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VIDEO: Playing 'just a walk in the park' for Siya

South Africa’s two-time World Cup-winning captain Siyamthanda Kolisi says he wants to be remembered as much for the things he does off the field, as he does on the field.

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Speaking to Lisa Ramuschkat on the Mind Set Win podcast, the Springboks’ inspirational leader gave some insights into the mental resilience that set the team apart at the World Cup in France last year – earning them a record fourth Webb Ellis Cup.

That mental fortitude was encapsulated in three one-point wins in the play-offs – 29-28 over hosts France in the quarterfinals, 16-15 over England in the semifinal and 12-11 over New Zealand in the Final.

Kolisi said the struggles of the average South African are much bigger than just winning a game.

“We have been through far worse than a game,” he told his host.

“The game is just another walk in the park.”

He admitted facing the best teams in the world is ‘difficult’, but the players face so many challenges every day that lacing up their boots is more of a privilege.

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“For me, to make it through life and to be here today, I have already won,” Kolisi said.

“I never thought I would be where I am.

“The coach told the players, in Japan in 2019, that he chose them – not because they were the best, but because of the struggles they went through.

“There may be other players who are better, but he chose those players who won’t give up when it gets dark – players who can live in the dark places longer than the opposition.”

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Kolisi pointed out it is not about being poor, but the mental struggles players go through.

(WATCH as two-time World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi gives some insights into the mental fortitude of the world champions….)

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There is no doubt about Kolisi’s phenomenal performances, but his influence stretches far beyond the pitch.

He represents a symbol of inspiration and resilience for many across the globe, in his home nation of South Africa, and the underrepresented communities like the one he grew up in.

Hailing from the township of Zwide in South Africa, Kolisi was introduced to the game at age seven.

His talent led him to earn a scholarship at Grey High in Port Elizabeth, which consequently brought him to the international stage.

In 2018, his appointment as Springboks captain marked a historic moment, as he became the first black man to hold the prestigious position, a testament to his leadership qualities.

Despite his numerous achievements, Kolisi remains dedicated to uplifting others from similar backgrounds, exemplified through his philanthropic efforts with the Kolisi Foundation.

He said he would rather be remembered for what he achieves off the field.

“I want to be remembered for the work I do with my foundation,” he said.

“I think that’s a much bigger impact because the trophies and all the achievements that we do achieve in the field and the records that we make will always be broken.

“Somebody else will come and break them.

“But I think the lives that you touch off the field, like the world, the work that we do with my foundation, and it’s some of the work that I needed as a child that I wish somebody had done for me.”

* To watch the entire podcast, CLICK HERE!

* Picture credit: Mind Set Win

 

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