Spotlight - Jon Harris

Name:                     Jonathan (Jon) Harris

 

Nickname:

Jumbo, Big Jon 

 

Age:                        55 

 

Education:

Wynberg Boys High School 

 

Rugby or sporting background:

Cricket was my sport of choice. 

Played soccer at Junior School

Focused on rugby after joining the Bay

 

Clubs played for: 

Claremont Cricket Club

False Bay RFC 

la Teste-de-Buche (France)

CUS Perugia (Italy)

 

Position played: 

Tighthead and loosehead prop 

Rugby philosophy:

Enjoy the experience. Many cannot even participate and would love to be there. 
 

Life philosophy:

Respect others, do the right thing and everyone deserves a chance. 
 

Rugby highlight as a player:

So many (I played a lot)....

Beating a star-studded WP Defence 9-3 at Newlands. The team included Balie Swart, Faffa Knoetze and Gert Smal. 

Winning Serie C league at CUS Perugia in 1988

Being chosen for the International All Stars XV to play the Presidents XV in Rome in 1988.

The team was captained by Naas Botha and included a long list of stars: Gert Smal, Div Visser, Vleis Visagie, Craig Jamieson, Gysie Pienaar, as well as Kiwi greats, Wayne Smith, Warwick Taylor and Craig Green.

For me a surreal experience.

But my favourite is 

Playing Villager RFC at Newlands in 1986. The lead had changed hands at least 4 times and almost on full time, Village were awarded a penalty. Bob Bolus converted and they took the lead 19-18. We got a lineout from the kick off about 30m from the line. Two ball, off the top and the mercurial Andy Calmeyer calmly slots a drop kick and ref Freek Burger raises his arm to award the score and continues to call time. Bay won 21-19. One would swear we won the Currie Cup. 

 

Rugby highlight in your role:

I have had many roles at False Bay, many highlights. 

- Club Captain under Nick Mallett was special. 

- Co-organising with Clive Human and being a part of the Jocks was very, very special. 

- Rolling our sleeves up and being a part of the resurgence of False Bay RFC. 

- In my current role, acknowledging the efforts  of players and coaches in the process of building the Bay brand. For me as a player it was always a thrill to firstly play at Newlands  (which was often becauase of the setup) and secondly to see your name in print or feature in a pic. It gives me great pleasure to do that for the players and for False Bay. 

 

I am grateful for my God-given talent to write and do my best to be positive at all times. No one deserves public criticism which becomes permanent in print. 

 

 Favourite Club Player:

Again so many.

In my playing day, take your pick:

Craig Wilson, Brent Jordaan, Harold Cohen, Andy Calmeyer, Richard Franck, Bobby Symmonds, Mark Neill, Harold Karele, Shaun Jennings, Andre Vosloo and Graham Dukas. 

Modern day:

Justin van Winkel- Tough as teak, consummate professional

Ridhaa Damon- unflappable, class, talented, worth my weight in gold to the team

Michael Poppmeier- strong presence, physical, lineout maestro

Graham Knoop- physical, mobile and passionate 

Again so many. Make the list any longer and I will offend by exclusions, 

 

Favourite Coach:

Basil Bey 

Johnno van der Walt

I have huge respect for Slab Williams. 

 

Family background: 

Family of five siblings. My brother Jeremy was a very good player and also played here at the Bay. 

My Dad was a Provincial baseballer. 

My wife Reinet is a Special Needs Teacher and really a very special person. 
 

How do you chill?

I like to write. I go to gym to keep the joints greased and to destress. 

 

What are your aspirations for the Bay?

Win SLA; Win Gold Cup; continue to build on what we have. See more young leaders step up to continue the work off the field. 

My dream is to receive funding to develop our Youth Programme. 

 

What is it about the Bay that inspires you?

False Bay is truly unique. Camaraderie in rugby is only a word if you are not involved in the game. I have seen how we reach out to those in need, effortlessly and without expectation of reward or recognition. 

I am inspired by the "leave your title at the door" unwritten ethis of the club. 

We are truly a microcosm of how SA can function if given the chance. 

 

 Who at False Bay inspires you?

- Louis de Waal

- Gareth Jones

- Mike Punt

- Paul Newman (where it began Paul…)

- That famous duo, Lennett & Garbers

- Our Committee, a group of people dedicated to the cause and who each bring a different strength to the table.

 

What do you do to relax or what are your interests outside of rugby?

Cliched, but I enjoy spending time with my wife and also my two pugs.