Rugby is more than a mere sport. For some, it is a way of life. The rugby field a place where friendships are forged in the pursuit of greatness and victory.
Such is the love for rugby in our town and country, there is no better way to spend a Saturday than chugging a few drinks with friends while cheering on your favourite team. For local rugby enthusiasts, there is much to look forward to this weekend.
Renowned South African rugby player, Bakkies Botha is set to come to Newcastle this Saturday, June 8.
Arbor Park is holding its annual Winter Games tournament, where eight schools will be participating against each other. A series of netball, hockey, chess and rugby matches lined up for the day, the Winter Games are set to create a vibrant atmosphere at the Arbor Park Sports Grounds.
“Bakkies Botha will be the VIP judge on the day,” says Raymond van Niekerk of Arbor Park Primary.
With a series of matches taking place on Saturday, what makes the Winter Games so special?
“The Winter Games is not just about winning the matches. When we look at teams, there are a set of certain criteria which they must meet,” says Raymond.
These criteria include manners, team spirit and sportsmanship.
“The Winter Games is about letting sport win,” Raymond emphasises.
The opening is set to begin at 9 am, with the games beginning at 9.30am. This will be followed by the prize giving at 2 pm.
At 5 pm, the event will continue at the Balele Conference Centre at Blackrock Casino. At this section of the event, rugby enthusiasts can enjoy the rugby line-up on television.
“There will be approximately 200 people and Bakkies Botha will be in attendance. He will be posing and answering questions. There are also prizes up for grabs during the evening. Memorabilia signed by Bakkies Botha will also be auctioned off during the event,” says Raymond.
With a day focusing solely on the love of sports, the community can contact Arbor Park Primary on 034 312 5718 for more information.
As Arbor Park is set to promote a deep-seated passion for sport, it seems the Winter Games are not the only item on its sports agenda.
As any sportsman will explain, very little can compare to the rush of excelling at the sport of your choice. Working alongside your team and achieving greatness, as you submerge yourself into your passion.
For three learners from Arbor Park Primary School, the fruits of their labour are within their grasp. Their dedication and passion reflecting in their achievements.
Sphephelo Ntshangase has been selected for the 12 A Sharks Team, with Tumelo Xwane taking a spot in the 13 B Sharks Team and Olwethu Skhakhane securing a spot in the Craven Week side.
With the three learners securing their place in the rugby world, they will now be playing in a series of matches. They were all recently capped, alongside their coach Raymond van Niekerk at Kingsmead Stadium.
“This means they are officially Sharks players and will be kitted up exactly the same way as the Sharks. For me it is an honour, as this is the second year I am a primary school coach for the Sharks,” says Raymond.
Raymond and his three rugby players were capped by Eduard Coetzee, Chief Operations Officer for the Sharks, as well as by Gary Teichmann, the CEO for the Sharks and the brilliant, Beast Mtawarira.
Tumelo Xwane will be participating in a tournament from June 16 to June 23 in Uitenhage, while Olwethu will making his way to Witrivier to participate in the Primary Craven Week, which will be combined with the Grant Khomo Week.
Well done to Raymond van Niekerk, Tumelo Xwane, Olwethu Skhakhane and Sphephelo Ntshangase.