Springboks give 67 minutes for Madiba

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19 July 2013

A number of Springbok rugby players gave 67 minutes of their time in Langa township in Cape Town and Eldorado Park in Johannesburg as part of the international Mandela Day campaign in honour of South Africa’s former president, who turned 95 on Thursday.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, backs Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon, as well as loose forward Siya Kolisi, spent their 67 minutes at Siyabulela Primary School in Langa outside Cape Town.

Boks for Books

As part of the recently launched Boks for Books campaign, the four Springbok stars read to learners of the school and participated in a Tag Rugby Clinic.

“Boks for Books is a superb initiative by Saru [the South African Rugby Union] and it was really humbling to be able to tie it in with giving back on Mandela Day,” said De Villiers.

“We’re very fortunate that we are able to give back to the people and to serve fellow South Africans, no matter where they are from. I’ve experienced first-hand how rugby can play a role in uplifting our countrymen and it’s something that is very dear to me.”

Eldorado Park

Meanwhile, in Eldorado Park in Johannesburg, Springbok loose forwards Pierre Spies and Arno Botha, who are both currently sidelined by injury, got their hands dirty by planting trees at Kremetart Park and painting walls at the Andries Meyer Old Age Home.

Their contribution was part of a Mandela Day initiative organised by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“I’m not the world’s greatest gardener or painter, but this was a superb opportunity to lend a hand in communities where people are not as fortunate as we are,” said Spies.

“By making contributions which may seem small to you, you can make a big difference in the life of others.”

SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby