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Ken Borland



Credit to those who ensure real transformation 0

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Ken

 

Jacques Kallis has controversial views on transformation in cricket that have garnered him negative press in recent times, but what is seldom reported on is how his foundation every year pays for 10 previously disadvantaged children to attend top schools and thus ensure their lives are properly transformed.

Much of what is said and done in the name of transformation is mere self-serving political expediency or empty talk, so Kallis deserves credit for actually making a difference – the Jacques Kallis Foundation gives a full bursary to children who show cricketing talent, as well as academic merit and have financial needs, to attend one of four prestigious schools – Wynberg Boys High, Maritzburg College, Selborne or Pretoria Boys High.

Kallis himself admits that he would never have become the global cricket icon he is were it not for the bursary that paid for him to attend Wynberg, where his incredible talent flourished.

The profitability of these efforts, which have been in place since 2004 when Kallis started the foundation with the R550 000 he received from his Western Province benefit year, is best measured not by the cricketers it produces but by the lives it changes. An example of this is the young man who was given a bursary to Pretoria Boys High after being spotted at the national U13 Week; although the cricket did not work out as hoped, he is now studying his honours in actuarial science.

The Jacques Kallis Foundation is now being amalgamated with the Momentum 2 Excellence Bursary Programme, meaning 26 learners will now have their school fees paid for, securing quality education and a bright future for even more deserving youngsters.

The announcement of the merger was made at the confirmation of something that is the best news for South African cricket in a long time: that Momentum have extended their sponsorship deal with Cricket South Africa for another five years.

The wonderful thing about Momentum’s involvement in cricket is not just what thoroughly decent people they are or what wonderful functions they host, it is that they have invested as much in the grassroots of cricket as in their high-profile title sponsorship of all one-day cricket in South Africa and their groundbreaking support of the rapidly rising national women’s team.

Momentum also sponsor the Friendship Games in which top schools play, home and away, against a combined team of underprivileged schools in their area; all CSA’s junior weeks and development projects focused around the eKasi Challenge.

While some local stakeholders are warning that the massive investment in South African cricket that will come from the T20 Global League might not have an entirely positive effect, nobody will quibble that Momentum’s continued involvement in cricket is a tremendous coup and a feather in CSA’s cap.

As CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “We know what Momentum have done through the years with their huge commitment, from the junior ranks right through to international level. They have been fabulous sponsors.”

The only sadness at the announcement was the news that Danie van den Bergh, the passionate, much-loved head of marketing at Momentum, has a well-earned promotion and will be shifting his focus away from day-to-day involvement with cricket.

He will still, of course, pop into games as and when he can and, considering the size of his personality and the excellence of the staff that remain, I’m sure the cricket family will remain oblivious to much changing at all.

Van den Bergh pointed to a return of more than a billion rand on their investment when he said “cricket has done wonders for us”; it’s only fair to say, Danie, you and Momentum have done wonders for the game.

https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-citizen-gauteng/20170916/282527248605439

Relief & anger in the halls of Loftus Versfeld 0

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Ken

 

There was relief and anger in the halls of Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night as the Bulls edged past the Sharks 43-35 to claim their first Vodacom SuperRugby win of the season, but in controversial fashion.

It was a much-improved display by the Bulls, especially in terms of a much lower error-rate, the intensity of their forwards and the fluidity of their attacking play, but their character was tested as the Sharks overturned a 22-33 deficit on the hour mark to lead 35-33 with eight minutes remaining.

In the end it was the Bulls who were celebrating not only a victory, but also a four-try bonus point.

For the Sharks, however, there was nothing but anger, most of it directed at TMO Johan Greeff, whose abysmal decision to award the opening try to the Bulls after a blatant forward pass must surely go down in the halls of shame for South African officiating.

“We’ve had a directive that we’re not allowed to comment publically when we’re massively disappointed about the performance of the officials, so I’m not going to comment,” was Sharks coach Gary Gold’s clever way of expressing his disgust.

The Francois Hougaard try in the 25th minute was an inexplicable error but the Sharks also felt hard done by when Greeff disallowed  a 66th-minute dot-down after Odwa Ndungane was ruled to have knocked-on in leaping for a Pat Lambie cross-kick, and then allowed Jan Serfontein’s injury-time try that gave the Bulls a bonus point and denied the Sharks one.

“We’re told there was no clear evidence for an obvious forward pass and then Odwa gets called for a knock-on where the evidence wasn’t clear either. All we want is consistency,” Gold said.

There were only a handful of scrums in the game, but the Bulls won the set-piece battle thanks to the towering presence of Victor Matfield in the lineouts, and flank Lappies Labuschagne was an immense presence both in defence and carrying the ball.

Scrumhalf Rudi Paige then used the front-foot ball crisply and intelligently.

“We had quality possession and we squeezed them in the lineout, but it was a huge team effort. One of Rudi Paige’s strengths is that he allows others to play off him, he has good decision-making and it was great to see him make a huge difference. Lappies was also outstanding and is forming a great combination with Deon Stegmann and Pierre Spies, the balance is there,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

The Bulls front row, who managed to largely avoid a potentially awkward scrum contest due to there being fewer errors, were also pillars of the defensive effort and the strong driving play of the home side.

“It was an outstanding performance to cope with that pressure, it was great that we kept our composure although we went behind, and we always knew we had this in us. We were also more accurate at the breakdowns, which were a huge contest, and the players responded to Pierre because he led by example,” Ludeke said.

Captain Spies acknowledged that “a few 50/50s went our way compared to the last two weeks” and that the team would enjoy the win but would have to “stay balanced and focused”.

 

Pietersen comes back to SA for rhinos 0

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Ken

The ever-controversial Kevin Pietersen will be bringing his own brand of batting brilliance back to South African fields on October 18 when he takes part in the Momentum Cricket Sixes at Old Eds, which will be raising money for a cause that is heavily in the nation’s conscience at the moment – saving rhinos.

The Momentum Cricket Sixes is a celebrity event with all proceeds going to the charities selected by founders Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp, which this year includes the collaboration between Boucher and South African Breweries – Rhinos in Safe Hands, and the Momentum to Excellence Bursary Programme for talented young cricketers.

Apart from Pietersen and fellow former internationals Smith, Boucher and Kemp, the likes of Australian batsman Damien Martyn, Jonty Rhodes, Jacques Kallis and Meyrick Pringle will also be playing.

The event still has space for more corporate teams to enter, with the option to bid for one of the professional stars to play for your team, hospitality or a rhino darting experience also available.

More information is available from kirsti@klprsa.com.



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