It was a beautiful, warm Summer’s evening in Constantia. At False Bay RFC, the players were being put through their paces at the final pre-season training session for 2013, the coaching paraphernalia dotting the lush green turf, the players pushing themselves ever beyond their last point of personal best, tested to the full by the hot evening and the coaching panel unafraid to join in on the session.
On the sidelines were those unable to participate but ever keen to be a part, replenishing and ferrying water bottles to and from the water fountain to their team mates.
Beyond that, in front of the partially completed Players Braai Area were Committee Members, mulling around sipping on drinks, feeding the fires which would prepare the meat for the players after their shower.
It was a scene to behold in isolation, but what made it even more exciting was the setting and the promise of what is virtually just around the corner.
The fields are looking the best that they have in years, thanks to the efforts of Marius Conradie and the Municipality. The grass is lush and a deep hue of green which emphasises its healthy state. The evening December sunlight casting a brightness that only Nature can make a reality completed a picture no artist can emulate on canvas.
In the Clubhouse itself, work is in a very advanced state and taking shape, adding excitement to the sense of anticipation already permeating False Bay RFC.
The pictures of the pitch alongside are testimony to the setting and when the Clubhouse is completed, The Bay will surely be a standard port of call for all sectors of members, player to casual visitor.
One can almost feel the energy of what is to come. A warm, late Summer evening, the fields teeming with players at pre-season training, preparing for the CT Tens which are shortly followed by the exciting friendly scheduled set out by the Director of Rugby. In the Members Bar sit a myriad groups of new Bay members, enjoying their favourite beverage in a setting unique to the Southern Suburbs. Nowhere else this side of the Boerewors Curtain is rugby so Three-Dimensional, watching Varsity Cup on large format HD screens with the feel of rugby within a grasp, the shouts of encouragement mixed with the thud of solid tackles or the pounding of racing feet on plush turf.
It’s Real Rugby, a facet of the game missing from the life of the fan whose exposure to the game is through his telly. It can be heard, felt, smelt and even touched. It gives that person an opportunity to be exposed to what we take for granted, the essence of the game and the spirit of the Bay. It gives our deep number of players the opportunity to not only measure himself against his opposition and to deliver his best for his team and club, but to introduce the casual spectator to the “other senses” of rugby and to entertain them in the process, irrespective of what team he represents.
Yet it does not end there. It gives young children a safe and warm environment to play touch rugby or kick that odd-shaped ball, play a little cricket or whatever, while Mom & Dad quietly enjoy a relaxing drink on the verandah.
The possibilities are plenty, but the excitement is ours. It completes our club. Our facility, which has been showing its age recently, will match the setting and our members will be proud of their Club and what it means to them and possibly, many others who will be infected by its unique gees.
And when the 2014 SLA season starts, False Bay RFC will do themselves proud on the pitch, from the Academy, to the Under 20s, Fifos, Filthies, Thirds, Seconds and Firsts. The Crocks will never allow themselves to be forgotten and will entertain in their inimitable way.
Roll on the opening of The Bay, roll on SLA 2014.
Up The Bay.