South Africa are supported by a global network of Rugby Champions. These Champions work directly with the children and young people at our projects, offering hope and guidance to the children. Our Champions are often involved in our fundraisers, helping us to raise vital funds for the children at our projects.

Our Champions

Look out for these iconic Rugby Champions representing Atlas South Africa with their commitment to uplifting and empowering young boys and girls through the culture and spirit of rugby.

John Smit - South Africa 111 caps

John Smit, former Springbok Rugby Captain who played hooker and prop for the Springboks in 111 tests, beat the British & Irish Lions in 2009 and won the Rugby World Cup in 2007. John is the Champion of Atlas South Africa along with other South African Ambassadors Stefan Terblanche, Joel Stransky; Zimbabwe-born Bob Skinstad, Joe Pietersen; and Matt Stevens who played for England but now runs a winery outside Cape Town. Look out for these iconic sportsmen representing Atlas across Southern Africa with their commitment to uplifting and empowering young boys and girls through the team culture and spirit of rugby.

Nick Mallett - Rugby Coach and South Africa 2 caps

Nick Mallett is a former rugby union player, representing South Africa in 1984, and has 4 consecutive Currie Cup wins with the Western Province rugby union team between 1982-1985.

Mallett is currently employed with Supersport as an expert panelist and is highly regarded locally and internationally in this field of work. He also does a number of corporate motivational speaking engagements and is an accomplished after-dinner speaker.

Percy Montgomery - South Africa 102 caps

When Percy ended his international career in August 2008, he held the all-time records for both caps and points for South Africa. Now an Atlas Rugby Champion, he helps across the world, raising support and helping with rugby, education and career coaching for disadvantaged young people.

In March 2019 he led a group of Atlas cyclists in the Cape Town Cycle tour, and he was intending to do the same in 2020, hoping to raise money for Atlas's work with children across Africa and the world.

See how Percy helps Atlas here

Babalwa Latsha - Current Springbok Player

Babalwa Latsha is a current Springbok Player, and was Africa's first female professional rugby player. She currently has 22 caps for the Springboks, and has been named one of the top 12 leading women in rugby in Africa. She is helping Atlas to inspire women and girls in our projects in South Africa, helping them to become empowered and uplift their community.

Joe Pietersen

Joe Pietersen is a South African rugby union player who currently plays as the fly-half for the San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby.

De Wet Barry

De Wet Barry is a South African former rugby union footballer who played 38 test matches for the South Africa (the Springboks). In 2000, he made his Springbok debut against Canada in East London.

Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens is a rugby union player who plays for Toulon in France's Top 14 and won 39 caps for England between 2004 and 2012. Born in Durban, South Africa, to English parents, he can play in both prop positions, and most of his England appearances were at tighthead.

Joel Stransky - South Africa 22 caps

Joel is best remembered as the fly half who scored all of South Africa’s points and the winning drop goal against New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup Final.  He has his own charity in SA, the LumoHawk Foundation, that focuses on the educational needs of under-privileged children, in particular, the issue of sight. LumoHawk screens and tests the eyes of young learners. It then provides prescription glasses where necessary and facilitates further intervention such as surgery, when required. Joel is also our Champion for the Atlas All Schools programme in Israel.

Stefan Terblanche - South Africa 37 caps

Stefan Terblanche has gained 37 caps for South Africa. He has played for Sharks, Boland Cavaliers, Ulster and Ospreys.

Stefan delivers Atlas All Schools programmes in South Africa.

Bob Skinstad - South Africa 42 caps

Bob is a former Springbok captain and Rugby World Cup winner. He has played in Wales and England as well as South Africa and frequently captained the Barbarians. After international rugby Bob started his own company, represents a number of public bodies and charities, including his own Foundation, and works as a presenter for Sky Sports.

Jake Boer

Jake Boer played club rugby in South Africa for the Villager Football Club and Cape Town. He starred in the same Western Province Schools and under 21 teams as former South Africa captain Corne Krige and star centre Robbie Fleck.