Rugby

We are in unusual times – Springbok coach Nienaber

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is an avid runner, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in South Africa, he has had to come up with some rather ingenious plans to keep fit, but also to keep working as they prepare for the rest of the season.

“We are in unusual times and with lockdown in place, we have to use unusual methods to keep in contact with our players,” said Nienaber.

“We have just finished another alignment camp using software from Microsoft, our official cloud partners, to communicate with the players and other coaches.

“We are working hard behind the scenes from home, and using the internet, to prepare the players in the best possible way. We need to stay focused and prepare them tactically and mentally for the challenges ahead.”

Like all South Africans, Nienaber has had to make a number of personal sacrifices during lockdown – one of them being the way that he trains.

“My wife and I are keen runners, but in these times where we can’t venture outside, so we need to be creative in the way that we train,” he said.

“We did a ‘garden run’ the other day and while it’s not ideal, it got the job done.

“Many of us are fortunate to have healthy bodies and are relatively fit and strong, which is why it’s important, in times like these, to take special care of our elderly and those that are frail amongst our families, friends and communities, and ensure we protect them as well as we can while observing the lockdown and social distancing instructions of the government.”

The Springbok coach also had a message for his fellow South Africans: “Please stay at home and only leave to get essential supplies or medical treatment.

“Remember to wash your hands regularly and if you have to go to common areas, make sure that you adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

“We are in this together – but we are also stronger together. As South Africans, if we work together we can flatten the curve. Stay at home and stay safe,” he added.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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