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Analysis: Rugby Skipper Gives Us Lesson In Unity If We Want To Achieve Success

Siya Kolisi’s unity message after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup was not only for South Africa but for all countries including Fiji. It seemed appropriate then that the Springboks won
04 Nov 2019 14:43
Analysis: Rugby Skipper Gives Us Lesson In Unity If We Want To Achieve Success
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has given an extraordinary speech before the Rugby World Cup final.

Siya Kolisi’s unity message after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup was not only for South Africa but for all countries including Fiji.

It seemed appropriate then that the Springboks won because of their captain’s inspirational universal message.

In his victory speech, the first victorious black captain said: “We can achieve anything if we work together as one.”

“I’ve never seen South Africa like this, United as one.”

While he was speaking from a rugby field, his message goes beyond the realms of rugby.

Kolisi was talking about a lot of challenges at home. South Africa has a lot of problems according to him. They come from different races and backgrounds. But they have come together to achieve one goal – winning the Rugby World Cup final. Kolisi’s message is that the victory could be replicated in other areas apart from rugby.

He said he had never seen South Africa like that – united as one.

Twenty-four years ago, South Africa won the Webb Ellis. Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa who abhorred racism and fought against it, was there. There was only one black player in the team.

This year there were many with Kolisi as skipper.

Given South African apartheid history, the Springboks have come a long way.

The road to success was riddled with a number of alleged scandals which had threatened to derail the Springboks campaign. There was an alleged doping incident, racism in camp and even Kolisi was dragged into a sex-tagram.

But coach Rassae Eresmus took over the team in 2018 and selected players based on their Super rugby performance irrespective of their race, reputation or experience. He picked them on merit. The rest is history.

There is a lot to learn from the South African experience not only in rugby. We can apply the same principle in many facets of national life.

We should not look at race as a condition for decisions and actions we take. Not using race will open the door to opportunities and success.

It will foster unity and peace.

The Springboks champions of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Springboks champions of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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