CONSTANTIA PRIMARY SCHOOL
False Bay RFC during Graham "Snoopy" Knoop's captaincy adopted an initiative wherein they recognised those that went before and that all current players were merely "Custodians of the Jersey". This story embodies that, with the past, the present and the future each playing a role.
On a two-night, two-course golf trip to Langebaan which included the legendary champion of Southern Suburbs Club Rugby, Dennis Nick, False Bay President "Doc" Gareth Jones, former Bay Chairman, club "vertebrae" Mike Punt and former Bay players Brent Jordaan and Andrew Knight among others, this feelgood story takes root.
Jordaan took honours and ownership of the R6000 winners pool and immediately handed it to Nick, a benevolent supporter of rugby causes, for distribution to a worthy rugby recipient. Taking his time in careful consideration of where to apply the money, Dennis settled on supporting, through FBRFC, Brad Bing, an Honourary Vice-President of False Bay, Founder and MD of Sporting Chance and their project at Constantia Primary School, literally up the road from the Bay.
Not all schools offer rugby as an option but that doesn't mean that all school children do not want to participate in the sport. Facilitated by False Bay Committee member, Buks van Rooyen, a dynamic doer, who met with Courtney Klein, the PhysEd master at the school, plans were set in motion.
When one drives past the school, one will notice that space is at a premium and a rugby pitch is an impossibility. The school plans to kick off their rugby programme in Term 2 of this year and use of False Bay fields were made available.
Aiming to further assimilate the young players into the rugby culture, and perhaps more specifically the Bay culture, former Bay speedster, Justin Fillies who is a master at the school, brought the group to the club for a guided tour of the facility and a first-hand sharing of the Bay-experience from a player with fifty First XV caps.
The lads were shown the changerooms, with the demarcated spot for each player; the legendary Bay bath; and the Louis de Waal Room, the epi-centre of off-the-field planning. Most former players can pinpoint the roots of their love for the sport, be it generational or related to our environment, and for these young men, perhaps this experience, led by a been-there-done-that former player whose passion for the sport and his club oozes from his pores, is that moment.
The visit was concluded with a handover of balls and practice cones together with hot dogs, chips and cold drinks to send them on their way. The anticipation of their first practice in the new school term is coursing through their veins. For a bunch of kids who don't know rugby; who have no experience of the sport but possess a deep desire to participate in it, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Plans include coaching the coaches over a 5-6 week period so they can run their own training sessions.
Rugby is an opportunity creator, a social developer and instils discipline. Who knows, this may be the beginning of so much for these young participants such as the opportunity to attend one of the big rugby schools or later down the line, represent the Club where their rugby dreams started.
Should anyone wish to donate rugby equipment to Constantia Primary School please contact Buks van Rooyen on 083 784 2661.