By Trevor Makonyonga
The eleven year romance between South Africa World Cup winning captain, Siya Kolisi, and Western Province has come to an end a week after the Books captain has penned an open letter announcing his imminent departure.
In his letter Kolisi thanks everyone who played a role in his journey in Capetown and said that it was time to seize new opportunities.
“When I arrived at DHL Newlands in 2012, I arrived as a boy. Today, I depart as a man. I am forever indebted to you for offering me the opportunity to live out my dream. You have allowed little boys and girls across South Africa who look just like be to believe that they too, can be anything they put their mind to. The power in this thinking is endless, and you have provided that hope.
“For the young boy from the township, now is the time to spread my wings. Now is the time to seize opportunities and experience this beautiful country we get to call home to its fullest.”
He thanked all the coaches he has worked under in Cape Town, from Rassie Erasmus, to former Bok boss Allister Coetzee and most recent coaches Robbie Fleck and John Dobson, for “taking me under your wing and guiding me through to the highest level, showing me what it means to be a leader on and off the field.” He added.
“It fills me with pride knowing I was able to share the field with such huge names in the game. I was just a Grade 8 student when I was pictured asking Schalk for an autograph, today I stand humbled knowing that I got to call him my team-mate.”
Kolisi also had a special word of thanks to WP and Stormers fans, as well as the sponsors.
“Feeling your energy week-in, week-out, there has been no better place in the world to play than Newlands. Through all the challenges, you have held me high. I will miss the butterflies I felt as we approached the stadium in the bus, seeing you all on the corner cheering us on. The atmosphere has truly been second-to-none.”
To the Stormers fans, Kolisi said, “The atmosphere has truly been second to none. To the guys who sit behind the bench at Newlands, you have made my experience. My biggest regret is only that I was not able to bring you silverware that this fanbase truly deserves.”
He ends by promising another potential dance with WP, “This is not a goodbye, this is only a see-you-soon.”