Proteas, Springboks do it for Mandela


23 July 2014

The Proteas were busy doing battle with Sri Lanka in the first cricket test on Nelson Mandela Day, but they took time out of their busy schedule on Tuesday to contribute to a worthy cause by hosting a coaching clinic for visually impaired cricketers in Colombo.

The clinic is part of the “Seeing is Believing” campaign, which aims to raise funds for Sri Lanka’s visually impaired cricket team, which will be contesting the World Cup in South Africa in November.

‘Our way of giving our 67 minutes’

“Mandela Day took place while the first test match was on in Galle, so we sort of see this coaching clinic as our way of giving our 67 minutes for Mandela,” Kyle Abbott said in a statement.

“The “See is Believing’ campaign is doing wonders for the visually impaired cricketers in this country and we are humbled to have played a part in raising funds for the initiative.”

Fund-raising activities

The Proteas and Sri Lankan cricketers have been involved in various fund-raising activities this week, and have managed to raise nearly one million rupees for the charity so far.

“We take so much for granted on a day-to-day basis. These players are enjoying themselves in a sport that we enjoy as much, but with disadvantages,” Abbott added.

“It was incredibly touching to see the players and youngsters enjoying their cricket so much. We hope our contribution can help their cause and hopefully give them a good chance of excelling in a sport they love.”

Cricket South Africa contributed to Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa by building a mobile library for the SOS Children’s Village in Mamelodi.

South African rugby

South African rugby, led by Springbok wing Bryan Habana, played their part in the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations by helping uplift the community in Nyanga, east of Cape Town, on Friday.

Habana was accompanied by staff members of the South African Rugby Union (Saru) as they gave 67 minutes of community service at Monwabisi Old Age Home and the Nyanga Stadium, the home of the Lagunya Rugby Club, in Nyanga.

Activities included cleaning at the old age home and taking part in a TAG Rugby clinic where Habana tested his skills against the children.

Habana also read to the children of the community in Nyanga, promoting reading as part of Saru’s Boks for Books campaign.

‘It’s a privilege to give back’

“Former President Nelson Mandela played such a massive role in our wonderful country and it’s a privilege to be able to give back in his honour,” said Habana.

“The objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better. By getting involved in Nyanga today, we’re doing our small part in helping to empower the community.

“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 fellow South Africans and it’s something that is very dear to me,” he concluded.

SAinfo reporter