JOHANNESBURG – Keep believing, dreaming and pushing was the advice Springbok captain Siya Kolisi had for young, underprivileged and hopeful youngsters chasing their dreams as the rugby champions touched down on South African soil on Tuesday.
Kolisi was speaking at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where the team was welcomed by thousands of South Africans who waited for hours to see the Webb Ellis Cup, following the team’s victory against England on Saturday.
Kolisi said his upbringing was anything but a walk in the park or a bed of roses, adding that the circumstances of everyday South Africans trying to achieve their goals was what propelled the team to win.
He said the win did not just belong to him and the team but to the nation as a whole.
“I think we won because we wanted it a lot. I think the people outside here also motivated us a lot. We knew it was more than our personal gain but for the country,” said Kolisi.
“Anything can be overcome with opportunity. When I was a small child in the Eastern Cape I trained every day, preparing myself that when the opportunity came I would be ready. It came and I took it with both hands. It can be done, it is possible.”
Amongst those welcoming the Bokke home was Miss South Africa 2019 Zozibini Tunzi.
Tunzi said she was inspired by the astonishing commitment of the team to South African and those who were watching and supporting their every move with bated breath.
Representing South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant in December in Atlanta, America, Tunzi said that she was motivated by Kolisi’s winning speech as they both grew up in rural Eastern Cape.
“He said we can achieve anything if we work together. It’s the kind of commitment I want to take with me when I represent South Africa at Miss Universe,” said Tunzi.
South Africa’s Director of Rugby and World Cup coach, Rassie Erasmus said the team could not wait to embark on their trophy tour, which kicks off in Gauteng on Thursday.
They will also visit Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town on a whirlwind tour stretching over five days.
“We brought the Webb Ellis Cup home for all South Africans and we really wish we could go everywhere to thank our supporters, but unfortunately logistics and time constraints doesn’t allow for that to happen this time,” he said.
“I would like to agree with Siya – the support here at the airport today made all the hard work and sacrifices over the last two months, worth it. Thank you to everyone who came out to greet us tonight.”
African News Agency (ANA)