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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

Right attitude crucial in blustery East London 0

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Ken

 

A strong north-easterly wind was buffeting East London Golf Club yesterday on the eve of the Africa Open, with today’s first round of the European/Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned event likely to separate those golfers with the right attitude from those who approach the blustery conditions in negative fashion.

The wind is forecast to switch to a 35km/h south-westerly today, making much of the work done in the practice rounds irrelevant because the direction of the wind plays such a big part in how this short, old-style course plays.

But Keith Horne, one of South Africa’s best players in the wind having grown up on the coast, says the right attitude will be crucial at East London Golf Club.

“I’m not as good in the wind as I used to be because I’ve lived in Joburg for the last 13 years, but I grew up on the coast and I have the technique and mindset to play in the wind. It’s mostly about mental preparation, if you come in with the wrong attitude and try and fight the wind, then you’re not going to do well. You’ve got to use it and accept it,” Horne said yesterday.

The 43-year-old Horne is a consistent performer in the Africa Open, but one poor round has normally let him down.

But he remains one of the strong local hopes in a tournament that has never been won by a foreigner: since 2008 the champions have been Shaun Norris, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen (twice), Darren Fichardt and Thomas Aiken.

Norris and Fichardt are the only former winners in this week’s field, however, and it’s been an age since South African golfers found themselves so dominated at co-sanctioned events. Just two of the last six European Tour tournaments in this country have been won by locals, with Branden Grace’s cruise to victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek adding to Aiken’s win in last year’s Africa Open.

And it is English golfers who have been leading the charge: Andy Sullivan is one of the favourites in East London after claiming back-to-back titles at the SA and Joburg Opens, Ross Fisher won the Tshwane Open and Danny Willett triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

Oliver Fisher is back at the Africa Open after losing to Aiken in a playoff last year, while David Howell and Simon Dyson bring considerable pedigree to the tournament as well.

Howell spoke about hanging on to Sullivan’s coat-tails and the 28-year-old is certainly the man of the moment.

“It’s been like a fairytale winning two so quickly, but I still have a lot to prove. I’m in a pretty good place, 58th in the world and the top 50 is obviously a nice carrot with qualification for the Masters,” Sullivan said yesterday.

Perhaps the best bet to maintain South Africa’s dominance at the Africa Open is Jaco van Zyl, who has previously chosen the tournament as his favourite summer event.

“I fell in love with this course because it offers a lot of risk and reward and a lot of options, but it punishes any wayward shots. When the wind is up, it tests every shot in the game and strategy is key,” Van Zyl said.

 



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