#CelebrateNewlands: meet our first winners who shared their memories

BrightRock and the DHL Stormers are celebrating SA's oldest stadium

27 June 2020 - 12:26
One of our competition winners, Jean Kleinhans, and his son, Ruben, at Newlands. Read more about them below.
One of our competition winners, Jean Kleinhans, and his son, Ruben, at Newlands. Read more about them below.
Image: Jean Kleinhans

The first five winners in the BrightRock Light a Fire for DHL Newlands competition, supported by TimesLIVE, have been announced. Read on to see their full entries.

These winners, who shared their best memories of DHL Newlands, will each receive a DHL Stormers rugby jersey signed by the team.

On Saturday July 4, BrightRock brought the fire to DHL Newlands in Cape Town in a special live-streamed broadcast with the DHL Stormers, hosted by Bryan Habana, Elma Smit and Siv Ngesi.

Play the bounce. Play the moment. Love change.

Watch highlights of the live broadcast:


THE WINNERS SO FAR

Angus Opperman


Jean Kleinhans

Jean Kleinhans, and his son, Ruben, at Newlands
Jean Kleinhans, and his son, Ruben, at Newlands
Image: Jean Kleinhans

“I've got so many memories of my beloved Newlands. I started going there with my dad in 1986. I'm almost 40 now, and very sad that this iconic symbol will be no more.

“But the one that stands out and will forever be with me and my son Ruben was the day he met his hero, Schalk Burger, at Newlands — something I organised with the help of friends on Facebook for him. This was four years ago.

“Ruben is on the autistic spectrum so going anywhere where noise levels are high can be challenging, but Newlands is different. He loves it and always wants to know when we will go again.”


Johannes Masiteng

Johannes Masiteng at Newlands.
Johannes Masiteng at Newlands.
Image: Johannes Masiteng

“This was my first-ever live rugby match and, of course, first-ever Super Rugby match, and nothing gets better than watching your first-ever live rugby match at the historic Newlands Stadium.

“The Stormers hosted New Zealand side Blues and won 37-20, if I remember correctly. The fans and the atmosphere in the venue were unmatched, unforgettable and amazing.

“This year, I was supposed to celebrate my birthday at this venue when SA were scheduled to play Scotland, and this would have been my first time watching the national rugby team live at this iconic venue before it is demolished.”


Richard Burger

“I’ve had quite a few good memories at Newlands. A notable mention is watching Rondebosch Boys' High School beat Paul Roos in 2015 at the Newlands school rugby day. It was always big when your school beat an Afrikaans school, and to watch them do it at Newlands in Paul Roos’s 150th year made it even more amazing.

“However, my favourite memory to date happened the year before, in 2014, when I met my hero. Funnily enough my hero was playing for the opposition.

“Nathan Charles of the Western Force also has cystic fibrosis, and when we found out that he had it, it was always a dream to meet him. My parents organised through the Stormers staff to meet him. Land Rover gave us 10 tickets so I could take a few friends with me. It was a great match, which the Stormers won comfortably, 24-8. The stadium had a great vibe that night and it was awesome being there with family and friends.

Richard Burger with Nathan Charles of the Western Force at Newlands.
Richard Burger with Nathan Charles of the Western Force at Newlands.
Image: Richard Burger

“After the match we waited a bit and then I was fetched and taken to the field to meet Nathan. My heart was pumping, my hands were sweating; there was even a photographer there. Nathan came out of the tunnel. It was awesome meeting him. We chatted about life and health and it gave me a lot of inspiration to become better at anything I do and to enjoy life. That year, my health wasn’t great but luckily I could meet someone who set a great example of remaining fit and healthy.

“That next day I was on the cover of the Weekend Argus. It was really a big weekend for me. Thank you to the Stormers for making such an experience possible — not many can say they’ve chilled on an empty Newlands field with their hero till the lights went off, then walked through the tunnel and saw some more greats of the game. The 15-year-old me was living a dream, meeting heroes and ending up on the front page of a newspaper.”

Nathan Charles of the Western Force also has cystic fibrosis, and when we found out that he had it, it was always a dream to meet him. My parents organised through the Stormers staff to meet him. Land Rover gave us 10 tickets so I could take a few friends with me. It was a great match, which the Stormers won comfortably, 24-8. The stadium had a great vibe that night and it was awesome being there with family and friends.

“After the match we waited a bit and then I was fetched and taken to the field to meet Nathan. My heart was pumping, my hands were sweating; there was even a photographer there. Nathan came out of the tunnel. It was awesome meeting him. We chatted about life and health and it gave me a lot of inspiration to become better at anything I do and to enjoy life. That year, my health wasn’t great but luckily I could meet someone who set a great example of remaining fit and healthy.

“That next day I was on the cover of the Weekend Argus. It was really a big weekend for me. Thank you to the Stormers for making such an experience possible — not many can say they’ve chilled on an empty Newlands field with their hero till the lights went off, then walked through the tunnel and saw some more greats of the game. The 15-year-old me was living a dream, meeting heroes and ending up on the front page of a newspaper.”


Pikolomzi Qaba

Newlands Stadium as photographed by Pikolomzi Qaba.
Newlands Stadium as photographed by Pikolomzi Qaba.
Image: Pikolomzi Qaba

“It was in this stadium that the 1995 Rugby World Cup kicked off, a tournament that SA went on to win and in which the hosts defeated Australia 27—18. At the first match, one could deduce that the late Tata Nelson Mandela understood clearly that sport had the power to change the world. Mandela was confident that the Springboks' World Cup victory was one of the primary reasons the new democracy prevented civil war after the chains of the unjust apartheid regime were broken.

“The DHL Newlands Stadium brought new beginnings. It was one of those matches that remain imprinted in our minds and hearts — seeing South Africans united and representing hope and change. The result unleashed a tide of goodwill and nation-building across SA. The history captured at DHL Newlands was replicated at Yokohama, Japan, when SA won against England, giving us a three-dimensional glimpse of what Mandela’s ideal multicultural and multiracial rainbow nation would look like.”


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