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A self-made man

Clayton Blommetjies has been a household name on the local rugby scene for many years as a Free State Cheetahs players. As a rugby player, he is considered a game changer – dangerous and with an X-factor to his game. He is also well known for his broad smile and his trademark dreads. Here he looks back at his eight years at the Cheetahs on the eve of him departure from the City of Roses to join the Stormers…

I’ve been playing for the Cheetahs for eight years. Time flies and I will forever remain grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Cheetah family. The saying ‘All good things come to an end’ has become a reality for me.  It’s the end of a great journey, but also the breaking of a new dawn as I believe that the opportunity to play for the Stormers has many great opportunities in store for my professional career as there is an opportunity to compete at an international level again; something that I haven’t done in almost three years.

A career highlight that stands out for me was playing my 100th game, on 16 October 2020, for the Cheetahs. It’s an achievement that not many people reach, so I cherish it wholeheartedly.

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My fondest memories of playing for the Cheetahs is winning the Currie Cup in 2016 and 2019.

Bloemfontein has been good to me  – the people, as well as the Cheetahs, made Bloem my home. When I got here I did not have any family here; however, over the course of the past eight years this became home and family.

The people of Bloem are amazing. Being a boy from the Paarl, I would never have thought that I would receive so much warmth, love and acceptance in the city as a player. I’ve really enjoyed the energy of the people, on and off the field – their support has always been amazing!

I will be joining the Stomers after the Currie Cup. I’m excited to be useful wherever they need me. I’m committed to work hard to get some game time in the United Rugby Championship. The experience one gains in the Championship no amount of money can buy.

A number of people have played an important role in my rugby career. My father, Claude Blommetjies, has always been supportive of my career, on and off the field. In fact, my entire family has been supportive – each in their own way, including my fiancée, Kristle Peterson, my mother, Francina Blommetjies, and my extended family.

My fiancée and my daughter, Clay-Neesha, are the ‘two girls’ in my life. They are always supportive of me and they are my reason for always giving better than my best on and off the field.

I’m not an outgoing person, and therefore my favourite spot place to be is at home.

Five words that describe me best as a person are fun, father, caring, humble and committed to anything I put my mind to. Ok, that’s more than five!

For me, a man is successful in life if he has a firm family foundation with Biblical values and a supportive spouse.

One thing most people don’t know about is that with me, what you see is what you get. I’m the same person on and off the field, always smiling and always thankful for the opportunities that come my way in life.

Life has ups and downs, and successes and failures, but through it all I believe that one has to boldy face each challenge in order to grow not only as an athlete, but also as a person.

I’m looking forward to my move to Cape Town, because I will be doing what I love (playing rugby), whilst sharing this new chapter in life with my fiancée and my daughter.

A beautiful car is one of my weaknesses, and that is also the reason why I recently bought myself a bright red Mustang.

I’m also fond of jet skiing. I’m not really an adrenaline junkie; however, I enjoy playing around on the water as I find it relaxing.

 

Text: MARGARET LINSTRÖM. Photos: LOUIS REYNHARDT PRODUCTIONS

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