I thought I had an idea of what the struggle looks like on the outside but travelling around South Africa actually exposed us to so much more, where people don’t have things like water, and that was very tough to see.
South Africa (29 September 2020) – With the Rugby season finally about to kick back into gear, the team at Red Bull spent some time with Red Bull Athlete and DHL Stormers Captain, Siya Kolisi just before this past weekend’s match to hear first-hand what he has been up to during the lockdown, the work he and his wife have been doing through the Kolisi Foundation, as well as insights into his preparations and training to get him ready for the remainder of the 2020 rugby season.
What has your experience in lockdown been?
My experience during the lockdown, I think it’s been interesting. I’ve had a lot of good time to spend with my family, spent more time with my kids & my siblings. But it has been tough. I was able to travel around South Africa with the Foundation and just seeing how the majority of people live in South Africa has been really tough to see.
How have you kept fit during Level 5 lockdown at home?
I was keeping fit during the lockdown. I had a gym at home. Team Red Bull sorted me out; it was quite amazing to have my own personal gym at home. It was still challenging because I couldn’t run, but luckily I had a bike, and it was a great set up at home. I could train with my family, we did some videos with the kids too, so I thought that was pretty amazing.
What have you learnt about your training and fitness during this time?
What I’ve learned about my fitness during this time is that it’s got to be a lifestyle. Its got to be something you keep on doing each and every single day. Something that you love and get people around you as well to be part of it, training with my wife, my kids and my siblings was pretty cool.
Aside from staying fit, you launched the Kolisi Foundation. How has giving back to South Africa affected you during this time?
The Foundation that we launched, myself and Rachel, has actually opened my eyes a little bit more. I thought I had an idea of what the struggle looks like on the outside but travelling around South Africa actually exposed us to so much more, where people don’t have things like water, and that was very tough to see.
We did the best that we could, especially with the PPE at public hospitals and public clinics, as we knew it was going to be a problem. The Foundation is basically my heart and Rachel’s heart being put into one, because she’s been doing work by herself and before I was doing work by myself, so we just brought it together, and now we want to fight different issues around South Africa.
What can we look forward to from the Kolisi Foundation?
As the country comes back to normal, we are going to be fighting the social issues that we personally have experiences towards. For me, I think equality and something that Rachel and I both feel strongly about, is Gender-Based Violence.
We are going to make sure we put emphasis on all of those and put all of our energy and souls into that, because I think it’s been a pandemic that’s been happening for so many years that hasn’t really been taken seriously yet. We want to use our platform and our voices and the people around us to make sure that we make an impact during that and something can be done.
Not only talking about it, but actually finding solutions because they are so many people and foundations that are working towards that, that know more than us, so we can empower them with whatever we have.
What did you miss most about the team environment during lockdown?
What I miss most about the team environment, I think it’s just the banter. The talk around the corridors, in changing rooms. Just going through a hard time with your teammates, that’s what I always enjoy the most, when you’re struggling but you’ve got your mates next to you to pull you up. I think that’s what I’ve missed the most.
With the season finally getting underway, what have you been doing to prepare?
The season is starting soon. I think next month. And we’ve been working hard as a team during the lockdown. Obviously, we were working individually, and then we had to start coming back in small groups, no contact, that was also tough. We are seeing your teammate but not being able to interact with them. And then we were finally given the go-ahead last week to do contact on Monday, so we started with that, and we’ve been working really hard, and I think we’re getting closer and closer to being ready for the games.
What work has been done to get you through your injury and to come back even stronger?
I got injured on the first game of Super Rugby, which was pretty tough. The last game I played was in the World Cup final in Japan and then coming back you are so excited, everybody is excited to see the Springboks play again and then I got my injury.
But, I also saw it as an opportunity to spend more time at home, and I’ve been working on rehab. Obviously, that got cut short because of lockdown and the pandemic, but I’ve been doing some work at home and doing rehab with the physio here at The Stormers, and I’m in a much better place than I was a couple of months ago.
What are most looking forward to about the season kicking off? What work has the team been doing ahead of the season?
The team has been working on individual things basically, just wherever you can improve so that when you come back you must be a bit better and I think we’ve seen a lot of improvement, especially the guys, the way they look, their bodies. Some guys are in the best shape they’ve ever been in since lockdown, so that’s exciting and really good to see because then you see that the guys really want to get back to the field and the team means so much to them.
So I’m looking forward to just getting onto the field, and we see all the small stuff we worked on show when we get back on the field.
Sources: Siya Kolisi | Red Bull Content Pool
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.
Siya Kolisi Siya Kolisi