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Today marks the second day of the Rugby World Cup and the first victory for the mighty All- Blacks who are favourites for the tournament. They defeated South Africa, another favourite in many peoples’ eyes. In recent years rugby has turned into a very professional sport. Undoubtedly, at the end of this tournament, there will be millions of other young people taking up the game and making sure its popularity extends well within the twenty nations that are competing in the competition.
Rugby though, is just a game. What of the more important things in life, like life itself. That was the one thing that perhaps the greatest rugby player that ever lived was short on. He died at only 40 years of age just 4 years ago.
Weighing in at 18 stone 10 pounds and stretching to the 6 feet 5 inches mark, Jonah Lomu was a rare talent. Despite his massive frame he could run like the wind. He was swashbuckling in the tackle and when his physical momentum went into full flow he was unstoppable for most teams. On the wing he would receive the ball at pace and all of the All- Blacks’ intricate play was tailored for him to run on to. By the time he received the ball he would attract a third of the opposing team` s attentions yet he would flick player by player off his broad shoulders and continue to cruise his way over the try line.
By the time he was in his prime, he was attracting international attention for his gifts on the field. The world of sport thought he was unstoppable. When the media lifted the lid on his past life it was discovered that he had a tough upbringing and that Lomu needed rugby as much as the game needed his talents.
In this world of ours where several forms of media meddle with well known peoples’ lives for the cutting edge story, few really knew that in spite of Lomu`s greatness and fame even after his retirement, that the rare kidney disorder that eventually saw his premature death was not the only thing that he had to worry about in his final days. Lomu passed away a man without many worldly assets or even enough money to his name to help rare his young children. This was partly due to his dedication to other people and their lives. For Lomu liked to help others in need too.
Life is funny. It can be short for even the best, but we can learn lessons of how to live from them in order to protect the rarity of human kind.
As Lomu`s life showed us we must do this by simply looking out for one another and disregarding those that try to take things from us as we move with all of power to our destination.