Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Record attempt at FNB Stadium
Johannesburg - Rugby fans can be part of a massive Guinness Book of Records world record attempt on Saturday when the Springboks face the All Blacks in their Tri-Nations match at the FNB Stadium.
The day, already steeped in history, will now also be marked with a record attempt to get the most flags flying in a single stadium in the first Test match to be played in Soweto.
An expected 92 000 fans are expected to descend on the stadium, where the recent Soccer World Cup football final was held, to make it one of the biggest rugby crowds in South Africa’s history.
The game was a sell-out within hours and will also mark a unique milestone in Springbok captain John Smit’s career as he runs out to celebrate his 100th Test cap for the World Champions. Ironically his adversary, Richie McCaw will lead out the All Blacks for a record equalling 51st time – putting him on par with All Black legend Sean Fitzpatrick.
The world record attempt is set to happen at the half-time break of the game, where fans will be asked to wave their South African national flags in unison – an event which will be recorded and sent for verification as a World record.
The attempt, which was started by the Keep Flying initiative, and has been partnered by competition sponsors Vodacom and the Lead SA campaign, is part of the campaign to continue the massive wave of patriotism that emerged during the Soccer World Cup.
According to the organisers, the day will start with a 20 metre flag being released into the crowd before the game, and the world record attempt will be at half-time. Spectators have been asked to bring along South African national flags to fly on the day.
“This is truly a historic day in the sporting history of our nation,” Enzo Scarcella, Vodacom marketing executive, said.
“Whenever these two great teams play against each other, there is a sense of occasion, a massive Test match that the rest of the world stops to take notice.
“We want to make the day extra special. This Test is extra special – while it will have all the drama and intrigue of a magnificent rugby battle, it is also a Test match with many firsts.
Scarcella said the Guinness Book of Records attempt would enhance the already massive Tri-Nations event.
“Just over a month ago we showed the world what a vibrant, amazing nation we are and how we can achieve the impossible, by working together,” Scarcella explained.
“We wanted to continue that momentum, let the world take notice again of the spirit of South Africa and mark the day as another exceptional one in our sporting tapestry. There could have been no better hallmarks than through the passion and commitment of our Player 23’s.”
The day will also mark another first – the Vodacom Fan Cam – a 360 degree HD image that will photograph the entire stadium and every spectator in it. The concept was recently trialled by SuperSport at the Super 14 final with much success.