SA rugby hails Mandela

2013-12-06 13:41
Nelson Mandela (AFP)
Cape Town - A number of South African provinces have reacted to the passing of former President Nelson Mandela.

QUIZ: How well did you know Nelson Mandela?

Tribute from WP Rugby

Western Province Rugby has paid tribute to former state President, Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday, December 5, 2013. Mr Mandela - who was 95 years old - passed away peacefully at his home.

WP Rugby President, Thelo Wakefield, said: “On behalf of Western Province Rugby I would like to pay tribute to one of the greatest leaders this world will ever see.

“Mr Mandela meant a lot to every single person in this proud nation of ours and we can only marvel at what he did for our country.

“Hopefully his legacy will continue to live on for a long time and I would like to offer my sympathies and best wishes to the Mandela family during this sad time.”

Stormers and Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said: “My lasting memory of Madiba is that of a person who had enormous ability to bring people together. His presence at a Test match just lifted the crowd and energised the team – it is actually hard to describe.

EP Rugby mourn the loss of former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Eastern Province Rugby mourn the loss of former president and international icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who passed away at his home on Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the age of 95.

“Mandela lived an extraordinary life and will be forever remembered for the role he played in the uniting of a divided South Africa, for his humble spirit, his compassion and the personal sacrifices he made to bring about a better future for all,” said EPRU President, Cheeky Watson.

Watson said among the many wisdoms Mandela had shared with the world, were his insights on the role that sport could play in uniting people across racial lines.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does,” Mandela said in a speech in Monaco in 2000.

“It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination.”

Watson said that EP Rugby would continue to build on this ideal, by advocating for non-racial sport and striving to unite people through their passion and love for the game of rugby.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Mandela family, with his friends and colleagues and also with the rest of the South African people who today mourn with us at the loss of South Africa’s greatest son,” said Watson.

Blue Bulls mourn the loss of the great Mr Mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela will be felt by all. His love for life, people and sport is something that will always be remembered, treasured and aspired towards.

The Blue Bulls Company would like to take this time to extend their deepest sympathies towards the family and close friends of a man known as the Nations Father, Mr Nelson Mandela.

BBC CEO, Mr Barend van Graan is one of the worldwide millions who will miss the great man: “Humble, knowledgeable, determined and loving, Mr Mandela portrayed so many ideals for which we as a company strive to achieve in everything we do.

"Mr Mandela fought for what he believed in which was peace and equality – something all South Africans must continue to work towards. Today is a massive loss for this country, however we must not lose sight of the fact that we were truly blessed to have had such an inspirational man touch our lives.”

In memory of Madiba - from The Sharks

The Sharks join the rest of the rugby fraternity, the citizens of our country and indeed the world in mourning the loss of our beloved Madiba.

Madiba was the very essence of what each of us should aspire to be. His immense capacity to love, forgive and inspire a generation is some of the many great attributes he possessed.

We can never forgot the integral role that Madiba had in transferring our nation's opinion on rugby in South Africa, what it stood for and the power it had to unite a nation.

John Smit, The Sharks CEO was fortunate to meet Madiba on several occasions throughout his playing career and shared a special relationship with him.

Commenting on their relationship, John said: "I first met Madiba before my first Test match in 2000 and I was more nervous about meeting the great man than making my Springbok debut. He saw that, smiled and embraced me. He made it just so easy to speak to him.

"For me as a player, the moments I had with him on a one-on-one basis and from a team perspective is something I will cherish forever."

Smit added: "He was loved by the world because of his leadership and ability to connect with people from all walks of life. This is what we will all miss the most but remember the best."

May the principals that he fought for and lived by, be an inspiration to us all and may his profound legacy live on forever.

Rest in peace TATA!

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  rugby

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