Museum design consultancy, Mather & Co, celebrated the opening yesterday of its latest commission, the ‘Springbok Experience’ on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. The launch bash saw the full Springbok squad enjoy the opening day festivities as well as numerous South African sporting heroes and assorted luminaries.
SARU (South African Rugby Union) chose 24 September to open the new facility as it was Heritage Day and is also Test match week in Cape Town, with the Springboks taking on the Wallabies at Newlands this coming Saturday.
The 800m², two-storey state-of-the-art museum, is intended to become the spiritual home of South African Rugby Union as it endeavours to ‘bring to life the compelling but complex history of rugby in South Africa, including the largely untold story of pre-democracy black rugby’.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU said: “With help from Mather & Co, we have a new museum that proudly, for the first time, reflects the true history of rugby in this country.
“Rugby in South Africa is much more than just a game and it is important to SARU that it has a new home that everyone can be proud of, but which is sympathetic to the history of the game and its links to the country’s heritage.
“We have now brought that vision to life whilst making sense out of 9000 un-catalogued objects.”
Sarah Clarke who led the project at Mather & Co, which is based in Wilmslow, added: “The Springbok Experience is a modern, interactive and up-to-date museum which looks at the historical, social and political influences rugby has had in South Africa .
“The project is much more than just a rugby museum; it’s a heritage project.”
“For the first time ever, we have also included black history from the 1860s to present day, and explored largely unknown rugby history with the challenge of having very little visual material to represent it.”