Grey College might suffer the ignominy of being situated in Bloemfontein, but it sure does churn out Springboks.
At present, the school boasts 46 South African rugby players, and I’m sure there are many more waiting in the wings.
Heads up, it’s a different school to Grey High School in PE, the “sister school” of College, where Siya Kolisi was educated. If you missed those stories about Siya’s PE school days, including getting a Grade Eight to help him trick his housemaster, give this a read.
The BBC decided to take a closer look at Grey College in Bloem in a feature they titled “Inside the Springbok Factory”, and it’s a pretty good read.
I’ll start with a tale about a current Bok who was a late bloomer:
Grey has produced a Springbok in every position. Their names are etched on the walls of the first XV changing room and only the selected players are allowed to enter.
South Africa scrum-half Piet van Zyl – who only managed to play for the school’s second team – never saw inside these walls.
When he returned to the school with his Springbok blazer, he entered the changing room for the first time – and cried.
Another proud old boy is South Africa sevens captain Philip Snyman, fresh off the back of another Blitzbokke World Sevens Series win:
He greets the current first-team coach, Wessel du Plessis, with the Grey College handshake.
“Everything I know about rugby and about being a human being was because of this school. My roots and foundations are here,” Snyman said.
“You wanted to play for the brotherhood and the jersey next to you, and it’s the same now for the Springbok Sevens.
“It doesn’t matter where I live, if I have a son, I will send him to Grey College.”
Clearly a big fan.
Grey take their rugby so seriously, in fact, that they have been accused of being overly ruthless. Remember when they racked up 200 points against Glenwood?
Something that might take the gloss off that 46 Bok count is the fact that they have all been white, but the school is taking steps to address that:
The Free State is a traditionally Afrikaans stronghold, compared to more diverse areas such as Natal and Eastern Province, but the school insists change is happening.
There are two black players in the first team, a strikingly low number, but headmaster Scheepers points to the lower age groups coming through, where the split between white and players of colour – the South African term for black or mixed race – is around 50/50.
Under governmental targets, 50% of teams at all levels of South African rugby should be black or mixed race by 2019.
“Transformation in the schools is very important,” says [director of rugby Bobby] Joubert. “We don’t have regulation at schoolboy level, but we do it because it is our social responsibility.”
If you’re still doubting the love former students have for their alma mater, take a look at this image:
Those are the ashes of Hansie Cronje, a former student, which are located at the school.
Other national sporting stars who attended the school include Wayde van Niekerk and Ryk Neethling.
You can read the BBC’s full feature here.
Sticking to schoolboy rugby, here’s a lekker video coming out of Grahamstown. The town’s not just about Rhodes students stumbling out of the Rat and Parrot, because the boys of St Andrew’s College have quite a warcry going on.
Via GoodThingsGuy, a decent amount of coordination at play here:
Then again, when you’re paying R252 990 a year to attend the school, you would expect nothing less.
[imagesource: Steam] I'll be upfront and say I'm not much of a gamer. That's not to ...
[imagesource: Adobe StockStudio] Finland has been ranked the world's happiest country b...
[imagesource: American Chemical Society] Dogs are on to something with their primary se...
[imagesource: YouTube / Kwachii] Welcome to Thursday, and a pleasure to see you here. ...
[imagesource:here] Here's today's reminder that we are halfway through the year 2021, b...