Why South Africa's win is a win for the whole world.
South Africa's historic won of the 2019 worldcup in Japan was not only a win for the team, South Africa, but for the whole world.
18 Months ago Springbok rugby was at all-time low losing 57-0 against the All Blacks. Indicative of where the country was at, ridden with corruption and state failures. South African rugby lost support from major sponsors, the supporters and the country as a whole.
A boy's dream to become a Springbok
I played my first rugby match 6 years old on in the schoolyard during the 15 minutes school break. Boys naturally organizing themselves in 2 teams and then playing the game of their lives. Imitating what happened Saturday with the Springboks or their favorite provincial team.
Entering class after the break with bloody noses and torn clothes was normal. My mother struggled to keep up sending my brother and me to school with clean and neat clothes.
Mornings were organised to get to school as early as possible to play as much rugby as possible before school starts. The first boy arriving with the rugby ball got to choose his first team player. We played a serious game of hard rugby in school uniforms, barefoot, all sizes as long as you are willing, you can play. Basically, there were a few rules and agreed upon by the majority decision. Kind-of a free-for-all as long as you can get the ball down on the other side without a forward pass, you score. Natural leaders rose and boys play in positions they naturally felt comfortable with. The tryline a concrete water channel because that was the fence separating the different grades. Only after school was formal rugby training on the rugby field. A schoolboy's dream playing for the Springboks.
Springbok rugby rose from the ashes
Why is this won a won for the whole world? Most importantly because Springbok rugby literally rose from ashes. From a team that was clueless, disconnected, low morale and no wins. There was no recognised player in the SA team that would even get close to be chosen for a "world-team". A team from different backgrounds, cultures and languages. A team not knowing where to head next. A team being criticised as overpaid, overrated rugby players and disrespected by the oposition.
This position has been turned around to the team that scores by far the most points in the 2019 world cup with the most tries. A team that became a force to be reckoned with. A team with quality players in each position on the field all coming from South Africa except Tendai (Beast) Mtawarira that is borm in Zimbabwe.
When Rassie took over the coaching job it could have gone even worse. Springbok rugby could have totally disintegrated into nothingness because there was no reason why it should succeed. Everything was against the Springbok. With Springbok Rugby's back against the wall in all areas from finances to on the field results. There was only one positive, "potential to succeed".
Rassie Erasmus the Springbok coach a master-mind of the game, identified the strenghts of Springbok rugby and went back to focus on what South Africa were good at. He wanted results, not only talking about how we could win, but actually going on the field and produce the results. Players were reminded that they were individualy not "bigger than the game". Playing for your team, playing for each other and a country as a whole. Knowing that through rugby they can't fix every problem in the world that is'nt right, but that they can give hope. They had to a role to play and that role was to give hope to so many people who seriously needed something to cling to. Hope that can spark new initiatives.
In South Africa, Springbok rugby unites people from all walks of live. Politicians reminds us of our differences, our history of division. Probably to cover up their failures.
With the unity of support to the Springboks, walls of differences are being broken down and people are united, believing that they too can also rise above their own circumstances.
Rassie Erasmus ensured there was no pressure on Kolisi or any of the Springboks, by helping them realize that pressure is relative. Rassie on hope: "In South Africa (pressure) is not having a job, (or) having a close relative who is murdered," he said. "Rugby should not create pressure, it should create hope. We have a privilege, not a burden."
Siya Kolisi (the Springbok captain) on Stonger Together: "This campaign is for you - The taxi driver, mine worker, blue collar worker, nurse and doctors teachers, engineers students - all ordinary South African who do what they do to make this country stronger"
Truly echoing "stronger together" something the whole world can identify with.