CAPE TOWN – Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has been shortlisted for a Laureus Award for the "Sporting Moment of the Year' category.
The winner, plus champions in different categories, will be announced at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on February 18.
On Saturday, June 9, last year Kolisi made history when he ran out at Emirates Airline Park to become the first black captain to lead the Springboks in a Test match.
The fact that Siya was donning the No 6 jersey, the number famously worn by Nelson Mandela at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, just added significance to the remarkable moment for the Springboks and South Africa as a nation.
Siya’s story is one of overcoming adversity and succeeding against the odds. He was born in the township of Zwide near Port Elizabeth, and his young mother and grandmother struggled to put food on the table each day.
“Times were tough when I was little and often there wasn’t food. I would go to bed starving,” Siya said.
The 27-year-old’s incredible rise from poverty to captaining his country is proof that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
“I don’t shy away from where I have come from and I’m aware that my story is a typical South African story in some ways. It’s my motivation,” said Kolisi.
“Yes, being a professional sportsman can be tough and occasionally you question if it’s all worth it. But then I just think about where I’ve come from and about the people that look up to me.”
Kolisi's rise to the top is one of 10 heartwarming sporting stories that will be going head-to-head in a public vote, from January 7 to February 4, at myLaureus.com.
Every month between March and December 2018, fans have been choosing their favourite Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month.
African News Agency (ANA)