Supporting the local rugby scene… surprisingly

I’m not really sports-inclined. This is ‘funny strange’, not ‘funny haha’, as my workday is filled with curating, editing and publishing sport news. But in my personal life? Not so much.

I was never the top athlete at school, in primary school the closest I came to it was attending a few gymnastics classes at the local recreation centre – I was young enough to think it was called ‘gym-elastics’. Then in high school, where sporting is expected of you, I was one of the herd of hockey bokkies and shooting enthusiasts when forced to pick a sport (those tight shooting jackets that keep the rifle close to your body are something else!) and a ‘social tennis’ player… meaning we were not on set teams or even coached in any way. Rather, we walked down to the tennis grounds twice a week and lobbed a ball over the net at our friends before buying those Take 5 sachets of frozen orange juice from the tuckshop.

So it’s always surprising to me and those around me when I take an interest in sport. There was the short-lived jogging stint when we lived on Jozi’s West Rand a few years back, the hiking phase when we first moved to Cape Town, and numerous attempts by hubby at getting me into exercise through the Xbox Kinect – I enjoyed the dance games the best though, attempting log slalom race things in your own lounge with dogs hopping about is just asking for injury.

But then there are live sport matches. That’s a different story altogether. Live sport, I love.

Some of my fondest memories are of watching the Highveld Lions devour their T20 opponents at Wanderers while doing the Mexican wave, singing along loudly to whatever music was being played, due to the inherent excitement of the short format of the game. And you can’t NOT watch on TV when the Bokke play any other team. Like this. And this.

In fact, this picture sums it up best:

It's the framed photo our besties presented us with before we moved to Cape Town, showing all of us in our Springbok supporters gear.
It’s the framed photo our besties presented us with before we moved to Cape Town, showing all of us in our Springbok supporters gear.

That’s why this past weekend’s highlight was watching various teams from our local rugby league – Union Milnerton or ‘Uni Mil’, as their red socks so aptly dubbed them – defeat the travelling teams from Strand on home ground.

We didn’t even set out to do so, deciding on a whim to stop and check it out when we saw how packed the field was at the Theo Marais sportsground. The wind was nippy and I was JUST recovering from a cold but it was still jolly good fun. While there weren’t any wors roll stands as expected, a trestle table selling homemade Cape Malay delicacies like koe’susters, samosas and salomies did a roaring trade. So we ate, we drank, we cheered; we giggled at the reactions of the true fans around us (“Teckle TECKLE,” shouted the one old lady, “You’re playing kak,” said another, and “Smile, shit-head”, commented a tired player to one of his sour teammates as we walked back to the car.

All in all an enjoyable few hours – I’m sure we’ll be back. Seems my sporting calling was simply to be a cheerleader all along:

Watching the rugby! With a big storm brewing in the background!
Watching the rugby! With a big storm brewing in the background!

I even loaded the short video Husband took of the players getting a warm welcome onto Youtube for your viewing pleasure, click here to see it.

Can't watch rugby without a beer or two going down the gullet
Can’t watch rugby without a beer or two going down the gullet
So cold I had to make sure only littlest bits of face were exposed
So cold I had to make sure only littlest bits of face were exposed
Giggling at some of the comments from the fans watching around us
Giggling at some of the comments from the fans watching around us
Thick socks and pretty pumps were in order
Thick socks and pretty pumps were in order
Sort of selfie with the sky behind us
Sort of selfie with the sky behind us
Better shot of the pretty cloud-flocked sky
Better shot of the pretty cloud-flocked sky

Who knows what we’ll get up to next weekend… watch this space!

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