The DHL Stormers understand the important role they can play during and after the nationwide lockdown in lifting the spirits of their faithful supporters and giving them something to smile about.
South Africans are experiencing uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the DHL Stormers are dedicated to playing whatever role they can at this time to make a meaningful contribution to society.
The team has got behind the Pick n Pay ‘Feed the Nation’ initiative, making a collective donation of R50 000 from their own pockets and encouraging the DHL Stormers Faithful to support the programme, which provides food and basic hygiene essentials to the most vulnerable during the lockdown period.
Assistant Coach Dawie Snyman said that the lockdown period has put a lot of things in perspective for the squad and the players are determined to make a difference in this difficult time.
“I think what has been encouraging is the way this whole crisis has highlighted the contribution the players want to make.
“We have seen the work Siya (Kolisi) is putting in through his foundation trying to improve the lot of the needy, and our players have all got involved with the Pick n Pay Feed the Nation campaign,” he said.
The lockdown has also highlighted the important role that rugby can play in the future, by giving people something to look forward to and smile about, which is something that the squad has embraced wholeheartedly as it was their mission for the season even before the pandemic.
“The players have realised the role they can play in lifting the mood of the people just by getting back onto the field and playing again. It has become about more than just winning the game. We know South Africans want to see rugby, and the players know that by just being on the field they can be in a position to inspire someone to get through these tough times ahead.
“The guys are driven by the desire to get onto the field to help the mood after the nation comes out of lockdown. They won’t mind about the challenges that they may face in order for that to to happen, I think that right now they will do anything just to get onto the field,”
“What we can see now is the importance of the game and what it means, when we do speak to people it is made clear the fans want to see rugby. The players are itching to play again, this period of inactivity has increased their hunger to play. During the lockdown, when so much is taken away, it makes you realise what you have, and how special it is to play,” Snyman added.
At this stage the squad is busy training on personalised programmes in isolation and taking things day-by-day, so that when the lockdown is lifted they will be ready to come together as a team and prepare properly.
“We just have the mindset at the moment of taking it day by day and setting our minds on completing the tasks that are set for those specific days. We will look at the various permutations when we come back into a group again. Then we will assess how much contact we need, how big the group needs to be and those sort of things,” said Snyman.
But for now, the key for everyone is to follow government guidelines and stay safe. Once there is clarity on the way forward, the DHL Stormers can set their minds to inspiring the faithful and giving their supporters something to smile about.