THE SPORT THAT UNITED A COUNTRY
The 1995 Rugby World Cup
ENGAGE YOUR KIDS THIS FALL With These Gratitude-Themed Games
In early November, the 2019 RugbyWorld Cup will wrap up in Japan. The international competition brings out world-class athletes and entertainment. While matches are certainly intense, respect for the competition and for referees is a core tenet of rugby culture. After going head-to-head with an opponent, you’ll still shake hands, and maybe have a beer together, at the end of a match. This principle was on full display nearly 25 years ago at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in South Africa. The South African Springboks were up against the New Zealand All Blacks, and a number of factors made this an exceptional match. Just a few years earlier in 1991, apartheid legislation had been repealed in South Africa. The policy had left a deep cut, and the country still had a long journey toward healing and reparation. Nelson Mandela, who had been elected in 1994, was set on championing a “rainbow nation” in this new postapartheid era.
Teaching kids about gratefulness can be a struggle sometimes, but there are plenty of ways to engage them. By planning some fun, gratitude-themed games, you can impart a valuable lesson and spend some quality family time together. Get your kids in the grateful spirit by adding a twist to these classic games.
Rugby started in England in the late 1800s, and colonizers took it to South Africa, where South Africans of every color
Want to bring out your kids’ creative sides? Pictionary is the perfect way to encourage artistic expression and grateful thinking. Try adding a rule where players have to draw something they’re grateful for. This will get your kids thinking beyond turkey and stuffing and give them an imaginative way to express their gratitude. Plus, who doesn’t love a good art contest?
embraced the game. It was controversial because of its connection to the architects of apartheid, but Mandela saw rugby’s potential as a symbol of hope and unity for a country that desperately needed it. Springboks
captain Francois Pienaar (played by Matt Damon in “Invictus,” the film adaptation of this event) thought the president’s support of the team was a brilliant act. “During those six weeks, what happened in this country was incredible,” Pienaar said.
To play gratitude-themed Guess Who?, have each participant write down their name and something they’re thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl. Then, at the dinner table, have each person draw a random slip and read what it says without saying the name while everyone else tries to guess who wrote it. While Pictionary may get your kids talking about what they are thankful for, Guess Who? will tune them into what others around them are thankful for, too. Like regular pick-up sticks, the goal is to remove a stick from a haphazard pile without disturbing the others. However, by using colored sticks that represent different kinds of thankfulness — such as places, people, or food — you can make players think outside the box. This will ensure you get a wide range of creative, thoughtful answers whenever the kids pick up a stick. These modified games are great for helping your kids realize how much they have to be thankful for. Use these to spend some fun, educational, quality time with your family this fall. Pick-Up Sticks
Just before the final game that would decide the 1995 World Cup winners, Mandela sported a Springboks jersey and stood behind the team. Through a hard-fought match, South Africa came out on top, and, after receiving the trophy from President Mandela, Pienaar explained the atmosphere of the event: “When the final whistle blew, this country changed forever.”
If the 1995 World Cup was any indication, the camaraderie inherent to rugby can transcend all kinds of barriers. Meet a fellow rugby player or fan in any part of the world, and you’ll likely forge an instant kinship. In 2021, you can look forward to cheering on the women’s teams during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
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