Laura Wolvaardt thanks number one supporter Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi for World Cup inspiration

South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi sings from the stands during the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi sings from the stands during the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Feb 27, 2023


Cape Town - South Africans had the opportunity to drown their sorrows after the Proteas’ Women’s World Cup final defeat by tuning into the Siya Kolisi Story, which premiered on Sunday evening.

It offered exclusive insights into the life of the Springbok World-Cup winning captain, both on and off the rugby field.

However, if the producers had waited a couple of weeks though, they would have had another fascinating chapter to add.

Kolisi has recently been spending time with the Proteas’ squad, and has been a very visible and vocal supporter of the team during the recently-completed ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 26, 2023

He was in the commentary box during the semi-final victory over England, and then out on the field embracing all the players after the match.

During the final on Sunday, Kolisi was at it again, as he cheered every wicket and run vociferously.

But it has been revealed that Kolisi has in fact played a bigger role than simply that of head cheerleader, with the Bok skipper sharing his experiences, particularly on how to deal with the pressure and expectations of the South African sports-crazed public.

“He (Kolisi) has been in and around the team the last little while,” Proteas star opening batter Laura Wolvaardt said.

ALSO READ: From Laura the Great to BMT - Five takeaways from the Proteas Women’s T20 World Cup final

“He has been texting me, just talking about mindset stuff, and learning a bit from him. He is, of course, a really inspirational guy, and has won a game (World Cup final) like this before, so it was really cool to have him around the girls with his words of encouragement.”

Wolvaardt certainly benefited from Kolisi’s sage words of advice, as she nearly drove the Proteas to glory with a spectacular 61 off just 48 balls. The 23-year-old was never flustered throughout her innings, despite the run-rate required hovering around 12 runs per over.

ALSO READ: Sune Luus proud of Proteas’ performance despite T20 World Cup final loss to Australia

While Wolvaardt was striking the ball sweetly all around the ground, there was a genuine belief within Newlands that the Proteas could pull off a miracle.

The record crowd were certainly willing Wolvaardt on, with cheers of ‘we want more’ reverberating all around the stadium, and particularly after she struck a sweetly-timed six over mid-off.

“I hit a couple of sixes, and it was so loud. That was the coolest thing I have ever experienced,” Wolvaardt said sheepishly after the match. “We could hear every cheer, every scream. It was such an awesome feeling.”