Focusing on late career transitions means it is all too easy to forget the benefit of getting things right at the very outset – new experiences, new friends, new opportunities, new learning. So the opportunity to encourage such early stage experiences by providing additional funding for the Dulwich College 1st XV tour to South Africa was one we were delighted to engage with.

The College has one of the highest proportions of assisted places of any of the major public schools. They were keen that all those selected to tour should be able to do so, regardless of financial circumstances. Milestones’ support helped make this possible.

On the field the team was successful against some of the best known schools rugby teams in South Africa. Playing five matches in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Johannesburg, it won three and narrowly lost two.

But more important, not only did the tour allow for a bonding experience for the touring party but visits to Robben Island and the Langa Township provided a sobering perspective on their very privileged lives in London.

James Hanks, Head of Rugby at Dulwich College, said,

“Dulwich College Rugby and the touring party are extremely grateful for the support that Milestones have provided. The boys enjoyed a once in lifetime experience; challenging themselves against some of the best schoolboys rugby programmes in the world while at the same time gaining a deeper, and sometimes eye opening, understanding of a country which has suffered, and continues to grapple with, the long lasting effects of apartheid and the cultural and social landscape left behind.

Invaluable time spent together allowed them to bond as a group, improve their individual and team performances, and have a lot of fun. Without the support provided by Milestones this would have simply been unmanageable for several members of the party. We now look forward to the coming season in the knowledge that the tour has given us an invaluable head start in our preparations for this coming season.”

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