Advancement of the sport around the world sees new technology influencing everything from kit design for improved performance and recovery to ball developments for better grip and durability. Now, drone technology will assist the coaches with high-end analytics through an unparalleled perspective on every move in the game.
Through a partnership with UAV Industries, the first drone operator in Africa to be certified by The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to train pilots and operate drones, drones are being used at the DHL Stormers weekly practices at both the High Performance Centre in Bellville and at DHL Newlands.
Drones offer unique angles on the action and they don’t get in the way. From the full view of the defensive line as well as the gap between the attack and defense, valuable information can be gleaned from just one piece of footage. Fans will also love being taken closer to the action and track their favourite players, thanks to special footage that will be shared via the DHL Stormers Magazine as well as the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province social media platforms.
UAV Industries’ Operations Manager Braam Botha said: “We’re delighted to be working with WP Rugby in bringing the unprecedented aspect of movement around the pitch and available space that only drone footage can deliver. But ultimately safety is the most critical element and UAV Industries takes this very seriously and is proud to provide insured and legal flights using our licensed pilots for various industries in South Africa.”
DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that the drone footage provided by UAV Industries has proved an invaluable coaching tool.
“It’s an exciting time for rugby the world-over and innovation is playing an interesting role in terms of how the game is advancing. As a team, we’re all about pushing boundaries so we’re looking forward to seeing how we can use drone footage to our advantage and also, to our fans’ advantage,” he said.