In a frequently divided world, where there is conflict between countries and within countries, sports has the ability to connect people. It is a medium through which people can put aside their differences and join together for the love of the game. Nelson Mandela is a key icon who used the amazing joining power of sport to unite a nation that was deeply wounded and held many Apartheid scars. In 1995, when the Springbok team won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the country’s President, Nelson Mandela, walked onto the field wearing the rugby green jersey and cap, marking an iconic moment in history that would be remembered as the ultimate moment when sport was used to heal and unify a nation.
Siya Kolisi inspired by Mandela’s powerful story continued this legacy. As a sixteen year old, Kolisi watched the last time South Africa were in a Rugby World Cup final in his local tavern because he did not have a television at home. Fast forward to 2019, where Kolisi was the first black Springbok Rugby captain and lead his team to World Cup victory, following in Mandela’s steps of unifying the “Rainbow Nation”. Kolisi highlighted the importance of his role in sport through his words “All I want to do is to inspire my kids and every other kid in South Africa” (Kolisi, 2019).
Both Mandela and Kolisi’s story encapsulate the unparalleled popularity, incredible reach and positive impact that sport can have, acting as an incredibly powerful tool that breaks down barriers and unites nations. Here at Living Legends, we believe in the power of sport and view sport as a game changer that enhances both the physical and mental development of our children. Our school programme includes both physical education (healthy body) and life skills (healthy mind) components, where learning takes place in a positive environment that is ideal for discovery. The Power of Play reinforces the importance of sport and highlights how play allows children the opportunity to learn diverse life skills that are essential to life.
More than six hundred million people were glued to their screens to watch the Soccer World Cup Final. This incredible figure highlights how sport captivates our lives, creating endless opportunities for connection and development. Let us use sport as a vehicle to help our children grow into go-getters, motivated people who want to make a difference in the world.
Megan Cunningham, 15 April
These two articles I used to inform my thoughts and ideas and don’t link to anything specific: