“Its every young boy’s rugby dream to be part of that Springboks’ squad. I’ve been training hard, and have been dedicated and motivated throughout my life, so to get this opportunity now is really great.” These were the words of a humble and overwhelmed Nizaam Carr, reacting to the news of his maiden selection in the Springbok’s squad for the upcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour 2014. The DHL Western Province loose forward was announced as one of the newcomers in the Boks team on Monday, adding another achievement to what has been an impressive year for Carr.
The talented player was part of the Province side that lifted the 2014 Absa Currie Cup on Saturday, after a 19-16 victory over the Golden Lions. The joy of the tournament victory was followed swiftly by the news that the forward would be rewarded for his positive season, with his first senior cap for the South African national side.
Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat, Carr paid recognition to those who have helped further his burgeoning career. He expressed gratitude to his parents for showing continued support, and being a constant motivation.
“All these people are part of my success, because they took me to the trial matches for Western Province,” he said.
The rugby star has faced several challenges in recent years, particularly in the case of injury setbacks. Describing his career as a rollercoaster, he faced a major knee injury in 2012, which had effectively ruled him out of the years Currie Cup final.
“Those few years were obviously tough, but standing here today, it is really all worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said.
Carr is a native of Mitchell’s Plain, having spent most of his childhood growing up and honing his skills at various clubs in the area. As a result, he has a notable fan-base in the community, especially amongst the youth. Carr later moved to Crawford, and was first educated at Alexander Sinton High School. He then moved to the prestigious Bishops after receiving a scholarship for his sporting achievement.
He said this had compelled him to want to give back to those who viewed him as a role model, by launching an academy that would provide opportunities for up and coming young players.
Islamia High school is the home of the Nizaam Carr Rugby Academy and he runs regular rugby clinics there.
“It is not just about rugby, there is more to life than just rugby. It is about family, and representing and assisting your community,” he said.
When asked about his decision to grow his beard and media scrutiny over the fact that it would likely prove an obstruction for wearing a skull cap, Carr said he remained steadfast in his belief.
“After all it is a sunnah, and an example for other young kids to follow,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)