Father of the Nation



June 8, 2016
Father of the Nation

DADDY'S GIRLS: Allister and his daughters Mariscka (left) and Melissa.

No two children are the same, just like players, says Bok boss.

Allister Coetzee is not just Springbok coach, he is also a family man.

When he is away from the national team, the 53-year-old spends his time with his wife, two daughters and his granddaughter.

This Fathers’ Day (June 19), he will be busy leading the Boks in his second game in charge of the Green and Gold, when they take on Ireland at Ellis Park.

But he can be sure his proud daughters, Mariscka and Melissa, will be watching their dad, wherever they are.

And they will be right behind their “daddy”.

When Toetie was announced as Bok coach, UCT student Melissa took to Facebook to write: “Today our hearts burst with pride.

“Daddy, you have reached a milestone in your coaching career and we cannot be more proud. We are feeling many emotions… There will be negativity and rudeness, and we understand that’s all part of the job.”

Even though he was a rugby player, he is not worried that he doesn’t have boys to follow in his footsteps.

He tells the Daily Voice: “I am blessed with my kids and equally blessed I am able to work with rugby players – so I guess I am in a win-win situation!”

Asked if there are similarities between being a coach and a father, Allister reckons: “A coach must see to the needs of the entire team and management, much like a father and mother do at home.

“The key is to find the right balance in respect of quality time with each member of the family.

“And as a father you must also know that no two children are the same, and although you give them both love and care, you also acknowledge that they are different, each one with their own personality.

“It’s the same with players.

“Parenthood and coaching have a lot of similarities – both require patience and the ability to encourage at the right time, or knowing when to draw the line when it’s necessary.”

Allister, who hails from Grahamstown and lives in Welgemoed now, says he is blessed to have the family he has.

And when he gets his time off from what will be a tough first three games in charge of the Boks, he will enjoy relaxing with his Bokkies at home.

He adds: “Rugby is my passion and I am privileged to call it my work, and it is something I really enjoy because I enjoy the coaching aspect of it.

“There is also the human aspect, where you work with the person and not only the player, and that is very important for me.

“So when I’m home, I try to relax and afford my family the quality time they deserve.”

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