Remembering ’76

False Bay's Wesley Chetty fends off his marker in his team's clash with Tygerberg RFC.

It was 1976, a watershed year in the history of South Africa, one filled with turmoil, uncertainty and mistrust. A group of then players and administrators at the Bay lead by Louis de Waal, had been involved in coaching rugby in the townships during this period.

“We approached icons of township rugby at the time, men such as Albert Nkonki and Louis Mzomba of Olympics RFC in Langa with a view to arranging a friendly,” said De Waal.

Sport was obviously still divided by colour lines with interaction between the different groups frowned upon in the least, actively discouraged in the moderate and illegal at worst.

In the context of the unrest happening around the country, the social acceptancy of the interaction and the potential for interference, the concept alone was groundbreaking at this level and demonstrated the spirit of the game and its participants.

This culminated in a friendly match at the False Bay home ground later in the year between invitational teams from False Bay RFC and Olympic RFC.

“No one can remember the result of the match, let alone the score.

“It was not important. It was played in the true spirit of the game and great friendships were made, which have lasted to this day,” said De Waal who has been club president at the Bay since 1981.

Since then, Olympics RFC has morphed into Lagunya RFC, who compete in the Super League C of the WPRFU and to commemorate this special event, two teams from the Nyanga-based club will play against False Bay Invitational under-20 and senior teams.

The under-20 match starts at 1pm and is followed by the main game at 2.15pm. All are welcome.

* Jon Harris is a member of False Bay RFC.