Top three sporting projects praised

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Three sports development programmes in hockey, tennis and canoeing were lauded during this year's Murray & Roberts Jack Cheetham Memorial Award in Sandton, Johannesburg, yesterday.

Popular Blue Bulls rugby player Pierre Spies presented the overall winners, the Eastern Cape-based Kwanobuhle Hockey Development Programme, with a floating trophy and R500000, to be disbursed over five years.

Two other top-placed sports development programmes were highly commended. They are the Irene Tennis Development Programme and the Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club. Both groups are based in Gauteng. Of the top three finalists, the judges found that the Kwanobuhle Hockey Development Programme's excellence and significant community impact was most impressive.

The Jack Cheetham Memorial Award is organised and sponsored by Murray & Roberts, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and Sowetan as part of the youth development work of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation. This award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 25 years ago in recognition of the special qualities of Jack Cheetham, a former director of the company and the inspirational captain of the South African cricket team in the 1950s. Cheetham was able to instil in young people the belief that they could win.

In recent years, the award has targeted sports development projects, focusing on individuals or teams that have the potential to become champions.

Kwanobuhle Hockey Development Programme operates under the leadership of teacher Gary Dolley and coach Jeremy Mambalu.