Rugby & the Townships

I’m sure most of our readership has seen “Invictus” by now.  That was a massive deal.  But something just as huge happened on Saturday that I must share.  The Blue Bulls (the Pretoria rugby machine) played the first rugby match ever in a township.  Part of that is thanks to the rediculous way FIFA comes in and takes over the entire nation for World Cup, but never-the-less… it was fantastic (and the Bulls won, sending them back to the township next week for the championship match!!!).

It’s hard to explain this unless you’ve been in our context.  Soccer fans are typically black, rugby fans are typically white.  They don’t usually cross sections.  Actually, last year, I went to a Bulls game on a Saturday, and a soccer game at the same stadium two nights later… it was like entering a completely different country.  The cultures are vastly different.  But for 3 hours on Saturday, they mixed and celebrated sport like only South Africans do.  Vuvuzelas (get used to the noise if you’re planning to watch any World Cup match this year) going nuts… it was an odd sound of the black community embracing their white counterpart.

This morning at church, I was discussing some of this with some friends and they made this interesting observation.  They were saying how they felt like the black community has bent over backwards to open up their arms to the white community.  My friends don’t feel like their culture bends much the other way though.  I’m not sure I fully agree with that, but it’s their perspective!  It was really interesting to hear.

It’s amazing how sports can really be a tool for healing.  Wish my American teams could bring some healing!  COME ON CUBS!!!

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