MARCH 2008
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Jack Cheetham Award
The winners receiveing their award from South African rigby player,
Pierre Spies. From left to right - Pierre Spies, Gary Dolley, Jeremy
Mambalu and Mziwandile Jack

Murray & Roberts Jack Cheetham Memorial Award goes to Kwanobuhle Hockey

The Jack Cheetham Memorial Aw ard The Jack Cheetham Memorial Award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 26 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 who was able to instill 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 be champions.

The Jack Cheetham Memorial Award

The 2007 Murray & Roberts Jack Cheetham Memorial Award was presented to the Kwanobuhle Hockey development program from the Eastern Cape at a gala event in Sandton on 25 September 2007.

In partnership with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Sowetan newspaper, Murray & Roberts selected the Kwanobuhle Hockey development program in recognition of its excellence and significant community impact.

The Kwanobuhle Hockey development program operates from the impoverished area of Kwanobuhle near Port Elizabeth. Under the visionary leadership of teacher Gary Dolley and a team of dedicated volunteers, the program has revived the once dormant Kwanobuhle multi-purpose sports facility into a thriving hub of sports development and community participation. It has developed partnerships with 25 primary schools in the area enabling 750 children to receive professional hockey coaching and participate in regional leagues. High schools have also been targeted for inclusion.

Coaching is provided by Jeremy Mambalu, a product of the program and an excellent role model and mentor for younger players. To ensure sustainability, the Under 16 players coach younger players and provide umpiring services.

Ex-provincial players work as volunteers. Dolley recently returned from a visit to Holland where he studied advanced coaching methods and he has introduced a coaching leadership certificate course for teachers in the community to strengthen their capacity.

Six teams participate in the Eastern Province schools league where they compete against more privileged schools – the Girls Under 11 team is currently unbeaten and the Boys Under 13 team is unbeaten in the local LoveLife Games. Fifty of the top performers are in a high performance program where they receive intensive coaching and mentoring.

Unemployment in Kwanobuhle is estimated to be 50% and the community has a high incidence of HIV/Aids. To ensure that the boys and girls who participate in the program receive emotional, academic and social support, the program has developed partnerships betweenparticipating schools and various life skills organisations, and is considering an arrangement with a school in Port Elizabeth which offers the potential of educational bursaries.

Athenkosi winning a race at
the Eastern Cape Junior

The Kwanobuhle development program is achieving excellence in the sport of hockey and is also using hockey as a vehicle to transform the lives of hundreds of young people in the community. With additional resources, the program will have an even greater impact.

The award includes a floating trophy and prize money of R500 000 over a period of five years. This arrangement was introduced with effect from 2005 and is currently benefiting two other sports development programs – GiantsGymnastics (2005 winner) and Nelson Mandela Township Rowing Club (2006 winner).

2006 winner excels

On Saturday 2 February 2008 Nemato Rowing Club participated in the Eastern Cape Championships .For the first time ever the club won provincial championships medals:

  • Nolufefe Ngotsha is the Eastern Cape Champion in the under 16 girl’s single scull
  • Athenkosi Hlekani is the Eastern Cape Champion in the boy’s single scull