GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK, July 12, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- After one of the most gripping Lions Test Series in recent times, thoughts are already turning to Australia in four years, but the Lions legacy still lives on in South Africa for Soweto Rugby Club, after Gullivers Sports Travels unique event here celebrated the culmination of the 2009 tour.
The event, held prior to the final Test in Johannesburg, came about after Gullivers' 2000 strong Lions supporters were invited by the President of South Africa Rugby Union, Oregan Hoskins to Soweto Rugby Club.
The morning began with local Soweto school children being treated to a coaching clinic and TAG tournament from South African rugby legends Peter Muller and John Allen. Then it was the turn of the seniors, when the Gullivers Barbarians took on Soweto Legends and won 25-5. The Barbarians XV were made up of Gullivers supporters who had volunteered to play during their tour, a Lions tradition on Gullivers tours, since 1989.
Off the pitch, Gullivers Lions fans were treated to traditional Soweto musical and dancing acts and brunch in the form of a South African 'Spit Braai', before a convoy of 34 police escorted coaches headed off to Coca-Cola Park to be a part of Lions 28-9 win. In way of thanking Soweto RFC for hosting the event and to give something back to South Africas grassroots rugby, Gullivers contributed towards the new changing facilities at the club and donated masses of kit to the players and children. Gullivers managing director, John Davison said: "There was a great atmosphere at Soweto RFC and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to see a local rugby club and be part of the legacy we have left behind."
As for how the children in Soweto liked it: "The children are learning an exciting and interesting form of rugby. It's a modified form of rugby," said Zola Ntlokoma, the manager of the Soweto Rugby Club, which is involved in organising coaching clinics for the learners. Less than a week after the 2009 Lions Tour has ended, Gullivers has already seen unprecedented interest for the 2013 Lions Tour in Australia, attributed to the Lions breaking their seven Test losing streak.
Although it will take time for the full match schedule to be confirmed, more than likely the 2013 Lions Tour in Australia will start on 1st June in Perth. In total there will be ten games, of which seven will be provincial matches and three test matches. As well as Perth, it seems that Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be included as match venues, although there are other possibilities like Canberra, Cairns, Newcastle and Townsville.
About Gulliver's Sports Travel
Gullivers Sports Travel was appointed as an Official Licensed Operator for the British & Irish Lions Tour South Africa 2009 and was the largest tour operator for the event, taking 2000 supporters on fully escorted tours to South Africa.
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