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Grooming SA's future champs

By unknown | Oct 15, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Champions of community sports development come in many forms and 2008 Jack Cheetham Memorial Award-winning mentor Jan Bezuidenhout seems to defy pigeonholing.

Last night in Johannesburg his Welkom Wrestling Club, based in the Free State, scooped a R500000 grant that will be disbursed over five years.

Second place went to the Tiger Titans Cricket Club, led by teenager Ross McCreath in Bathurst, Port Elizabeth, in Eastern Cape.

Young McCreath is assisted by 21-year-old coach Mduduzi Mkalipi and 69-year-old club "elder" Gladman Xali.

This respected sporting accolade is driven by Murray and Roberts, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, and Sowetan, which has made the award part of the youth development activities of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

Bezuidenhout is much loved by aspirant wrestlers. Tears welled up in his eyes when he was interviewed in Welkom several weeks before the biggest moment of his life - receiving the award honouring former Murray and Roberts director and 1950s South African cricket captain Jack Cheetham.

In July four sporting codes which seek to instil a champion's spirit in young people were shortlisted for the two top places . The other two finalists were judo for the blind and visually impaired and boccia.

Bezuidenhout has since 1992 trained children from Thabong and Bronville and has so far nurtured 147 provincial champions.


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