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Springboks & Kolisi Honored By African Union For RWC Triumph

  • May 27, 2024
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Springboks & Kolisi Honored By African Union For RWC Triumph

The Springboks continue to add prestigious accolades to their trophy cabinet. Following their back-to-back Rugby World Cup victories in 2019 and 2023, the team received the Team of the Year and Sportsman of the Year awards at the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Awards in Lusaka, Zambia, on Saturday.

This glittering ceremony, celebrating sporting excellence, attracted athletes, sports personalities, and government dignitaries from the ten countries of Region 5: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland (now Eswatini), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

These awards add a continental dimension to the accolades the world champions have already received. The Springboks were recently crowned Team of the Year at both the SA Sports Awards and SA Rugby Awards, while Siya Kolisi secured the People’s Choice and Sports Star of the Year awards.

“This award underlines the continental significance of the Springboks’ consecutive Rugby World Cup victories and the key role Siya played in guiding the team both on and off the field.

“They deserve all the recognition for their hard work and sacrifices over several years to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in France last year and Japan in 2019, and we are delighted to see how far and wide their achievements have reached.

“The team and Kolisi have been critical in showing what unity, teamwork, and overcoming numerous barriers on and off the field can achieve in nation-building and building winning teams, and we hope this inspires teams across Africa to follow in their footsteps and achieve similar success.”

The competition for these awards was fierce. The Springboks faced off against the Malawian Scorchers (national women’s football team) and Botswana’s senior men’s 4x400m relay team. Kolisi’s victory was hard-fought, edging out notable athletes Bayapo Ndori (Botswana) and Mancoba Mahlatsi (Eswatini).

The ceremony’s keynote address was delivered by Her Excellency Mutale Nalumango, Vice President of Zambia. The African Union Sports Council Region 5 is dedicated to developing and promoting sports within the Southern African region. Through various programs and events, the council aims to foster regional unity, enhance athletic performance, and support athletes in reaching their full potential.

Photo credit: @bokrugby

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