“The Boks Embassy in Florida”
It is reported that the first rugby match played in South Africa took place in Cape Town in 1862.
The game had been introduced by the British in the colony, which they had taken over from the Dutch in 1808, via Bishops College, a Rondebosch Anglican tradition school.
The Game quickly became popular among the predominantly “Boer” population of the Western Cape colony, namely in the Stellenbosch town area, where the first rugby club was established and also, in all probability, from where the nickname of “Springboks” comes from.
With such an ancestral tradition of over 150 years it is worthy of note that the status of being known as the “Embassy of the Springboks “in southern Florida is a title to be proud of and justifiable by worthy deeds and activities in favour of the South African Rugby.
That certainly is the case, as hundreds of South African expatriates congregate in the “Marina 84 Sports Bar” to watch their sport of preference, whenever the “Boks” play international matches.
During the month of October hordes of green and yellow jersey patrons had been gathering, since early morning hours, in the popular Fort Lauderdale Sports Bar to watch the South African team group and knock-out matches of the Rugby World Cup held in Japan .
The enthusiasm of the South Africans relocated in the area and surrounding counties, reached a peak as they gathered to view the final against England in the Yokoama stadium.
The feedback that we got from family and friends living in Florida is that the audience of dedicated Springbok fans beat in passion and excitement similar crowd in their own country, as the final whistle blew conceding the historic victory to the Boks.
Marina 84 Sports Bar is certainly a place that will have to call during my next visit to the States and Fort Lauderdale, not only to meet compatriots to review the glorious moments of the World Cup, but also to try their “Gastropub” specialities.