Editor's Note

A round of applause

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The image of Siyamthanda (Siya) Kolisi and the Honourable President, Cyril Ramaphosa lifting the Webb Ellis Cup -(named after William Webb Ellis who is credited as the inventor of Rugby Football), after winning the 2019 edition of the Rugby World Cup left an indelible mark in the psyche of the world. Perhaps even more significantly on South Africans as a whole.

It was a defining moment. A moment of pride, a moment of priceless joy and most importantly a moment that served as evidence of what South Africans are capable of when they work together. Unity is the hallmark of any successful society. The Springboks with Siya Kolisi and Rassie Erasmus at the forefront achieved what seemed unattainable just a few months ago.

What can we learn from this historic sporting feat? South Africa is going through turbulent times economically and perhaps even socially. The ethoses of sportsmanship are encapsulated in virtues such as self-control, courage, fairness, persistence and an unfaltering respect for both opponents and authority. I have listed four elements below that capture the spirit of sportsmanship in respect and tribute to the Springboks, and most importantly to us as society, a reminder of what we can use as an aid to progress as South Africans in particular and Africans in general.

Discipline - This is arguably the most important element in the sporting world. Without discipline in their lifestyles sportsman/sportswomen cannot rise to the occasion when it matters the most. Discipline in diet, lifestyle and during actual game times is essential. This element influences who wins a game/sporting moment before even stepping out on the pitch or arena.

Focus - The ability to totally focus on the task at hand and ignore everything else that is not relevant during sporting moments is a key tenet towards competitiveness and winning. Without focus the chances of victory are near impossible.

Commitment - Total commitment is the hallmark of any champion/champions. When one is committed they go the extra mile and give up other interests and hobbies in order to ensure all energy is pushed towards the ultimate goal, which is being a champion.

Adaptability - In a world constantly in flux adapting to various conditions is non-negotiable in order to win. Put curtly, one has to adapt to the flow and bend the motion to suit their ultimate aims.

As we reflect on the Springboks’ win let us also introspect and look at how we can improve our nation and continent using the Rugby World Champions blueprint. Read, enjoy and most importantly, reflect.

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