The lost spirit of Craven Ween

Written by Nkululeko Duma (Poisy)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, School Rugby on 31 May 2011 at 07:32
Tagged with : , ,

SPIRIT– the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.

Up till now there hasn’t been anything I wanted to say that wasn’t being said but with Craven Week fast approaching I thought I’d give my thoughts about it. Craven Week has become this monster I just don’t recognize,long gone are the days where the spirit and history of it being celebrated

Each year since 1974 a South African schools team has been selected, and the competition has been open to players of all races since 1980 when Craven himself requested that it be done. The competition has since become a hunting ground for talent scouts trying to find the best new players for their provinces and many young upcoming stars see the tournament as an opportunity to further their careers.

Before it was about the honour of representing where you come from and the love and appreciation of Craven Week. Nowadays it’s about who’s gonna make the squad and talent scouts,so much so that even during the 1st day of play there’s mentions of that squad. I think the boys play to get into that squad and not for their province,which in my opinion is sad.

I would love to see the passion of before of giving your all for your province and wearing those colors proudly – where is the spirit? Where is the honour and where is the respect for what Craven Week used to stand for,which is the celebration of rugby between young men and future of this country!

Living doesn’t mean you’re alive, smiling doesn’t mean you’re happy, having no problems doesn’t mean you have made it and growing up doesn’t mean give up who you naturally are.
A lot of players make a success of Craven Week but many others don’t or aren’t even picked for it. All I’m asking for is for the players,coaches and SuperSport to respect what it stands for and teach these young people why they are there, because I’m sure if you ask any one of them they would answer “to try make the South African Schools or Academy team”. A sad day indeed for Danie Craven, Jan Preuyt and Piet Malan.


  • Is this your 1st article Poisy? Great stuff.

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.05.11 07:37:16 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 1) : it is indeed – nicely done Poisy.

    I agree with your sentiment here, but I think that in the professional era, it’s sadly inevitable that traditions will become less respected over time.

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.05.11 07:40:29 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Awesome post poisy! Agree, craven week is becoming too intense. These days its too much about individuality. What happens to that poor wing who has the talent to make the SA school side but is outside a centre who goes for glory when he gets the ball?

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.05.11 07:45:03 by Mocho Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 3) : thank you 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.05.11 08:01:22 by Poisy Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : traditions are what made rugby what it is today,if we just give up on them just so we can sell the sport more and reaches other people than we really arnt helping rugby at all 🙁

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.05.11 08:04:54 by Poisy Reply
  • Nice one Poisy.

    Personally I feel that the problem with C/W is that it has become far too politically charged and watered down in importance as a result.

    Nowadays it seems like all the late shoppers to go to Craven Week to scout.

    For many growing up high school boys the ultimate is to one day play 1st rugby for their school. To wear the jersey is the equivalent of winning an Olympic gold. No one can take that away from them. Lots of guys focus on this first – make the team. Once they’re there, the other part about giving it all for your school is instinctive. I think it’s the same with Craven Week. Step 1 is do everything you can to make the team (a huge honour on its own)then finding the motivation to play your best for your province is no problem after that.

    The final step is for the elite players who aim for that final accolade – SA Schools. Same thing. Be the best player you can be for 3 games and hope you get in. The result is natural when you’re in green and gold.

    BTW The history of Craven Week and the way matchday 5 is structured suggests that the players from the best performing teams stand better chances of making SA Schools, so it’s in the interests of the talented centre to pass the ball to his wing – fortunately the principle of all for one and one for all still applies at C/W.

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.05.11 08:08:52 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @beet (Comment 6) : well said but I think you will the selfish play from players,glory seekers instead of putting they team 1st,being selfish rather than being a team player

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.05.11 08:28:20 by Poisy Reply
  • @beet (Comment 6) : Yep I absolutely agree with you. I watch a few craven week games on SS. When ever I watch I always hear the commentator saying he should have passed, or what not. Maybe its just the games I watched lol

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.05.11 08:34:40 by Mocho Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 8) : lol its not the games you watch boet its all of them 😛 3 many glory seekers

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.05.11 08:44:34 by Poisy Reply
  • Whether we like it or not the professional era has changed the game, especially at school boy level. Rugby has now become a realistic chance for some of these boys to have a career where as before they would have had to rely on academics, which a lot of them would not excel at. School boy rugby therefore becomes a job interview. These kids have 1 and if they lucky 2 or 3 chances to impress would be employers. The pressure on these kids is immense, but the opportunity is fantastic. If it were not for professional rugby/sport, kids from disadvantaged backgrounds would not be offered bursaries and scholarships to attend the top schools/universities. So whilst there is a downside to it, there are also many positives that cannot be forgotten.

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.05.11 08:54:53 by SheldonK Reply

  • “Living doesn’t mean you’re alive, smiling doesn’t mean you’re happy, having no problems doesn’t mean you have made it and growing up doesn’t mean give up who you naturally are.”

    Plato… Socrates… Poisy… nice ring to it! Good article, Poisy!

    Can someone please change the title to Craven Week as opposed to Ween.. The idea of a professional contest aimed at getting kids off the breast is taking me all sorts of strange places…

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.05.11 09:20:02 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : LMAO hahahahah uurrrgghh now I’m going those strange places as well

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.05.11 09:40:19 by Mocho Reply

  • @Mocho (Comment 12) : weirdos lmao

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.05.11 10:19:06 by Poisy Reply
  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : dankie 🙂

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.05.11 10:19:41 by Poisy Reply
  • @Mocho (Comment 8) : This happens every weekend in SBR and even at higher levels. It’s not the exclusive domain of Craven Week. The kid who doesn’t pass and messes up a tryscoring opportunity never impresses the home crowd and trust me the selectors won’t analyse it any differently. The guy that lacks lateral vision or is a glory boy is going to be shown up by others in his position. The compo is hot. You have to bring your A game and try not to leave negative impressions along the way. If your team does well and gets to feature in the main game, your chances of selection skyrocket. The coaches and players know this.

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.05.11 12:27:38 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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