Thelo Wakefield will officially retire as the Investec Stormers and WP team manager at the conclusion of the Investec Stormers 2005 season.
“Today will be my last day at Newlands as the Investec Stormers and WP team manager. It will be an extremely emotional one, as my heart and soul remains integrally linked to this province and these teams.
My decision to retire after 9 years of service has been an incredibly tough one to make. I have deliberated long and hard and feel I have given all the issues due consideration, allowing me to have ultimately made the right decision for rugby, this province, my business concerns and most importantly my family commitments.
I have nothing but love and respect for WP and Stormers rugby and retire with only positives in my heart, despite having been through some good and some challenging times.
3 key factors lead to my decision to retire:
WP Rugby has taken the bold and correct step of deciding to appoint a full-time professional team manager. The demands of the job certainly warrant this decision and I support it wholeheartedly. Accepting the position of full-time team manager would however mean that I would have to resign my position as Human Resources Development Manager at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, which I have held for 23 years.
In addition I would also have to resign my position on the Executive of WP Rugby Football Union, a position I have held for 6 years. As a member of the WP Executive, I feel I have the experience, insights and prominence to make a real difference to the game and to this great rugby province, whilst as team manager my contribution would be at a team level specifically. As such I have opted to retain my position on the Executive.
Similarly, I have spent many happy years at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and feel that I contribute significantly to this organization and its learners and would like to continue to do so. Lastly and most importantly, after many years of service to the teams and many months on the road, I want to be allowed to invest more time directly into my incredibly supportive family.
My commitment and dedication to WP Rugby and the Stormers and all associated with these two great institutions of world rugby, will remain unwavering and I will continue to try to make a real difference.
Lastly, I feel a richer person for the love and respect shown to me by especially the players, over the last few years. I would like to thank the players, management, administrators and all that have contributed to my treasured rugby memories in any and all ways, through both good and challenging times.”
Investec Stormers and WP team manager