Despite losing 40-7 to FNB Maties in the final on Monday 16 April, FNB NWU had another reason to smile when they were awarded the Gaz'Lam trophy for having the most supporters donate blood during the 2018 Varsity Cup season.
At the beginning of the Varsity Cup season, it was announced that SANBS (South African National Blood Service) and WP Blood Transfusion Service had partnered with Varsity Cup for the next three years in an effort to save more lives. As a result, Varsity Cup, SANBS and WPBTS initiated a blood drive, where the team who encouraged the most supporters to donate blood would be awarded the Gaz'Lam trophy. FNB Tuks led from the very beginning, but were unable to hold onto it in the end.
More than 111 000 lives were saved from a total of 37 017 blood donations during the twelve week duration of the Varsity Cup season. FNB NWU topped the log with 7 949 donations, with FNB Tuks coming close in second with 7 721 donations.
FNB NWU captain Tiaan Bezuidenhout says, “The support on and off the field was just amazing at home and away, especially all the good luck videos from everyone. It's really amazing to win the Gaz'Lam trophy for the most blood donations. Everyone that has contributed to the cause is a winner by themselves because everyone who took the time to donate blood is saving lives and making the world better.”
FNB NWU head coach Jonathan Mokuena says, “The true meaning of the FNB NWU TEAM (together everyone achieves more) came through on and off the field. That culture is being driven from the top down, which makes it easy for the supporters and the team to perform.”
FNB NWU were awarded the Gaz’Lam trophy
The goal with the trophy design was to make something unique, eye catching and symbolic which would resonate with the fans,” said Ivor Hobbs, SANBS Regional Marketing Manager.
“A blood bag filled to the shape of a rugby ball was the final idea which was chosen, an idea born directly from the essence of the campaign and to resonate with the concept of #maketheteam in the sense that the tournament directly influences the blood transfusions.
“Due to its unusual shape, usual trophy making methods could not produce the correct result. Actual blood bags supplied were used in the design process. Upon completion of the 3D rendering of the trophy. The final trophy was printed in pieces using a very strong and durable plastic in a 3D printer.
“The end result was sanded down and spray painted with several coats of paint, including five coatings of gold paint to give it the final finish. All parties involved are very proud of the outcome and hope this inspires more participation in blood donation from the FNB Varsity Cup, the teams, the fans & the country as a whole.”