CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa shared the podium after the Springboks’ World Cup triumph in Tokyo. He wore the green and gold of South Africa and he expressed as much emotion as every other South African buoyed by the Springboks’ success.
President Ramaphosa experienced first-hand the power of rugby in this country to unite and to add to the belief that we, as people, are capable of holding hands, hugging and smiling at each other because of a common cause.
Late president Nelson Mandela famously said that “sport has the power to unite”. Madiba always understood what an influence sport played in the national consciousness.
What has changed so radically from 1995 to 2019 is that the Springboks finally speak to all of South Africa and not just an elite minority. The Boks of 2019 are truly the people of South Africa’s team.
South African rugby, last Saturday night in Tokyo, got given a stage and a platform from which there can never be a regression. There can only be growth in rugby, as a sport and as a vehicle to strengthen the patriotic bond that will make our country that much more desirable.