Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union’s Springbok Experience Rugby Museum has been named in the top 1% of world attractions, by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site.
The Experience, which celebrates its second birthday on Heritage Day, has been awarded TripAdvisor’s highest accolade, a Travelers’ Choice Award, in their latest citations.
TripAdvisor lists 4.9 million global accommodations, restaurants and attractions on its website which attracts 380 million unique users each month.
The granting of a Travelers’ Choice award is determined by TripAdvisor’s own algorithm which takes into account several factors including the reviews and opinions of travellers.
The Springbok Experience - which was shortlisted for the International Museum of the Year Award in the UK’s Museum + Heritage Awards in 2014 - has attracted close to 80 000 visitors to rave reviews since it opened its doors at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in September 2013.
“This is a very gratifying award and is reward for all the hard work that went into the establishment of The Springbok Experience as well as for the on-going dedication of the staff,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
“We have had fantastic feedback from visitors whose overwhelming response has been that it is so much more than they were expecting: it’s not just boots and blazers, it really is an experience.”
Roux said that the instruction to the development team had been twofold: to create a museum that that told the story of South African rugby in all its diverse racial traditions and one that offered a “wow” experience.
“There are 91 media channels playing across touch screens, monitors and projectors, which requires 14km of cabling to help tell the story,” said Roux. “That story carries on across half a kilometre of printed graphic panels as well as through some beautifully preserved objects.
“We have a short movie about rugby in South Africa today as well as the game-playing ‘Springbok Trials’ zone, which has a series of specially created interactive games that test rugby skills such as passing, kicking, fitness and reactions.“
Roux said that the handprints of former national captains from all South Africa’s pre-democracy racial traditions - as well as those of modern-era captains - would be unveiled later this month as the Experience’s latest installation.
“At our launch ceremony we invited the surviving 50 or so captains spanning the years and the different federations from 1960 to the present time to join us,” said Roux.
“We took casts of their handprints which have now been cast into bronze and will be the latest addition to the collection and be another way of uniting once divided traditions.”