St Bartz Academy visit the Warriors
July 18 has popularly become known as Mandela Day in South Africa. It may not be an official Public Holiday (yet!) but there’s scarcely a citizen who isn’t aware of the spirit of selflessness, and of giving of one’s time in order to benefit the less fortunate, that takes hold on this occasion. Usually, all South Africans are encouraged to each invest 67 minutes of this day in aid of charitable causes but since 2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Madiba – this year the challenge was made to increase the time invested from 67 to 100 minutes! Warriors fans know that if there’s one thing their team loves it’s a challenge, and, so it was, that, under the watchful eyes of Coach Rivash Gobind and Captain Jon Jon Smuts, the Warriors hosted a score of excited young learners from St Bartz Academy – specialised centre for children with autism – to introduce them to the wonderful game of cricket and to share a few skills with them. This all took place on the hallowed playing surface of St George’s Park and, as evidenced in the accompanying pics and video, the occasion was a special treat for all involved.
“It’s truly special to be involved in an initiative like this, “ said Warriors coach Rivash Gobind. “The great man Nelson Mandela himself always said that sport is one of the greatest and most powerful vehicles with which to unify people and we can see how true that is again here today. We as the Warriors are proud to be able to make a tiny contribution towards this ideal and we will continue to do so wherever and whenever we can,” he added.
Whilst the spirit of Madiba is one that resonates with people all over the world, there is no doubt that the Warriors feel a special affinity with Mandela and his ideals. Not only was the former State President born within the geographical confines of the franchise, but the team also has it’s home base in the metropole that bears his name.