At home on the field

2016-05-18 06:00
Photo: Supplied Mark White Nissan Amanzimtoti Dealer Principal, Erwin Vermaak (left) and Travis Clarke.

Photo: Supplied Mark White Nissan Amanzimtoti Dealer Principal, Erwin Vermaak (left) and Travis Clarke.

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TRAVIS Clarke is not your ordinary guy, at the age of 42 he still plays Premier rugby and while most of his mates have hung up their boots long ago, Clarke says he is not planning to retire from rugby any day soon.

He was selected for the Southern KwaZulu-Natal team for the first time in 1998 at the age of 24 and again represented the team in 2013/2014 at the “ripe old age of 40”.

“It was my most memorable moment, running out for Southern KZN at Kingspark Stadium against Durban Sub Rugby Union in 2013,” Clarke said.

This is little wonder when one hears it was also the first time in history that they won the cup against Durban Sub Rugby Union.

“I am blessed to be able to play Premier rugby at the age of 42. I still play because I just love the game and will keep playing while I can,” he said.

Clarke attributes his success to years of experience, technique and the love of the game. He started playing at school level and joined the Scottburgh Rugby Club in 1989. He played for the club and the school’s first team, at the same time, and was lucky to be part of the now late, Trever Kelly’s legacy.

“I always played loose-head and tight-head prop,” he said.

Even some serious injuries have not deterred Clarke, who is arguably, the sport’s most dedicated fan.
“I once broke a vertebra in my neck at school and they said I won’t play again. Luckily it was not serious and I played the next season.

“It is also great to have my wife and family’s support,” Clarke added, who is married to Tanya and the father of Megan aged 15 and Nikita aged 11.
The proof certainly lies in the fact that his eldest daughter was almost born next to the rugby field.
“My wife’s water broke at the club house.”

Clarke practises twice a week at the club and does his own gyming at home in between. He has been with Scottburgh Club since 1989, but recently “took the very hard decision” to leave and join Toti Rugby Club.

When Clarke is not playing rugby or being the sales manager for Mark White Nissan Amanzimtoti, he enjoys deep-sea fishing and listening to the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. His least favourite thing is waiting, and his pet love is his family, and rugby of course.

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