Siya Kolisi

DURBAN - SOUTH Africa’s rugby captain Siya Kolisi was voted as the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month for the month of July.

Kolisi’s appointment as the first black Springbok captain was seen as a unifying appointment for the talented Zwide-born forward.

Kolisi who wears the same number 6 jersey as that worn by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 when South Africa won its first world cup, was seen as a similar unifier.

The rugby star’s story of overcoming adversity and succeeding against the odds gripped the imagination of a global audience of sports lovers who voted overwhelmingly in his favour.

His nomination was entitled ‘Uniting the Rainbow Nation’, showed how he came from an impoverished background where he would often sleep hungry as his mother and grandmother struggled to provide. It ends with a triumphant Kolisi leading the Boks on June 9 against France at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

“I’m truly humbled to have been nominated for a Laureus award... and to then actually win the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month for July, it was a real moment of pride for me” said Kolisi.

“Thank you to the public, my friends and family for their votes, and also to the adidas family for rallying behind me including fellow athletes Wayde (van Niekerk) and Kagiso (Rabada). I hope to continue doing the brand proud come the 2019 Laureus Awards Ceremony, but also, and importantly, on the field of play in the coming months,” he said.

The eventual winner for the Sports Moment of the Year award will be announced at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.