Cape Town - SA Rugby is compiling the definitive Encyclopaedia
of Black Rugby, with the help of funding from the National Lotteries
The ambitious project to collate the often ‘hidden’
history of black rugby in South Africa until the sport’s unification in 1992
will culminate on Heritage Day with the planned opening of a new installation
at The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum at the V&A Waterfront in
The objective of the work is to capture the A to Z
of black rugby prior to unity. The biographies of all 409 players to have
appeared for the pre-unity black, coloured and non-racial rugby boards will be
featured, as well the stories of clubs, trophies, administrators, federations
and other personalities or events that may have shaped the development of black
The work will fill an important vacuum in the story
of black rugby, said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“The story of black rugby has increasingly been
brought out of the shadows by the work we have done at The Springbok
Experience and in the heritage field over recent years, but there is still
not a single point of reference where anyone can go and discover the hidden
story,” said Roux.
“We want to create a ‘one-stop shop’ where it is
possible to access the stories and records of all the significant people and
institutions that went in to creating the vibrant story of black rugby in South
Africa in the pre-democracy era.
“The resource we will have at the end of the
process we plan to make available in a number of ways with a permanent
installation at the museum.”
Dr Hendrik Snyders, SA Rugby’s Heritage Manager, is
leading the project and he appealed for the help of the public in the process.
“We have mapped out a draft list of around 1 000
entries that we believe merit inclusion, and I am sure that list will grow,”
“We are appealing for the support of the public in
making that history as deep and as rich as possible by sending us information
on their rugby history in the pre-unity era.
“We are very keen on photographs, newspaper
cuttings, programmes, old playing jerseys form their club, provincial or
national career and any brochures or other mementoes that may help us tell the
“We are starting with national players, clubs and
both provincial and national boards but the nature of the digital installation
we have in mind means we will be able to continuously update the display.”
Roux thanked the National Lotteries Commission for
the financial support, which had made possible the development of the project:
“It has been our desire to develop this concept for a number of years but it
had been placed on hold until we received this funding.”
If you have information or images that could be
included in the Encyclopaedia, please contact Dr Snyders at firstname.lastname@example.org.