Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, Coach Heyneke Meyer (centre) and manager Ian Schwartz (right) being shown around the Hector Pieterson Museum by Antoinette Sithole, the sister of Hector Pieterson.
A Springbok delegation consisting of head coach Heyneke Meyer, captain Jean de Villiers and team manager Ian Schwartz commemorated Youth Day by laying a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto on Thursday.
Youth Day is on Saturday, 16 June, when the Springboks take on England in the second Test of the Castle Incoming Tour at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg. Youth Day commemorates the riots in Soweto on June 16, 1976, which were a key event in the struggle for democracy in South Africa.
After laying the wreath at the memorial stone, the Springbok delegation was given a guided tour of the Museum. The tour was conducted by Antoinette Sithole, the sister of Hector Pieterson, the young boy whose image of his being carried from the scene of the riot continues to resonate around the world.
“We came here today to commemorate the sacrifices made by South Africans that allow all of us to live in freedom today,” said De Villiers.
“It was very special to see how our wonderful country has grown and matured and it’s a massive privilege, for us as Springboks, to be in the position to make a positive contribution in our nation’s life.
“We’re committed to building a proud nation that can prosper and achieve on all levels and we know what our role is in uniting the nation, using sport, and rugby in particular, to put smiles on people’s faces every day.”
Players and coaching staff later returned to Soweto for a coaching clinic in partnership with the Laureus Foundation.
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