Heart of gold



July 27, 2016
Heart of gold

Blitzbok Rosko Specman

Specman aims to please at Olympics.

Roska Specman wears his heart on his sleeve.

And when the Blitzbokke travel to Rio for the Olympic Games today, fans can rest assured knowing that he will give his all to help the team bring back the first Sevens gold at the biggest global sporting event.

It was a yellow card in the final of the Wellington Sevens event against hosts New Zealand, as well as two yellows which led to a red card in the Cup semifinal of the World Series in Las Vegas against Australia that gave Specman sleepless nights.

South Africa ended up losing both matches and Specman thought he gave himself a stay-at-home card for the Olympic Games with those discipline issues.

He tells the Daily Voice: “Even right before the team was announced, I doubted myself.

“There were things that I did wrong that the coach perhaps didn’t like a yellow card or two.

“Those things were on my mind throughout the selection process and I didn’t think I would make it.

“When I heard that I made it, I couldn’t hold back the tears.”

Of going to the Olympic Games, Specman adds: “There are a lot of things you can say, but I don’t have the words to describe the feeling.

“It surpassed my wildest dreams – I never dreamt of going to the Olympics because no one knew Sevens was going to be part of it.

“For me it’s a big thing and I’m just grateful for the opportunity God has given me.

“Before December I played for the Academy team and then I got my opportunity when Cecil [Afrika] got injured – you don’t want to get into the team at the expense of others, but you have to give your all.

“And I took it with both hands, I told myself: ‘If this is my opportunity, I will have to make use of it.’”

Specman says the time spent with the Academy team has prepped him properly for his days with the Blitzbokke.

He explains: “The years I played at the Academy gave me the experience. When you play for the Academy side, you train with the senior squad.

“I always watched guys like Cecil and Branco [du Preez] because they are experienced and I tried to learn as much as possible from them.

“When I got my chance, I used what I learnt from them and mixed it with my own tools.”

For the fans that will be watching from home, Rosko’s message is: “We know some of the people won’t be able to watch the games, but we just want to say thanks for the support.

“Win or lose, our supporters are there. You always feel good when youngsters come up to you to ask for a photo.

“It gives you that energy – sometimes when you go to schools that don’t have the facilities, you can see the people are passionate and sometimes it breaks your heart.

“For people like that, I always want to give something back to them.”

And the Sevens gold at the Olympics will go a long way in repaying his loyal fans.

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