Human Spirit and Madiba Magic evident at Soccer City

Aug 20 • General News, Rugby Championship News, South Africa, Springboks, The Rugby Championship • 3756 Views • Comments Off on Human Spirit and Madiba Magic evident at Soccer City

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Bafana Bafana and Springboks dig deep to find their Human Spirit to honour Madiba

The Human Spirit was again experienced this weekend at the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day where the Springboks and Bafana Bafana were on top in their respective matches.

First Bafana sent Burkina Faso packing through a 2-0 victory, while the Springboks ran in nine tries to one for an emphatic start to their Rugby Championship campaign for a 73-13 victory over Argentina.

Madiba has always believed that sport has an important part to play in the social cohesion of the nation, therefore as the official team sponsor of both national teams – the Springboks and Bafana Bafana, Absa were encouraged by the amount of support both teams enjoyed on the day.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers attributed their sterling performance to the ‘Madiba Magic’ and the passionate support they received from South Africans.

“Throughout the game the atmosphere was fantastic and were definitely able to enjoy that,” De Villiers said.

“We got to thank the crowd that came out to support us, this was more than just a rugby game. Today was about the whole of South Africa and uniting the nation, I think the Madiba Magic worked for us again today.”

South African supporters of both rugby and soccer came out in full force embracing the unprecedented occasion. Some were draped in South African flags, others were wearing Springbok and Bafana jerseys, but they were united in their support of the nation’s pride.

Both Burkina Faso and Argentina did not only have to contend with two quality sides, but the collective drone of vuvuzelas sounding throughout the stadium.

In a repeat of the flyover of a Boeing 747 at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, an SAA Airbus flew low over Soccer City before the Springbok match.

Inspired by Bafana’s victory the crowd stayed behind to witness the Springboks’ record-breaking victory over Los Pumas.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said it was important to unite the nation behind them and demonstrate to supporters that may not be traditional rugby fans what the game is all about. “We said that we want to make the country proud and we needed something special to give the country hope,” Meyer said. “There were a lot of supporters that may not have seen the Springboks play, mostly soccer supporters and we needed to show the people how we can play.”

The two South African teams demonstrated the Human Spirit as they put their bodies on the line to inspire the nation. The Human Spirit is about their support of our national pride that inspires a country and future rugby heroes. It is about those never-say-die moments when the odds are stacked against us — the pursuit of a dream and achieving it.

The day was not only about the superb performances of our national sides, but also the celebration of Madiba’s legacy with proceeds from the day going towards the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital project.

Absa would like to salute everybody that made this fantastic day possible and are positive that this great initiative will go from strength to strength in future.

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