Team South Africa, 187 members strong, depart Wednesday for the Commonwealth Games, set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to August 3.
Teams from a variety of sporting codes will be competing in the 20th Commonwealth Games, including aquatics, athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, para-powerlifting, rugby sevens, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.
At the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Team South Africa brought home 33 medals to end joint fifth on the medals table with 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals.
At a ceremony on Tuesday, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, joined by Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, officially handed over the South African flag to the team’s flag bearer before their departure.
Rugby Sevens team members Kyle Brown, captain, and Frankie Horne spoke to the Cape Times (sister newspaper of the Daily News) on Tuesday before their official send-off ceremony.
Rugby sevens brought back medals from the last two Commonwealth Games. Brown and Horne are joined by Branco du Preez, Chris Dry, Schalk Brits, Cheslin Kolbe, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Bryan Habana, Seabelo Senatla, Cornal Hendricks and Warren Whiteley.
Brown, a former SACS boy from Cape Town, said he felt confident, but they still had “a little more work to get done” before they compete on July 26.
He said the teams from all codes were travelling together and described the atmosphere between them as “a bit pensive at the moment” with the combined level of nerves.
He was, however, sure everyone would loosen up once they’d spent a bit more time together.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the greater team,” he said.
Horne, from Muizenberg – which he quipped is its own republic, said he had played for the SA Sevens team for seven years, so he had travelled a lot with them. He said the last time he had been in Scotland with the team it was cold and wet.
“We’ve got a bit of business to settle there,” he said, adding that their last two visits to Scotland didn’t go as well as they’d hoped. “So we’d like to rectify that.”