Kolisi's mission to make SA 'a better place'

Bok captain, other sports stars share stories

Boks Damian Willemse, left and skipper Siya Kolisi at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.
Boks Damian Willemse, left and skipper Siya Kolisi at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.
Image: Supplied

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi spearheaded the Impossible is Nothing campaign at an Adidas event in Cape Town this week, where the stories of 15 other SA athletes were shared.

“Impossible Is Nothing is about seeing possibilities on and off the field of play, perceiving the world not as it is, but as it can be – and inspiring others to do the same,” the apparel maker said.

The event was held at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday for athletes to share anecdotes about pursuing their dreams with rebellious optimism, and encouraging the next generation to do the same.

Kolisi spoke about his recently launched book, Rise, as well as the work of the Kolisi Foundation and how the national team bounced back with an epic win over the All Blacks during the Rugby Championship last weekend in Australia.

“South Africans have a strong connection with rugby, so there is a lot of pressure. It [the tour] was tough on us mentally but we pulled together even when we had our backs against the wall,” the Boks skipper said of having to stay in a bio-bubble for months on end, before defeating the All Blacks in their final tour match last week.

Kolisi shared that it was his family and his work at the Kolisi Foundation that kept him motivated. “I don’t think too much about my achievements but rather what can be done on and off the field to make South Africa a better place for generations to come. I don't want future generations to struggle the way I did, worrying about water bottles or kit. Those things must be sorted out so that you can focus on becoming a better player.”

Kolisi shared the stage with national teammate Damian Willemse, as well as national under-18 team rugby players Imad Khan, Bruce Sherwood and Suleiman Hartzenberg.

The football panel included Thulani Hlatshwayo from Orlando Pirates as well as young women football stars Jessica Wade and Kananelo Taiwe.

Wade, who is 18 years old, is in the national under-20 squad. “No matter what you face in life you can overcome any obstacle if you’re willing to sacrifice and work hard for it. I’ve refused to let any adversity stop me from fulfilling my dream and will continue to push boundaries to see how far I can go,” she said.

Taiwe, 15, plays in the national U-17 team and is focused on her goal. “No matter how hard situations are, you need to keep your head high, have faith because you never know if your time is going to be today or tomorrow,” she said.

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