The project, which took non-recyclable and recyclable plastic and converted it into bricks for house building, was implemented at Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in 2022.

Mr Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union, said: “Rugby prides itself on not only making a difference on the field, but also off it and this award is testament to the hard work put in by staff at SA Rugby to go beyond the four white lines.

“Along with World Rugby, we are really proud of this recognition from the IOC as the project enabled us to make a real difference in the lives of everyday South Africans who do not have it easy.

“We piloted the project in a Springbok Test match at the DHL Stadium before the Rugby World Cup Sevens and successfully rolled it out at the tournament.”

“Housing is an issue in South Africa and we are humbled to have been able to play a small part in alleviating this problem.

“Sport plays a major role in society. Twenty-five years ago, individuals could be pardoned for their limited knowledge and action regarding climate change. However, today, we have no justification for such ignorance or inaction.”

SA Rugby partnered with the Centre for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC) in a project titled “The Bag that Builds”. Plastic waste generated by fans, athletes and operations staff during RWC Sevens 2022 was converted into an eco-aggregate used in brick making for social housing.

The eco-aggregate, RESIN8, is made from all types of mixed and “dirty” plastic waste that can be used in a multitude of concrete applications. These bricks were used by the National Department of Housing’s plan for the development of sustainable human settlements, called Breaking New Ground Homes.

Each house requires 1 200 bricks per unit, and as a trial, the Springbok Test match against Wales at DHL Stadium produced enough plastic waste to create 3 500 bricks (or almost three houses).

Other international sporting bodies who were nominated for this award, were the International Biathlon Union (IBU), Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and World Sailing.

For more information on the Bag that Builds, follow this link: