Change the world


A DINNER in a chat-show format celebrating Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's rugby legacy was hosted as part of the university's 10-year celebrations in the build-up to this year's 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Madibaz Bok Banter at the NMMU Indoor Sports Centre on 3 September gave the public the opportunity to hear first-hand from the University's own Springboks, like utility back Hennie Le Roux, lock Hannes Strydom and Garry Pagel, who were part of the jubilant 1995 World Cup Rugby winners.

They were joined by the likes of former 2007 Springbok world champions’ squad manager Zola Yeye, former SA skippers Hannes Marais and Andre Vos as well as Eben Olivier, Schalk Burger (senior) and Danie Gerber.

Former SARU player and NMMU Sport Manager Bernard Petersen also participated in the event.

In 1970, Marais became the former UPE’s first player to run onto the field for his country. The following year he captained the Springbok tour to Australia, where South Africans earned the nickname “The Invincibles”.

Vos was part of the national team from 1998 – 2001 and took over the captain’s armband from Joost van der Westerhuizen after the 1999 World Cup.

The event, which took the format of a dinner and chat show, was facilitated former Eastern Province fly half, Gavin Cowley, who also played for the South African A side known as the Gazelles.

"The event gave Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University the opportunity to recognise our rugby alumni in our milestone tenth year, and talk about our predictions for the 2015 Rugby World Cup," says NMMU Acting Director of Madibaz Sport Petrus Boukes. "We also wanted to raise funds for a Madibaz rugby club house."

"People are often surprised to learn how many top rugby players came from this university - the former University of Port Elizabeth, the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University and the Port Elizabeth Technikon."

The event gave those involved in the game the chance to connect and reconnect, and for sports fan to join "the Bok banter" around the Rugby World Cup predictions.