Peet Pretorius, a brave 7-year-old from the Free State who is fighting a life-threatening illness, lead the Springboks onto the park on Saturday as they took on the English team for a second round.
Peet joined Captain Siya Kolisi on the field as a mascot for the Springboks on behalf of Reach For A Dream and all the brave little ones fighting the biggest battles.
Since 1988, the Reach For A Dream Foundation has brought hope and joy to South African children. They believe in the power of dreams; and encourage children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses and they try, as far as possible, to make those dreams come true.
On Friday morning the brave little boy from Welkom had one of his biggest dreams come true, Peet met the Springboks at the captain’s run at the Toyota Stadium and was offered the opportunity to walk out onto the field with the team the next day. He was so overwhelmed and excited but maintained that the team had to win the game the next day.
A former OFM presenter, Yolanda Maartens, who now works at Reach for A Dream, made the youngster’s dream come true. Sadly, Peet, will most likely never be able to take to the field in the green-and-gold, and the Springbok captain told OFM Sport in an interview that it was special meeting the die-hard rugby fan.
“It was pretty special, he actually gave me a teddy-bear that said “Love Peet” written on the back.
I thought about it and I want to make it special for him somehow. First and foremost we must do well in the game because that will make him proud.”
All the Springboks wanted to make the seven-year-old proud when they faced England on Saturday afternoon in Bloemfontein and the team did just that!
They played a tough game which ended in a 23-12 victory over England. The win ensures that the Boks will jump from 7th to 3rd in the latest World Rugby rankings, but it was Peet that reminded Siya and the team why they play the game.
“This is what makes what we do so special. There are a lot of people like that who would love to be in our position.
That is what the Springbok jersey means to me. That is how I felt when I got a signature from Schalk Burger when I was in grade eight.
He made me so happy and proud to see him, and that is a kind of hope we want to bring to the people.”