Whether you’re at work, at school or out shopping, there’s a buzz in the air and for many a sense of excitement as we anticipate the opening of the Rugby World Cup later today.
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Growing up, I never really understood the ins and outs and the rules of rugby, even though my family enjoyed regular braais and social gatherings amongst friends to share in what I now believe is a huge foundation for pride in our country.
What I did understand was that rugby was always a reason to bring friends and family together to support our country’s talent and sporting skills and to share in the excitement of watching our players represent and often dominate on the field.
In my adult life, the excitement of that still carries through, even more so now that I have a greater understanding of the finer details of rugby as a sport.
On the way to work this morning, radio hosts were expressing their excitement for the next eight weeks and various school children had called in to say that they and the rest of their school are all dressed in green and gold today.
Green and Gold, no matter how old
With so much negativity in the news and in the world, today might perhaps give way to some sort of positivity and belief that there are still reasons to celebrate country pride, bring friends and family together again (even if you’re not a massive fan of rugby itself) and get excited about our country for a change.
If we encourage our children to share in this and teach them to understand that rugby isn’t just something we watch on TV (or live) to see who wins or who loses, what sort of impact would this have on our children and their feelings towards our country?
Sure, rugby isn’t going to solve all of our problems, however it does form part of South Africa’s heritage and maintains a big focus on the spirit of our country in the midst of all the violence, corruption and other disappointments that we hear about day in and day out.
So get your flags out, let the kids enjoy dressing in their green and gold and get excited about our country, even if just for today.