Boks to open rugby museum

Past Bok legends (Gallo Images)
Past Bok legends (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A star-studded array of national captains as well as the entire Springbok squad will attend the official opening of The Springbok Experience at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on September 24, the South African Rugby Union confirmed on Tuesday.

Coach Heyneke Meyer, captain Jean de Villiers, players and management will be joined by captains representing all rugby’s traditions as well as other VIPs to open the state-of-the-art rugby museum.

“The opening of The Springbok Experience is arguably the biggest thing to happen to South African rugby off the field in many years,” said, Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“We are putting a world-class visitor attraction, celebrating the rich but complex history of South African rugby and the Springboks, into the middle of one of Africa’s most visited tourist destinations.

“It’s a bricks and mortar billboard promoting the passion and excitement of the Springboks and rugby.”

The two-storey Springbok Experience is predicted to become a major new visitor attraction.

The museum section includes audio visual exhibits as well as historic rugby artifacts and compelling graphics on the first floor of the stand-alone building. An interactive ‘Springbok Trials’ zone, which tests rugby skills, as well as a flagship Springbok Retail Store are located on the ground floor.

The site will also include a full-size set of illuminated rugby poles and, in due course, a sculpture garden featuring bronze handprints of national team captains.

The Experience is designed to make rugby history accessible and inclusive, said Roux.

“We had three key factors in mind when we started this process: to make the museum accessible, to make it modern and to make it properly inclusive of all our country’s rugby traditions,” he said.

“We have set the prices at highly affordable levels - lower even than our market research said that people expected to pay; the history is presented in a modern, highly attractive and interactive way and our team has worked creatively to weave together the story of black and white rugby since the handling code came to South Africa in the 1860s.

“We are confident that The Springbok Experience is going to be a revelation for both rugby fans and non-rugby fans alike.”

SARU chose September 24 to open the new facility as the perfect occasion. It is not only Heritage Day, celebrating South Africa’s cultural wealth, but it is also Test match week in Cape Town, with the Springboks taking on the Wallabies at Newlands on September 28.

The Springboks will arrive at 10:00 at The Springbok Experience on Heritage Day - also known as National Braai Day - to perform the opening.

Jan Braai will be in action on the lawn in front of Portswood House - in which the Experience is located - while former national captains, such as Norman Mbiko, Corné Krige and Dougie Dyers, will be present for the official opening ceremony.

The Springboks and VIP guests will be the first to enter the museum before the doors are thrown open to the public at the sounding of the Noon Gun.

The Springbok Experience will be open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10:00 to 18:00.

The confirmed prices are:

• Adults – R50
• Scholars (5 to 18) – R30
• Pre-school (under 5) – free
• Senior citizens (60+) – R30
• Families (four persons, including at least 2 children) – R140 (+ R25 for every extra child)
• Groups (10 or more, by prior arrangement) – R40pp
• Schools (by prior arrangement) R20pp

Past Springbok captains (Gallo Images)

Former Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo Images)
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