Springbok and Stormers, Damian Willemse, say rugby players should use their platform to ensure that gender-based violence in South Africa is addressed.

Willemse and his fellow Boks Siya Kolisi and Herschel Jantjies As well as Blitzboks and Imbokodo captains Siviwe Soyizwapi and Zintle Mpupha, delivered food packages to a group of Peakview High School students in Athlone, Cape Town, yesterday as part of the #StrongerTogether for R32- 12 campaign.

“Gender violence is very common in South Africa, and it is our responsibility as men to talk about it, said Willemse. It is something that we have to look at; it is our responsibility to make sure that our women are safe. We as rugby players have a platform to make a difference and we need to use it.”

British and Irish Lions Tour – Damian Willemse reveals about gender violence
British and Irish Lions Tour – Damian Willemse reveals about gender violence

Players urged schools to join the #StrongerTogether for R32-12 campaign, which helps alleviate hunger. Food Forward SA is another charity that benefits from the campaign, where raffle tickets are sold for R32.12.

Players give away some of their prized possessions from last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. The school that sells the most tickets will be visited with the Webb Ellis Cup.

Siya Kolisi

The Bok Kolisi patron had some inspirational words for the students before the food packages were delivered to the 67 matrices.

“I am always excited to visit a school, even more during this difficult time,” said Kolisi. Kolisi is giving away a matching jersey he wore in one of the RWC group matches.

British and Irish Lions Tour – Damian Willemse reveals about gender violence
British and Irish Lions Tour – Damian Willemse reveals about gender violence

We know that their very important school year was severely disrupted by the coronavirus and that their communities are suffering. However, it is important that you show determination to finish your academic year. I want to urge you to work much harder.

“Our World Cup victory last year was the result of a lot of hard work. So you should approach your studies and exams with the same determination. You are the leaders of tomorrow and, although it is difficult at this time, persevere and give your best.”

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