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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

My question for Heyneke Meyer 0

Posted on November 06, 2015 by Ken

 

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer returns to South Africa this morning and will face the press after a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign; my question to him would be “Why do you think you deserve to continue in your post, what progress has been made over the last four years?”

In my opinion, there has been no real progress. There is no meaningful silverware to show, the good results have been cancelled out by some truly awful results, a world ranking of three is nothing to shout about, and, as clearly shown in the dour win over Argentina in the third-place playoff, Meyer cannot even say the game plan has evolved under his watch. And he continues to cause outrage when it comes to transformation – his treatment of Rudi Paige, Lwazi Mvovo and Siya Kolisi showing that he just doesn’t get it when it comes to that vital issue.

Meyer is an honourable man, as passionate as anyone when it comes to Springbok rugby, and he says he wants to be part of the solution that will fix the problems. But in my eyes he is part of the problem; his emotional excesses and fear of losing rub off on the team. The Springboks have not shown the ability to adapt to what is happening on the field, they are too stuck in a rigid game plan.

Watching New Zealand deservedly win the World Cup final clearly showed the direction the Springboks should be going. The All Blacks are peerless when it comes to vision and adaptability on the rugby field and it was surely destiny that Dan Carter would be man of the match in winning the World Cup final.

Meyer seemed to be heading in the right direction in 2013 and 2014 when he tried a more up-tempo, ball-in-hand approach; two epic Tests against the All Blacks resulted and Ellis Park was sold out as she hosted two of the best games of rugby I have witnessed.

But the coach failed to build on those performances, losing his nerve in this World Cup year and retreating back into a conservative, unambitious game plan that was easy to counter. Losing to Japan was bad enough, but the Springboks had the added ignominy of being called “anti-rugby” and being as boring as Argentina were when they first joined the Rugby Championship in 2012.

The fact that his team struggled to beat an Argentina side missing nine first-choice players last weekend rams home that Meyer has not added anything to the Springboks. Replacing him at the helm of a team that clearly needs renewing, especially in terms of strategy, is the only sensible option because Meyer has shown that he cannot take the team forward.

On a positive note, a big high-five to the England Rugby Union for hosting a top-class World Cup. A pleasing feature of the tournament was the improvement shown by the minnows: apart from Japan’s incredible heroics, there were also no massive hidings as rugby showed it is a truly global game.

Even the referees, who are under the harshest lens, stepped up and, barring one or two mishaps, the officiating was of a high standard, helped by a greater reliance on the TMO.

 

Monty not furious, but refreshed 0

Posted on January 18, 2012 by Ken

by Ken Borland 18 January 2012, 18:54

 

Colin Montgomerie has made some famously furious appearances in front of the press during his long and superb career, but he was all smiles and good wishes at Fancourt on Wednesday ahead of the Volvo Golf Champions.

“It’s the start of the year and my first time in this part of the world and it’s fantastic, we’re all saying the same thing. I’m looking forward to a new start with a new bag of Callaway clubs, I’m excited about this week, I feel like a rookie again. It’s a fresh start and a new year,” Montgomerie enthused.

 

The 48-year-old Scot has a top-class record of 31 European Tour wins and a particular affinity for links courses, having designed his own at Carton House in Ireland. Which makes Montgomerie a voice to be heard when it comes to rating the Fancourt Links after his two practice rounds on the par-73 layout.

“It’s an exceptional course, I believe it’s ranked number one in South Africa and therefore number one in Africa. And deservedly so, having played it twice now. I haven’t experienced the tournament pins yet, they’ve been in areas where we’re not going to hit to in the tournament and I’m looking forward to a stiffer challenge.

“It’s a great design, an exceptional challenge and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s in a similar style to Carton House – the bunkers are very severe, it’s a half-shot penalty if you land in them with their riveted faces. There’s a lot of sand and it’s soft, which is more difficult than if it was firm. The run-offs are also similar … all credit to Gary Player and the design team,” Montgomerie said.

The Ryder Cup legend dominated European golf in the 1990s, winning seven successive Orders of Merit, but he admitted the advent of technologically-boosted big-hitters has had a devastating effect on his winning chances these days.

“To compete with the longer hitters, I’ve got to putt very well because they have a huge advantage. Nicolas Colsaerts [in the Fancourt field] is probably the longest in the world and I’m giving away 60 yards to him. Where he, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen can go in with a five-iron, for me it’s a three-wood on to firm greens. So it’s a huge advantage for them – if they hit it straight and can find their ball off the tee,” Montgomerie said.

“But I hit the ball well today from tee to green, my irons were good enough and I drove safely. But I’ve never won anything without putting well, so I’ve got to hole out from inside 10 feet.”

Adding to the advantage of the longer hitters at Fancourt is the fact that there are five par-fives and only four par-threes and, with the blazing sun on Wednesday drying out the course, there should be more and more run on the fairways.

Montgomerie has been paired with young Tom Lewis, who is not the longest hitter off the tees, for Thursday’s first round and is looking forward to the experience.

 

Colsaerts will be playing with Holland’s Joost Luiten and Montgomerie is relieved he won’t have to experience what happened to him the last time he partnered the Belgian.

“I was asked to do a drug test and both Nicolas and Stephen Gallacher just burst out laughing. They said it was for performance-enhancing drugs and I said it was a complete waste of time and I wanted my money back if that was the case. I’m hitting the ball 280 metres and they’re hitting it 340,” Montgomerie laughed.



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