The DHL Western Province Faithful, and a boy who is their new hero

May 4 • General News • 2080 Views • Comments Off on The DHL Western Province Faithful, and a boy who is their new hero

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In 1976, the DHL Western Province rugby team achieved the unthinkable. At a packed DHL Newlands stadium, they beat the touring All Blacks 12-11, and local rugby heroes were born. That same year, Tygerberg Hospital opened its doors. Forty-two years later, a four-year-old boy waited in this hospital as the heroes of today’s DHL Stormers came to see him do something amazing. Smile.

Haygen Fortuin can smile for the first time in his young life thanks to the efforts of these and other South African Vodacom Super Rugby players.

Through the Vodacom Tries for Smiles campaign, the Vodacom Foundation donates R3 000 for every try scored by a South African team in this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby competition to the Smile Foundation. The funds raised through the Vodacom Tries for Smiles campaign help the Smile Foundation to perform corrective surgery on children born with facial deformities.

Yetsreday, the DHL Stormers players visited Tygerberg Hospital to see Fortuin and other children who have benefitted from the life-changing corrective surgery provided by the Smile Foundation.

And the first smile the DHL Stormers have helped to give Fortuin will last a while, because the team invited him to attend their Captain’s Practice before their Vodacom Super Rugby match at the DHL Newlands stadium on Friday 27 April. And he was also their guest of honour at this match, including leading them onto the field as their official mascot for the game. Additionally, the DHL Western Province Rugby Union matched Vodacom’s R12 000 donation for the four tries scored in their winning clash against the Rebels on the 27th of April as a contribution towards Haygen’s recovery.

Hennie Heymans, CEO at DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa added “I had the great pleasure of meeting young Haygen at DHL Newlands this past weekend. The Tries for Smiles initiative is a fantastic cause and we’re very pleased to play our part in it. A special mention to the DHL Stormers on their stellar performance and four tries, which drove the donation value.”

It’s a moment certainly not lost on DHL Stormers flank Siya Kolisi. “As sportsmen we can be the trailblazers when it comes to enabling a better world for our future generations.”

The DHL Stormers Faithful will tell you, “We stand together”. Yesterday, 42 years after 15 men stood together against the might of New Zealand rugby, a group of men walked into Tygerberg Hospital to stand together beside the beds of young children giving hope for a better future.

It was a moment for them to pause. In the rush of training, the pressure to win games, the race to Vodacom Super Rugby glory, this was a time for them to stop and consider that in the great history of DHL Western Province rugby, a hero can also be a child who, for the first time in their life, will be able to smile as one of The Faithful.

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