Sports programme making great strides

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

The KwaNobuhle Hockey Development Programme in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, hascome a long way since it scooped the Jack Cheetham Memorial Award in September 2007.

It was given R500 000 - to be disbursed over three years - for having satisfied the prerequisites of this prestigious award, which honours former Murray & Roberts director and 1950s South African cricket team captain.

This sporting accolade, which supports sustainable development in sport, is driven by the nation-building partnership of Murray & Roberts, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Sowetan.

KwaNobuhle Hockey, which is a SA Hockey Association affiliate, caters for about 750 children aged between eight and 18 from about 20 primary and secondary schools.

It is supervised by SA Hockey Association development cricket administrator Gary Dolley and its lead coaches are Jeremy Mambalu and Sebastian Saamdaan.

Thanks to the cash injection, KwaNobuhle Hockey has:

l Established KwaNobuhle Stars, a three-team hockey squad that is competing in the Eastern Cape Cricket League;

l Produced two members of the formidable Eastern Province Cricket squad - female teens Zikhona Klaas and Thandile Bob;

l Nurtured potential superstar Melekhaya Mdutyana, who has broken into the South African cricket team;

l Started a high-performance programme aimed at identifying and nurturing more aspirants for the provincial and national cricket squads; and

l Started training the senior players, including Klaas, Bob and Mdutyana, to become potential coaches and umpires to enhance their status as role models for the juniors.

The two top winners of the 2008 Jack Cheetham Memorial Award will be announced in Johannesburg on October 14.