Becoming An Ikey Tiger for the Rest of Your Life

‘Strive not to be a success, but rather of value’ – Albert Einstein

Rugby reveals you. It also builds you up, and empowers you to become successful in multiple facets of life. Whether you are an outstanding schoolboy rugby player, an enthusiastic thirsty thirds prospect, or simply a passionate rugby follower; I have no doubt in my mind that UCT Rugby Club is the best University in the country, the continent, and possibly even the world, to help you forge a successful future.

That being said, becoming an Ikey Tiger is not an easy process. Make no mistake, UCT Rugby Club is not just a platform to catapult yourself into the lucrative world of professional rugby. In fact, if you want to become an immediate rugby mercenary, rather go to another university.

Instead, UCT Rugby Club is a tough and demanding finishing school for those who want to combine achievement both on and off the field. It focuses on equipping those who put in the effort and passion to go out into the world and face any challenge with grit, determination, integrity. We produce rugby men and women who are useful and well-rounded in business and in play.

So successful has been the outcome of the Ikey philosophy and implementation over the years that even in the professional era of rugby, the success of numerous Ikeys in the professional game has been the result of a combination of academic application and the maximization of talent and determination, on and off the rugby field.

Even for die-hard, lifelong Ikeys like myself, it is eye-opening to reflect on the achievements of numerous Ikeys of the new millennium and the 90s. There are so many who have gone overseas or remained in South Africa who exemplify what being an Ikey is and how an Ikey can compete and excel anywhere in the world, on and off the rugby field. In fact, since the start of the new millennium, we have fielded over 30 international players, including:

Dion O’Cuinnegain (Ireland)
Bodo Sieber (Germany)
Philip Baier (Germany)
Simon Lukell (Sweden)
Brent Russell (Springbok)
Anthony Roberts (Zimbabwe)
Dan Vickerman (Australia)
Hanyani Shimange (Springbok)
Matt Stevens (England)
Mattias Bjorkenback (Sweden)
Dallen Stanford (USA/Sevens)
Matthew Turner (England/Sevens)
Kyle Brown (Springbok/Sevens)
JJ Gagiano (USA)
Eben Etzebeth (Springbok)
Marcel Brache (USA)
Damian de Allende (Springbok)
Siya Kolisi (Springbok)
Dylan Sage (Springbok/Sevens)
Don Armand (England)
Huw Jones (Scotland)
Dillyn Leyds (Springbok)
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Springbok)
Nyasha Tarusenga (Zimbabwe)
Dayne Jans (Hong Kong)
Grant Kemp (Hong Kong)
Dylan Rogers (Hong Kong)
Liam Slatem (Hong Kong)
Matthew Rosslee (Hong Kong)

As I said at the beginning, rugby reveals you; and why I urge you to become an Ikey is very simple. UCT Rugby Club reveals the very best of you, as a player, as a teammate and as a human being graduating into the professional world.

Here’s a sneak preview of what awaits you should you choose to become an Ikey Tiger:

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Gavin Fernie
UCTRFC 1963-1965

A Tribute to Piet Olivier: An Ikey Giant

‘Man is at his best when he is doing his best at what he likes doing best. – Aristotle

In Maori culture, mana is many things. It is an honour. To have mana is to have authority, presence, prestige and a deep respect for the power of having mana.

Piet Olivier had mana in spades. On the rugby field he was the ultimate competitor, possessed of power, speed and great skill. He gave his team everything he could, game after game; and as John Le Roux reminded me this morning “Piet tackled the Matie ace, Jannie Engelbrecht so hard that it took Engelbrecht long minutes to recover his equilibrium in a classic clash between UCT and the Maties at Coetzenburg”. On the rugby field Piet took no prisoners. Off the field his charisma and presence were worn with sheer class and dignity.

Piet bridged three eras of UCT rugby. He was a crucial cog in the great Ikey backline of the early 60s, a mentor and rock in the inexperienced team of 1964, and then played with the outstanding teams of the later 60s.

Off the field Piet was great fun, possessed of a droll, dry sense of humour. A devoted family man and a highly successful businessman. Piet and Helene enjoyed entertaining Ikey rugby friends at their beautiful Paarl home. It was always a privilege and pleasure to be with the Olivier family. Many a moment of UCT rugby folk lore was polished at these gatherings.

If one was asked to describe the quintessential Ikey, Piet Olivier would be the man to be an example for generations of Ikeys.

We extend our condolences and affection to his family. We will celebrate Piet’s life in suitable Ikey fashion and treasure his decency, integrity and commitment to being an Ikey Tiger.

Gavin Fernie
UCTRFC 1963-1965

Tributes to Piet Olivier

I was very sorry to hear about Piet. Although I haven’t seen him since our rugby playing days I have very vivid and fond memories of him. I was always glad to know he was on my team. We were all so proud of him when he was selected to play for Western Province while he was part of the UCT team.
He was always modest, decent and fun, the perfect team mate and friend in every way. I am sorry I never got to see him on one of my trips to Cape Town. I send sympathies from New York to his friends, team mates and family.
Vincent Mai

For any of us who played with him, his presence, particularly against the Maties and the other bullying club sides, was immense. For me as a youngster, having Piet in the changing room and on the field was always very inspiring. What a great Ikey!
John Le Roux

The last time I saw him was when I sat with him at basil’s birthday party at false bay RFC, and he had just made the lunch. He was in good form and was typically good humoured. Although I didn’t see much of him he was always a mensch both on and off the pitch . He will be missed by his many friends from UCT rugby and beyond

This is very sad. I really got to know Piet when I was the “baby” of the Senior Tour to SWA and continued to link up with him every visit to the Cape. When he came to my rugby lunches, he always arrived 45 minutes early so we could chat, just the two of us. When he could no longer attend, Gavin and I went to Paarl for lunch with him.
He was a wonderful rugby player, but more importantly a great human being. I will miss him.
Neville Isdell

Ikeys in the News: October 2018

Ikeys continue to be influential in rugby around the World. Looking at the updates one of the significant statistics to stand out is the number of Ikeys in leadership roles. Siya Kolisi for the Springboks, Dillyn LLeyds (WP), Nama Xaba (WP under 21), Michael Willemse (Kings) and Don Armand (Exeter, UK).

USSA 2018 Tour Brings Ikeys Together

After weeks of preparation, the time eventually came for the Ikey Hurricanes to hit USSA in the Big Smoke. A classic airport Mug and Bean brekkie made up for the 8am flight, and then we were finally off. Our base for the week, the Devonshire hotel, once THE party spot in Jozi, had been the subject of much debate and discussion, and boy did it live up to it.

UCT Swifts Bag Historic Victory Over Maties

On Saturday, 29th September, UCT’s first ever women’s rugby team made their Sevens debut and secured their first victory as a team. The Ikeys Swifts, as they have officially named themselves, played against the Maties women’s team on the Green Mile. They played brilliantly, winning one of their games against the Stellenbosch team by five tries.