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Springbok Experience

  • 20 Sep 2013
Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar

Everything you need to know about the new Bok museum, which opens at the V&A Waterfront on Tuesday.

Where is it?
Portswood House, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Opening hours
10am to 6pm every day (except Christmas Day)

Key contents
– Francois Pienaar’s No 6 jersey from the 1995 World Cup final
– Joel Stransky’s boots from the 1995 World Cup final
– John Smit’s 2007 World Cup final jersey
– New stories of the struggle of black rugby for recognition and its early pioneers
– 'Springbok Girl', an oil painting from the 1906 first Springbok tour
– The 'Book of the Unwelcome' – recovered from the Saru archives and going on display at the South African rugby museum for the first time. Angry New Zealanders, denouncing the 1981 ‘Flour Bomb’ tour, had their protest letters and petition bound into a book, which was presented to the Bok team.
– Jerseys of the Proteas, Leopards and the former Saru
– Jerseys representing the evolution of the Springbok badge since 1906
– 'Gallery of Heroes' paying tribute to great players over the years

– Four interactive 'Springbok Trials' tests – kicking, passing, fitness and reactions
– More than a dozen interactive touch-screen exhibits
– A total of 64 screens and 20 projectors
– An eight-minute film presentation in a mini-Springbok cinema
– More than 20 audio-visual exhibits
– Mechanical interactive exhibits for children

– The Springbok Experience builds on the foundations laid by the former SA Rugby Board Museum, which was started under the leadership and direction of the late Dr Danie Craven, following his election as president of the SARFB in 1956. Craven systematically started to collect photographs of all Springbok teams (and their opponents) since 1891. This was later supplemented by the donation and preservation of a variety of other artifacts which he received in his personal and official capacity. He paid the initial expenses out of his own pocket but the board maintained a formal record of everything in the collection
– From these humble beginnings, the initiative grew to the extent that a formal facility had to be established. The original museum was housed under the Newlands Stadium, but in 1971 it was moved to the Millhouse across the road and subsequently to the nearby Sports Science Institute. The 200 facility at the Sports Science Institute was closed in November 2011 and the collection – the vast majority of which was not on display – went into storage
– New premises were sought and identified at a more heavily foot-trafficked location at the V&A Waterfront and building work began on the Springbok Experience in April 2013

Design and construction
– Mather & Co of Wilmslow in the UK, a world leader in museum design, were appointed in December 2012 to design the Experience, after a period of some research. Their extensive credits in the sporting field include: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, National Football Museum (Manchester), International Olympic Committee Museum (Lausanne), Chelsea, Arsenal, Warwickshire and Yorkshire County Crickets Clubs, Wolverhampton Wanderers as well as installations at Wembley, Manchester United and Manchester City
– Cape Town-based Collaboration Site were appointed as project managers while the realisation of the design was placed in the expert hands of Digital Fabric, a Johannesburg-based company expert in the technical realisation of museum and attraction design as well as in museum development in their own right
– Another key service provider is the South African Institute for Objects Conservation, based at Twee Riviere in the Eastern Cape, whose staff has expertly and lovingly restored many of which had become distressed over a number of years of lack of curatorship

Opening Day
Heritage Day 2013 (24 September) at the sounding of the Noon Gun

For more photos of the Springbok Experience go to our Facebook page

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