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Spotlight - Ryan van Niekerk

Name:                   Ryan van Niekerk


Nickname:           Coach


Age:                       42


Education (School, Tertiary):

Parktown Boys High (Jhb) , Unisa 


Rugby or sporting background:

Played provincial rugby and cricket at school boy level, Provincial rugby in Ireland


Clubs played for:

Hamiltons and False Bay


Position played:

Started my rugby career at 10, but moved to the forwards two years later. My favourite position is 7 but as I have gotten older I have filled positions 1-8 for the Bay


Rugby philosophy:

Control the controllable, and to get the best out of every player not just on the pitch but off it as well. 


Life philosophy:

God helps those who strut their stuff, and to set a great example for my kids


Rugby highlight as a player:

One of them would have to say locking with Ryan Olivier in his first 1st team game


Rugby highlight in your role:

In 2013 winning the league and setting a WP first by achieving 90 out of 90 league points.


Favourite Club Player:

I would have to say Van (Justin van Winkel), as I have played with him and to this day his work ethic has never changed, he always leads from the front.


Favourite Coach:

I've had many but three that stand out are, 1- Paul Kaplin who brought a professional set up to the amateur game, Kurt Botha who always brought a sense of calm to some very explosive situations and VD because I am continuously learning from him. 


Family background:

I come from a very sporting family, where numerous members (Uncles, Aunts) have achieved Springbok levels. My wife Angela was a Springbok gymnast, my daughter Jade (11) is a fantastic swimmer and my son Keegan at the tender age of 9 just wants to play for the 1's at False Bay


How do you chill?

Well, I spend 6 out of the 7 days at the Bay but when I get a chance, I love spending time with my family and I enjoy reading about history.


What are your aspirations for the Bay?

I would love the Bay to win the league (all sides) and the Gold Cup this season. In the future to continue what we are doing but improving on the formula we have put in place. On a personal note, to continue coaching and one day get a crack at the 1's.


What is it about the Bay that inspires you?

I think it’s the fact that we are probably the most racially diverse club in the WP, and we are all mates. The Bay is an extension of one’s family and I believe that any Bay boy will move heaven and earth when one of his family members are down. 


Who at False Bay inspires you?

There is no one person, I think every member in their own way inspires me.


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

I really enjoy playing golf, reading and spending time with family.


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