I was lucky enough to win another prize from Vodacom; a #StadiumTour for myself and a partner on Saturday the 30th of May 2015.
I was contacted by a very friendly OpenField representative with all the information for the #StadiumTour. We had to assemble at the Emirates Airline Main gate at 12H30 for the usual paperwork and then the #StadiumTour would start at 1PM sharp – in our supporters gear. To all who know me, the Lion and the Cheetah both form part of the same cat family, the Felidae. So my wife and I got brand new Lions jerseys and made the trip to the stadium.
After all the admin was taken care of, we entered the grounds, promptly followed by Janina from Toks and Tjops / Jacaranda FM’s Martin Bester drive. When we got to the stadium foyer, we were greeted by some beefy security and 2 other gentlemen who were going to take us on the tour – Rudolph Straeuli and Joel Stansky, both part of the 1995 World Cup winning Springbok team! Vodacom also gave us each a commemorative jacket!
After welcoming the group, we were taken the Home team (Lions / Springbok) locker room, where Joel and Rudolf shared some funny and emotional stories with the group about pre-game routines, the week and the day of the 1995 world cup final and general happening behind the scenes that one does not get to see on TV.
Thereafter we moved down to the field, where Joel was handed a rugby ball… After 20 years, Joel still has the moves!
Next up was the Ellis Park Rugby Museum – you can spend an entire day here! We were greeted by the museum curator – James Dalton senior. Inside the museum, loads of rugby history can be seen, some dating further back than the current Ellis park’s 87 year history. There are various pieces of memorabilia that has been donated by players over the years.
A final Q&A session was attended to in the VIP lounge. This in itself was quite an informative session, as we got to discuss current South African rugby matters and got a small insight into what may transpire team wise for the Springboks, with the up and coming 2015 Rugby World Cup.
As if that was not enough, Vodacom had more planned for us, as we were escorted to the Weber Braai area, where Vaatjie from Toks and Tjops met up with the group. What a pleasant guy! He came in, greeted everybody by hand and even had a braai with some of the guys! Other people have rock stars – in Vaatjie, we have a Braai Star! We got to have a few laughs, chat about the coming match between the Lions and the Super 15 Champions – the Wharatahs from Sydney (see more here about the SuperGees trip there – Thank you Vodacom, AGAIN)
Vodacom sat us down, right on the pitch at the 22 meter line, where the Lions came out with a gutsy performance of note! And, the beat the defending champions 27-22. After a final group video, we all got on our way.
Vodacom has done it yet again! I guess I may be envied a little bit at the office again this coming week… But hey, what a small price to pay for another memorable event by Vodacom at the rugby fortress of South Africa – Emirates Airline Park!