JOHANNESBURG - Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi former high school has renamed its main rugby field after the rugby world cup winner.
The famous Grey High School in Gqeberha re-wrote history on Saturday after officially naming it the Kolisi Field.
Kolisi attended the ceremony to commemorate the occasion and watched the first game on the turf named after him between his alma mater and Queen’s College.
“I’m so humbled by what’s happening today. It’s something that in my wildest dreams, I would have never dreamed of. I think coming to Grey alone was a big thing for me.”
Kolisi grew up playing rugby in the township where the field was sparsely covered in dry, brown grass and thorns. He admitted being astonished when he was tackled on the lush grass of his new school. He brought up the circumstances of his childhood and mentioned how he never knew where his next meal would come from until he showed up at the school’s hostel.
He traced his first days at the school and was reminded of the time he arrived on the grounds and neither he nor his mother could speak English. He said the heights he has reached and the accolades he has collected are a testament of hard work – an ethic he learned from his tough childhood in poverty.
“Without the people in this community, I don’t think I would have made it through life. As much as we struggle, we are hard-working people who just need an opportunity. I’m so grateful to stand here today [because] that opportunity came to me, and I took it with both hands… I’m so grateful for a school like this who accepted a young boy who had the smallest of dreams.”
Kolisi thanked the school for the honour and the greater Grey community for the role they played in his success.
This article first appeared on EWN : Bok Captain Siya Kolisi’s alma mater renames rugby field in his honour