Trip to townships in Johannesburg and Capetown.
Dave Wilson and his daughter Hannah Wilson travelled to South Africa recently for Hannah to take part in a Tens Tournament in Johannesburg and Capetown. Hannah had just finished her second year playing on the Leinster U18 Girls Rugby team and also got her first cap playing on the Irish U18 Girls Rugby team in the Six Nations Tournament in Murrayfield.
During the trip to South Africa, all the players and coaches involved in the tournament got the chance to visit local townships outside Johannesburg and Capetown as part of the community work that was such an integral part of the trip.
Dave as a Leinster Rugby Referee brought two large Leinster kit bags with gear, one for each of the townships that they were to visit. Dave said
“ If ever there was a moment that pictures speak a thousand words well this was one of those moments “.
The children ranged from the ages of 4 to 15 and loved every part of their rugby experience with the players and coaches from the Rugby Tens Tournament and the players and coaches got so much out of it too. Dave and Hannah both said that it was an incredibly humbling and moving experience and it was very difficult to drive away after the days with the children from the township as the children were just so happy to spend time having fun playing rugby and then to get some gear afterwards just crowned it for the children. There were many tears shed by some hardened rugby players when it was time to go.
The whole experience brought so many smiles to such an array of faces. Hannah brought lots of gear to the children and both Dave and Hannah said that it was an experience that neither of them would forget and hope to do again. Dave and Hannah both said that they wish to send a big thank you to Leinster Rugby and also referees who donated gear as every piece of gear donated was so well received by all the children in the Townships in South Africa.
“ It was amazing how something so small for us meant so much to a child and made such a difference to each and every one of them “ said Dave.
The children had no boots, gum shields gear etc, but the power of a rugby ball was just a joy to see.
Hannah said that the trip to the townships in Johannesburg and Capetown were some of the highlights of her whole trip and her life in general, as she felt that….
“ There was nothing as valuable as your time for a child and to see the realisation on the children’s faces when they noticed that that you were just there to give of your time and the children so appreciated that “.
Hannah went home with empty bags as she gave away lots of her gear that she had brought with her.
One of the coaches involved in the Tens Tournament was the “King of Sevens”, the one and only Waisale Serevi. He was made an “Honorary Leinster Rugby Referee” during this trip and received his kit from Dave Wilson, Waisale is just awaiting his first appointment from Hayley White!