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Up Close with Olympian Philip Snyman

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Philip Snyman, Blizbok champion and 2016 Olympian speaks with wisdom, depth and  insight about life, sport, faith and destiny. He was expectant  for good results in Rio and I report with pride that he did  brilliant at the Rio Olympics along with his team mates. He was also much honoured to have joined the 35 club of World Rugby Sevens Series earlier this year. Philip exudes such  gratefulness, commitment and passion towards life and his sport –  qualities that indeed make a man powerful.

Describing himself as a person he says, “ I am a husband, family man and team player who hates to disappoint people. I just want the best for the people close to me. I think I am also quite laid back”.

I like what he says about destiny “Always put an extra plate at the dinner table, so when destiny knocks on the door you can invite it in”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Philip Snyman
Nick Name Phil
Date of birth 26/03/1987
Place of birth Bloemfontein
Current City Stellenboch
Height 188cm
Weight 95kg
Shoe Size 10
Club Springbok 7’s (Blitzboks)
Coach’s Name Neil Powell
Out of Country events World Sevens Series 
Secondary Sport/ sports Rugby, Cricket, Swimming and Athletics 
Favorite City Cape Town 
Favorite Song/ type of music Kings of Leon, U2
Favorite Movie A Knights tale 
School & Grade Grey College
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year UOVS (Kovsies) 2008
Tertiary degree Financial Management 
Sponsors ASICS; Tissot; Herbalife 24
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Twitter – @snymanphilip

Instagram – @philipsnyman

Facebook – PhilipSnyman

Community projects involved in Cornal Hendricks Foundation 
Wife Wife – Estee Snyman



Before Rio:

Q: Firstly – congrats on all your recent brilliant rugby performances. And that you are part of the squad preparing for the Rio Olympics. What is on your heart and mind right now concerning this upcoming big event in Rio?

First of all, it is a massive honour and privilege to be part of the final squad traveling to Rio.

Our focus at this point in time is to be better every time we leave the training pitch and to “fine tune” all aspects of our game.

After Rio:

Your feedback of Rio Olympics?

The road to Rio we knew was going to be tough. We came through the season quite nicely ending second after Fiji, then it was time for Rio. The final squad was 19 guys competing for the 12 spots. I was very fortunate to be named as one of the 12. We then arrived in Rio, the village and facilities was fantastic, and amazing and the opening ceremony was was what every sports guy can dream of. The preps was good, being part of Team SA was very special. What made it truly amazing was sitting at a table in the dining hall and then Usain Bolt walks in with such a presence and then you realise what the hype around the Olympics really is all about.

At the tournament we all went hard and ended up at podium position with a Bronze. This was a massive honour and a privilege – something that I will cherish for a lifetime and the pinnacle of my career!

You know that the ball can bounce in any guy’s favour – that is part of the game.

Q: You became the ninth South African to reach the special milestone of 35 World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments at the Hong Kong Sevens. Your thoughts on this?

It was a wonderful achievement to join the 35 “club”, but what makes it even more special is to share it with all my teammates and family who are always there for me.

Q: How did you get started in Rugby?

Some of my earliest memories are with a rugby ball in hand!


Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person?

I am a husband, family man and team player who hates to disappoint people. I just want the best for the people close to me.

I think I am also quite laid back.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Rugby and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Being part of the Blitzboks, growing as a team and reaching our goals.

Personal- winning the World Sevens Series in 2008/2009.

Q:  Why do you have so much respect for your coach?

Neil is honest, hard working, leads by example and he is a role model for the whole team.


Q: What do you do to relax?

Spend some time with friends and family- braai, go for a coffee etc.

Q: I believe you are a great coffee advocate and snob :-)? Do you want to share on this a little?

I’m not sure about that, but I enjoy a good cup of coffee and have a couple of manual brewing gadgets at home. I think I am a coffee enthusiast…okay, maybe a fanatic!

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote? 

Always put an extra plate at the dinner table, so when destiny knocks on the door you can invite it in.

Q: Do you want to share a little on your faith journey for far in sport and life?

I believe one can achieve anything if you put your trust in the Lord, believe in yourself and work really hard.


Q: What is your leadership style, having had this leadership position in the team recently.

I am a firm believer of leading by example.

Q: What’s your WHY?  

I want to live my life to the fullest of my potential, let God’s light shine through me and leave this world a better place than I found it.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

A big thanks to the whole of South Africa who supports us through thick and thin – we wish to make you proud in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio.


Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!


NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

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