Land Rover’s Hope Crosses Any Terrain programme recently visited the Emsengeni Primary school in Mzide, Eastern Cape, for a very special rugby activation. The Land Rover Brand Ambassadors from the DHL Stormers team, Siya Kolisi, Scarra Ntubeni, Juan de Jongh and Sikhumbuzo Notshe were joined by SARU referee Craig Joubert and TV personality Matthew Pearce.

With the concept of creating moments that matter, the activations will see Land Rover Ambassadors visit their childhood schools or places that inspired their love for the game. Additionally, Land Rover will also involve its brand ambassadors in activities at initiatives close to the brand’s heart – including wildlife conservation projects.

Emsengeni Primary school was more than just the location of this visit – it is also the school where Siya Kolisi learned to play rugby as a youngster. Returning in his capacity as a DHL Stormers player and a Springbok, he was able to share his experiences with aspiring young students who were interested in rugby. Joined by his teammates, they hosted an exclusive rugby clinic for the youngsters as well as delivering inspirational talks.

“It’s very emotional because this is where it all started for me. My coach gave me the opportunity to come to Emsengeni and when I arrived he already had goals and dreams for me,” said Kolisi. “It’s amazing to return here, and see the grassy field that used to be covered in dust and rocks.” The school aims to identify and nurture players who show skill and have a passion for the sport, with the hope of them being national players in the future. After a morning spent learning valuable rugby lessons from their local heroes, the students were also treated to a healthy lunch and Hope Crosses Any Terrain backpacks. Each backpack – which doubles up as a school bag – contained Land Rover story books, stationery and other items that will improve the quality of life for students at the school.

“I’m really thankful that Land Rover brought us here so that we could make a difference,” said Kolisi. “I know for a fact that it’s going to give a lot of kids hope.”

The Rugby Goes Rural clinic ended with a visit to the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth. Land Rover has a global relationship with the Born Free Foundation, of which Shamwari is a member. The Land Rover rugby ambassadors were given a tour of the reserve, which has done excellent work in rehabilitating our big cats.

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