Michael Dick, known affectionately everywhere as Moby, is the doyen of university rugby administrators. He worked in that role at UJ for 17 years, and saw UJ emerge as the dominant club in the Lions union in that time, and the went over to Wits University where he quickly rose to the position of Head of Sport.
His move to Wits coincided with the coming across of long-time UJ coach, Hugo van As, and together they have overseen the remarkable transformation of Wits rugby from a relative non-factor to a significant force in the Varsity Cup and in the Lions club league.
He has, in all that time been a great servant of university rugby and has earned the reputation as an expert when it comes to identifying young players who have got what it takes to make it as student ruby players and has been able to recruit a number of future stars on rugby bursaries.
Playing rugby at university level isn’t just about the football, I’ve heard him say many times. The Varsity Cup regulations insists on academic performance as well as sporting but more than that, giving a bursary spot – and at Wits they are limited – to a student who is going to neglect the academic side and drop out after one year is a waste of time and resources.
Selecting those bursary recipients is tricky process and part of it is making sure the prospective student, and his parents, fully appreciate what lies ahead, and understand what it’s going take to succeed.
It’s something that the people doing the job at all academic institutions who recruit talented rugby players face. Moby has more than 20 years of experience in it and he recently put some of his thoughts down for the ruggas.co.za website.
It’s well worth a read, for school coaches who are concerned about what their matriculating players are going to do next (as all the good ones are), and for parents looking for financial assistance in putting their talented sons through university.
The link to it is: