It was a sad and morose day for the Cape Town and the Western Province rugby community as they mourned the loss of Collegians Rugby Club President Hajji Armien Brink.
It was a great loss in terms of the contribution to the Mitchells Plain community where Brink and so many others fought for the development of youth from previously disadvantaged areas. He passed away on Wednesday 11 August 2021 in hospital due to Covid, after losing his wife Fatima Brink in earlier months.
“We are saddened by the loss of community activist and stalwart Armien Brink. The loss will be felt in the rugby fraternity and the community that he so diligently served. He was an amazing human being and true servant of the game and we will miss him dearly. We make dua that Allah will grant him the highest place in Jannah In Sha Allah” said Nazeem Adams, Coaching and Education Manager at Western Province Rugby Union.
Labeeb Levy Stormers Skills Coach said that Brink was a giant to the game and bigger than his stature, a loss for Western Province Rugby community especially Mitchells Plain where he cultivated a landscape of participation over “wins at all costs mentality” amid the youth’s battle against challenges such as gangsterism, unemployment and drugs.
“We salute you as a humanitarian as well as being just a lekker ou and rugby person who was easy to get along with and had the ability to communicate with people from various backgrounds,” said Levy.
Shamila Sulayman Western Province Rugby Football Union Council delegate, Collegians Rugby Representative said Brink was an astute colleague and was like a brother to her. She says they had a unforgettable, lifelong 30 year friendship.
“His knowledge and experience in rugby, in particular, and sport, in general, was immense – he was a goldfield of information. So it made perfect sense that he became my mentor in different respects. We had loads of fun working together – endless hours of chats, laughs and reminisces. My absolute favorite thing about Armien was his selflessness.”
“He gave so easily and so completely of himself to everything that he did – he was hugely committed to a sense of community upliftment, especially our disadvantaged youth. He was a dedicated Collegian and worked tirelessly for the Club, and had a strong bond with the Junior Division, which he had managed for a number of years before taking over the Club Presidency. He also played a huge role in WP Rugby, as he served on the Union’s High School Association Committee. And of course, his commitment and dedication extended to Radio 786 too. We covered many inspiring sports stories during our time on Sports Desk, and he loved showcasing raw, young talent from our communities,” she continued.
“Armien was also an avid cricketer and rugby player in his youth, and I remember fondly watching him play for Collegians RFC at the Green Point Track during the 80s and early 90s. I’ll miss his kindness, his caring and support always, and his beautiful nature. In many ways he contributed to the person that I have become. I’m eternally grateful for the huge, positive impact that he’s had on my life. We are all richer for the experience of knowing him, and blessed for the privilege of his presence over the years. May Allah SWT grant him, his beautiful wife, Fatima, and all our deceased high places in Jannah Ameen Thumma Ameen. ”
Ismail Slamang, ex Captain of Western Cape Touch Rugby and Springbok Touch Rugby player and analyst at Collegians Rugby, assisted Hajji Armien Brink with sports and conditioning of the 1st Team. He made mention about how grateful he was for Brink making him part of the setup of Collegians RFC and that it was priceless and rewarding to work with him, something he would carry with him and treasure forever .
“A true champion to community rugby and the forefront for securing funding for the club. He epitomized Collegians motto “ ALL4THECOLL” and it was literally what he lived for. May his legacy always continue at our beautiful club,” said Slamang.
“During this pandemic we have truly lost some GIANTS of community rugby. A void that I think is going to really hard to fill. However, as tough as it may seem, we all should continue to honor their memory. If anything, their passing should be what spurs our respective clubs to strive for greatness continuing with the vision and legacies that they left behind. May Allah grant uncle Armien and all those who have passed on the highest abode in Jannatul Firdous Ameen. He WILL be missed and will ALWAYS be fondly remembered,” he added.
“As a sports journalist my first very experience in my media journey was with Hajji Armien Brink, I will never forget all the banter in their studios and our old WP Rugby Union offices and his valuable contribution to community rugby and protecting our youth from the ills of society, gangsterism and drugs, more importantly the advice and support he provided during my club rugby management experience at Violets Rugby and Sportsdesk.”
Our hearts go out to his family, friends and those who have had memorable interactions. May Allah ( swt ) reunite him and his wife Fatima Brink in janatul Firdous In sha Allah.
Source : Fatima Said