It’s one of many emotional one-liners from the players that genuinely pulls at the heartstrings. It speaks right to their motto of “Stronger Together” as the different players tell South Africa who they are playing for at the global rugby showpiece in France.
It’s really a unique situation for three Springboks from three different households, who grew up in a 2km radius from each other, to be at a Rugby World Cup at the same time.
The “Stoepe” is known for its famous takeaway spots and where people meet up on weekends before taking in the Paarl nightlife. Arendse, Williams and Moodie probably had a “gatsby” there before watching their diet to perform at a peak level on the rugby field.
It’s also the birth place of Paarl biggest community radio station, KC 107.7 — which was launched on Heritage Day, September 24, 1996.
On Friday KC 107.7 made their way back to the “Stoepe” to pay homage to the Springboks and the trio of Arendse, Williams and Moodie, while also building the gees ahead of the Springboks’ crunch World Cup semi-final against England in Paris on Saturday.
And the locals came out on their droves to celebrate with music and dance in their green and gold. Former Springbok wing Pieter Rossouw, who is the coach Paarl Gimnasium, and Moodie’s mother Chantel, were also in attendance.
Arendse, the only player of the three who will feature against England, was also represented by his former rugby master at Paulus Joubert Secondary School, Athol Ontong, who once said flying winger learned to step to avoid the thorns on the school’s rugby pitch!
“Paarl is the only place with 3 players in the Springbok team from the same area, and we gathered this morning to mobilise the community and show Canan, Kurt-Lee and Grant that we are behind them,” said KC 107.7 chairman Dr. Harlan Cloete.
“Kurt-Lee mentioned that he’s doing it ‘for the Stoepe’ and the ‘Stoepe’ is also the birth place of KC 107.7 the community radio for the greater Paarl Valley.
“When Kurt-Lee runs onto the field tomorrow, he must know that he’s running on the shoulders of the thousands in the Paarl Valley who come from difficult conditions and who have made it. So we celebrate Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and Grant Williams, our own superstars.”