Jeppe
Photo Credit: Jeppe High School for Boys

Jeppe High School for Boys’ principal Dale Jackson broke his social media silence to honour the 1st XV win over Grey College and shared why the win has had such a profound effect on the school and community.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (26 March 2024)—The Jeppe High School for Boys 1st XV won its rugby match against Grey College, a first for the school. The win was significant not only because it was a first but also because the players played the entire game in honour of Kaiden Bowie, who tragically passed away earlier this month.

Principal Dale Jackson isn’t one for social media but he felt it was important to mark this occasion with some words of insight and thanks. The post which is only several hours old at the time of publishing this article, has already been shared thousands of times.

He shares how proud he is of the team and the coaching staff, how this victory was accomplished in honour of Kaiden and how the honour the young men of the school possess, is carried beyond the field.

This is Dale’s now-viral post:

“I don’t like social media. The last time I did a Facebook post was in March 2018.

However, the Jeppe High School for Boys 1st XV win over Grey College last night, for apparently the first time in our 134 year history, is probably worth breaking my self-imposed social media ban for …

But not for the reasons most people would think.

Although I had very little, if anything, to do with the victory (it is my daughter’s birthday today and so I wasn’t even at the game), I am incredibly happy for our entire Jeppe community and hugely proud of Drickus Venter, his fellow coaches and the Jeppe 1st team.

Grey College remain the best rugby playing school in South Africa, and arguably the world (and they recently triumphed over Jeppe at the Nomads hockey festival last Friday, proving they’re so much more than a rugby school) and are a class act – one of the first phone calls I received last night was from their headmaster – and one defeat will not change that.

However, our Jeppe community has endured an incredibly difficult few weeks and, as we saw in last year’s Rugby World Cup, sport has the power to unite and to turn dreams into reality. Perhaps last night gave yet another glimpse of this power as our boys played for Kaiden, whose rainbow came down from heaven to touch the scoreboard at the end of the game in a visually poetic reminder of his memory.

As much as the numbers on a scoreboard are important, and dictate the short term headlines, what matters more is the lessons learnt in playing sport. As such, my proudest moment last night, and reason for this post, didn’t come at the final whistle but rather when sent the two unscripted photos below – of our headboy and 1st team captain, Risima Khosa, consoling an opponent at the final whistle and then cleaning the change rooms alone, when everyone else had long since departed, as is the Jeppe tradition.

Another example of the growing humility amongst the boys is the decision by many of our top sportsman to forego the wearing of the iconic white colours blazer, most notably by the 2023 Sportsman of the Year and provincial and national cricket and hockey player, Jaydon Brooker, in favour of the “normal” black and white striped blazer in homage to the “brotherhood” of Jeppe and the commitment to playing sport for the intrinsic reward of doing so rather than the outward symbols of success.

Those educational and character-building lessons and the value systems which underpin them will last long after the numbers on a scoreboard have faded from memory.

Congratulations to our 1st XV and our entire community – you deserved a reason to smile and to believe in the power of a dream – but let’s never forget that our mandate as schools is to educate, sculpting men of character, both in and outside the classroom, in both victory and defeat.

RIP Kaiden – I hope we made you proud.


Sources: Dale Jackson / SuperSport Schools Plus
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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