Siyamthanda Kolisi says he wishes he could do more for those in Zwide, the Eastern Cape village he hails from.
The Springbok captain shared these sentiments ahead of The Rugby Championship in an interview granted with journalist Jean Smyth for the Laureus Power of Sport podcast.
“The way it happened with me, I got a bursary to go to Grey (High School). I would keep giving bursaries to other kids in the township. And keep them in the township and let them inspire other kids in the township – so it would become an Academy”
The Springbok captain’s story has resonated not with South Africa but indeed throughout the sporting world. In keeping with his character, Kolisi plays down the enormity of the task – leading one of the world’s great rugby teams.
“I do want to say that I am proud, and it makes me happy to know that no matter how tough your background is; what the circumstances are; if you want to make it and you get presented with an opportunity, you can be whatever you want to be.”
The 61st captain of the green and gold told Smyth at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, where the team was training before The Rugby Championship, that training had been going well.
With the team in a building phase, Kolisi says being captain is big enough for him and the most important thing is to be part of the group that plays for the Springbok team. “I shift the focus on what I have to do on the field and I actually share the leadership,” he says.
Kolisi was nominated for the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Month for July, which he won after public vote.