#CelebrateNewlands: meet our next winners who shared their memories

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

04 July 2020 - 10:39
Not many fans can say they ran out onto the field at Newlands ... but Walter Stander did it in an unusual way!
Not many fans can say they ran out onto the field at Newlands ... but Walter Stander did it in an unusual way!
Image: Walter Stander

The second batch of 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 from the live broadcast:


Nizaam Dramat

Bryan Habana with Zubair Dramat.
Bryan Habana with Zubair Dramat.
Image: Nizaam Dramat

Newlands, what an iconic stadium that will forever be missed. I have so many amazing memories of this world-renowned stadium, but one that stands out in particular was seeing my son, Zubair, run out from the players' tunnel as the match mascot with Springbok and Stormers captain Jean de Villiers.

It was a fantastic clash with the Stormers thrashing the Southern Kings on home soil. After the match, Zubair had the opportunity to meet his rugby icon and Springbok legend Bryan Habana.

It is unfortunate that this amazing stadium's day has to come to an end. Newlands will always be remembered for its staggering gees and passionate fans. Newlands ... forever in our hearts.

Walter Stander

Walter Stander on the field at Newlands.
Walter Stander on the field at Newlands.
Image: Walter Stander

The standout memory of DHL Newlands was my first game there in 1998. It was a Test between the Springboks and England while I was in school. Since then, I’ve always dreamed of running out onto the Newlands field for Western Province. Obviously never happened!

Then earlier this year I got a chance to run out onto the field with the DHL Dancers and perform with them on the field before a Stormers and Bulls game. Wow, what an experience! My dream came true — to be on the field at my favourite stadium in a Stormers jersey, not as a player but as a dancer. What made it even more special was that my wife and kids were there too. Newlands is like a second home to me

As a child I couldn't visit Newlands that much. I moved to Cape Town in 2003 and since I've been here, I've hardly missed a game.

One of my other standout memories is the first time I took my kids to Newlands to watch a live game.

Newlands is like a second home to me. Everybody who knows me knows what a big supporter I am. There is no better atmosphere than my beloved Newlands. I can't even sleep the night before huge games. If it was allowed, I would even have my ashes scattered at Newlands one day. The Stormers will never lose again!

It's really heartbreaking what is going to happen to Newlands. I'm very emotional just thinking about it. 

Philip Broster

To describe my most memorable DHL Newlands moment is akin to choosing a favourite parent or part of Table Mountain — there is no single standout memory other than a lifetime of nostalgia, excitement and fun recollections: from the first time I entered Newlands, sitting in the Jan Pickard stand, to special memories with my father, watching Carel du Plessis weave his princely way to the line and the absolutely deafening roar of the crowd.

I heard stories about HO de Villiers and heroes of years gone by, and I remember sitting in my school uniform in the scholars' section of the Railway stand, listening to the banter of the adults behind me and feeling so close to the field and my heroes. I recall feeling extremely fortunate to watch the Western Province league during the early careers of Chester Williams, Solly Geduld, Tinus Linee and Jerome Paarwater — and later seeing some of them later run on in the blue-and-white hoops and feeling connected to the changes in the country and the game.

I remember sitting in the grandstand watching Francois Pienaar in his last game against the All Blacks, seeing a changing of the guard. I remember the Men in Black and my student days trying to smuggle beers out of the pubs so we could watch the game and enjoy a few cold ones. I saw heroes play their first games and seasons and knew they were special — Bob Skinstad, Schalla, Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe. The best atmosphere was never in the boxes — even though their snacks and drinks were very welcome and heartily enjoyed — but in the standing area of the packed Danie Craven stand, singing “Dis 'n Stormers ding”, meeting new people, celebrating with people from all walks of life, united in a grand old lady of a stadium that has been a wonderful source of joy and gees in my life.

And this try being scored in the corner while packed into the standing area of the Danie Craven stand will assist. Stormers! Jou lekker ding!

Tasneem Rutgers

Young fans: Newlands holds many fond memories for Tasneem Rutgers
Young fans: Newlands holds many fond memories for Tasneem Rutgers
Image: Tasneem Rutgers

In the autumn of 2010, when Super Rugby season was in full force, I worked at Newlands to assist a colleague with Player 23-related matters and I sold some merchandise at the lawns. In March 2010, my now husband won the Player 23 initial round and had the honour of handing over the man-of-the-match award. Unknown to him at the time, I was behind the scenes literally holding up the man-of-the-match backdrop. Then in April one Friday night, the Stormers were playing the Crusaders and he came to our merchandise table to purchase an away Stormers jerseys. I remember him speaking to me briefly. When he came back to complete the transaction, I had already left.

A few weeks later at the Player 23 finals, I was asked to look after the Player 23 finalists. He was there, of course. The photographer at the booth assumed we were together and insisted we take a picture, not once but twice. Later on the field they did the draw for the main prize and he won it. After the match, I congratulated him, he said thanks and then he asked me out. My response was, “I will think about it,” with him having no way of contacting me. A week later it was the semifinal against the Waratahs. It was a sold-out game. He somehow managed to find me in the crowd and asked for my number.

Fast forward … we got married in 2011 and now have two kids. Newlands holds special memories for both of us as this is where we met. The story went full circle recently as our daughter was the team mascot at the last Newlands match against the Blues on February 29.

These memories will stay with us and Newlands will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Lucretia Veenendaal

Fond memories of Newlands.
Fond memories of Newlands.
Image: Lucretia Veenendal

Let me start by saying that I was 21 in 1995, the year SA won the Rugby World Cup.

I had the honour of wearing the Bokke jersey for the second rugby Test between SA and England — proud moments at the Newlands grounds.

Days after my 21st birthday on June 24, SA played New Zealand in the finals at Ellis Park Stadium and of course it was a victory!

Never did I think that years later my son would grow up to be a rugby fanatic. We've been attending many games at Newlands watching our boys, and to top it all my biology [teacher] Chippie Solomon is now the manager of the best team, the Stormers.

It will really be sad when we eventually do watch a game elsewhere — Newlands had a fantastic vibe. These are my most precious memories and moments. Newlands forever!