SARL Hall Of Fame
FIRST HONORARY PRESIDENT
OF SOUTH AFRICAN RUGBY LEAGUE
In 2019, Kobus Botha became the first individual to receive the honour of being bestowed the title of Honorary President of South African Rugby League. This followed after more than a decade of service to the game. A novice as far as the organised sport of rugby league was concern, Kobus joined the fray in 2007 following his son, Deo’s involvement with the Tomahawks Rugby League Club in Ermelo.
This interest and growing involvement over the course of the same season, resulted in his election as the Chairperson of the Tomahawks RL Club. This was followed by his further selection as the Provincial Chairperson of the Mpumalanga Panthers. The next season (2008), saw him assuming the position of Vice President of the South African Rugby League, under the leadership of the then-President, Dave Van Reenen. Following the resignation of the incumbent, Kobus Botha became the President of SA Rugby League in 2010. In this capacity, he represented South Africa at the Annual General Meeting of the International Rugby League in Paris in 2015. On this occasion, he strongly supported and motivated the establishment of decentralised regions under the international bodies as a means to grow the game and to facilitate regular competition. This resulted in the establishment of the Middle East Africa (MEA) Region.
In addition to his involvement and work on the international level, Kobus Botha diligently work to ensure the national recognition of rugby league as a distinct sport. After a protracted process of negotiations with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), he was instrumental in securing formal recognition of South African Rugby League by both SASCOC and National Government. In addition, the organisation concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SARU in 2019 which provided for associate membership of the latter as well as other support – all of which laid the basis for rugby league’s strong future growth.
In 2019 Kobus stepped down as President of the South African Rugby League Sporting Association and was appointed as the SARLSA Secretary General. In addition, he also assumed responsibility as the custodian of the Middelburg Tigers Rugby League Club.
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