The South African sevens team will wear specially designed “Madiba” jerseys at the Cape Town sevens this weekend to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela.
South Africa are holding centenary celebrations for the life of the inspirational former prisoner and president, who would have turned 100 years in 2018. Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013.
The Blitzboks sevens side will wear Madiba-style jerseys at their home tournament in Cape Town, in the second leg of the men’s World Sevens Series.
The idea to play in the Madiba-style jerseys originated with team sponsor Castle Free and along with SA Rugby, ASICS, the official apparel and footwear supplier to South Africa’s national teams, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation rolled up sleeves to make it happen. #NextLevel7s pic.twitter.com/9Wvro3Vouy— Springbok Sevens (@Blitzboks) December 3, 2018
The jersey’s green-and-gold designed is reportedly inspired by the “intricately patterned shirts Madiba was famous for wearing”, along with Proteas and Springboks.
The Blitzboks website said "the back of the collar sports the Nelson Mandela 100 logo, while the inside of the collar features the quote ‘sport has the power to change the world’ – which Mandela famously said of the Boks’ 1995 RWC win."
“The entire country celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela this year and we’re honoured to also have an opportunity to pay our respects as in this specially designed ‘Madiba’ jersey as part of SA Rugby’s contribution to the centenary celebrations of our first democratically-elected president,” Blitzboks captain Philip Snyman said.
Fans who want to buy one to wear will have to be quick, however, with only 527 of the special jerseys made. The first 27 will go to the Blitzbokke team and a limited release of only 500 jerseys for sale in South African stores.