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Ken Borland

SA cricket risks losing Walter to NZ team 0

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Ken

South African cricket risks losing one of its most promising coaches to New Zealand with the bombshell news that Titans mentor Rob Walter will be moving there before the start of the new season.

Walter has won four trophies in his three-year term with the Titans, including both the Sunfoil Series and RamSlam T20 Challenge crowns last season, and, with Russell Domingo’s position as national coach under threat, was one of the favourites to succeed him along with Highveld Lions mentor Geoff Toyana.

The 41-year-old told The Citizen, however, that he did not feel he was likely to become Proteas coach anytime soon, so he felt the opportunity to work overseas and broaden his horizons was too good to refuse.

“I’ve had three years in South Africa, which is a unique coaching environment, and I understand the challenges, positives and strengths of the game here. I feel it’s time to spread my wings, growth only happens in challenging situations and I need to think about my next step as a coach. I have certain aspirations and I need to make the best decisions to reach them. Obviously I want to coach a national team and the first priority is my own, but if you look at the Proteas and the time frames involved, in the short-term it might not happen here. I hope my name would have popped up in the discussions, but I don’t think I’m next in line. So how do I grow in the next four years?,” Walter said.

Walter’s departure adds to the exodus of many young players from these shores and the former Proteas conditioning coach admitted that he would also be open to coaching the New Zealand team if that opportunity arose.

Walter said he would take only fond memories of his time with the Titans and he was positive about South African cricket in general.

“It was a massively tough decision to make because I love it at the Titans, I’ve had an amazing time and they’ve treated me so well. I hope my passion for the franchise came through as well. But I have a young family and with my first son just being born, it’s the right time to move. It’s sad, nobody has stood in the way of my opportunities in South Africa and unfortunately I wasn’t able to take up a position with the SA A team this winter, but it’s a great opportunity with Otago in New Zealand,” he said.

Jacques Faul, the CEO of the Titans, said that he was still recovering from the shock of losing their coach.

“Rob has been amazing, in 13 years as a CEO I’ve worked with a lot of coaches and he was an absolute delight to work with. There’s no ego, a great work ethic and we will certainly miss him.

“The board will meet next week to decide on the process of appointing a new coach,” Faul said.

Away kit bolsters Titans’ reputation for innovation 0

Posted on August 28, 2014 by Ken

(from left) Albie Morkel, Ethy Mbhalati and Rowan Richards model the new Titans away kit.

(from left) Albie Morkel, Ethy Mbhalati and Rowan Richards model the new Titans away kit.

The Unlimited Titans will bolster their reputation as the most innovative cricket franchise in the country in the new season when they become the first team to wear an away kit.

The Titans announced the new concept at SuperSport Park yesterday with the team set to sport an attractive purple and mauve kit in all their away limited-overs games next season. The franchise’s chief sponsors, The Unlimited, are behind the move with the aim being to publicise the Unlimited Child charity, an initiative to provide proper stimulation for the development of the more than six million pre-school children in South Africa.

“When they brought us the idea of building awareness for The Unlimited Child, an early childhood development initiative, we jumped at the opportunity. The away kit confirms that the Titans are not only one of the powerhouses on the South African domestic cricket scene, but one of the trendsetters too,” Titans CEO Jacques Faul said.

Pretoria is known as the Jacaranda City and the purple colour of the new kit will further connect with fans in Tshwane and the wider northern Gauteng region.

While helping the image of the Titans, the new away kit will also hopefully help create awareness around wider socio-economic issues like early childhood development, the CEO of The Unlimited, Steph Bester, said.

“The state of early childhood development in South Africa is shocking as it’s estimated that there are more than six million pre-school children in this country that receive little or no proper stimulation. Unless children between the ages of 0 and 6 years old are exposed to effective stimulation, their potential in life is seriously affected and they are destined to a life of poverty,” Bester said.

The formation of the Unlimited Child initiative has already given rise to more than 500 crèches, 1400 caregivers and over 48 000 children being enrolled in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng. The Unlimited Child aims to replicate the programme in all nine provinces as the impact of this intervention on teaching and learning has proved to be immediate.

“We’re excited that the Titans have embraced the work of The Unlimited Child, and have joined us in driving awareness for the great work being done by the organisation,” said Bester. “This exposure will help us expand our footprint in the rest of the country, helping us realise our aim of getting up to 20 000 crèches nationally by 2020.”



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