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Ken Borland

Earning enough week-to-week with the gender pay-gap is the challenge for SA women’s golf pros 0

Posted on September 03, 2021 by Ken

There are numerous South African golfers competing and excelling overseas, especially in Europe, these days.

And while the winning performances of the likes of Garrick Higgo and Dean Burmester on the European Tour, and Branden Grace, Higgo and Erik van Rooyen on the U.S. PGA Tour understandably hog the limelight, there are many other golfers just trying to make a living on those big tours. South Africa have seven full-time golfers on the main tour in the United States, four of which also regularly play in Europe, alongside 16 other South Africans.

Less well-known is the fact that there are six South African women’s golfers in the top 100 on the Ladies European Tour. And when one compares the prizemoney they win to their compatriots on the men’s tours, the massive pay disparities when it comes to gender become apparent.

Darren Fichardt is 99th on the European Tour order of merit and has won more than 170 000 euro n seven tournaments this year; Stacy Bregman is 100th on the Ladies European Tor standings and has won just over 52 500 euro in 11 events.

Even at the top end of the rankings, the story is the same. Justin Harding is 20th in the Race to Dubai and has earned more than 610 000 euro in 19 starts; Ashleigh Buhai is 21st on the LET and has won just 93 254 euro.

The majority of South African golfers overseas are not winning titles, they are just trying to accumulate enough money week-by-week to keep playing over there and hopefully get the breakthrough win that secures their card. That challenge is especially hard for the women: On the men’s European Tour this year there is not a single tournament that has a prize pool of less than a million euro; only nine out of 26 LET events reach that benchmark.

The two women’s majors played in Europe – the second of which, the AIG Women’s Open, is being held this weekend at Carnoustie – have a prize fund of 3.8 million euro, which would rank 12th highest on the men’s tour.

“Playing golf overseas is an expensive sport, especially doing it week-to-week, there are huge overheads if you don’t have help. If it weren’t for my sponsor Investec, I would definitely not be able to represent the country in Europe and maybe inspire the younger generation that it is possible. And you have to go overseas to play better golf, playing against the best in the world can only improve your game.

“In the future, hopefully more youngsters from South Africa can make a good living from golf. It’s a tough sport and a lot of girls are intimidated to play it. We want to make it a sport for everyone and to show that we definitely need to get more women watching us play. But to do that we need more media exposure, it has to be in your face for people to notice,” Bregman told The Citizen.

Of course, the argument that the men enjoy such large paydays because they attract greater viewership and more sponsorship will be made. But part of the reason for their bigger viewership figures is that the men’s game enjoys greater promotion, while not as much effort is made to explain just how skilful women’s golfers are, not relying so much on power games.

For instance, research has shown that women golfers are more accurate from 120 yards in, but those are the sort of in-depth stats that coverage of their sport does not employ to the same extent as the men.

“Our only hope of seeing the gap in prizemoney close is for people to see how good our product is. We should actually be paid the same because we are playing the same courses. We might not have the same power, and somehow that does not seem to have the same pull when it comes to viewership, but we just don’t play golf the same way the top men do.

“It’s about creating awareness for potential sponsors and I definitely think the skill factor should be highlighted. The average golfer plays a totally different game to the men’s pros, but I think the better men’s amateur golfers can relate more to the women’s game. I think our game does have more skill and the more men that watch us play will hopefully lead to things changing,” Bregman says.

But analyses suggest that even if women are at the forefront of public attention and viewership figures, they still end up learning less. According to the Wall Street Journal, in the three years after winning the 2015 World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team generated more revenue than the men’s team. But their earnings did not rise, leading to a landmark lawsuit that tackled the gender pay gap. A judge ruled, however, that because the women’s team had previously negotiated a pay deal that was weighted more towards fixed income than perfomrance bonuses, they could only sue for equal working conditions and they came to a settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Locally, Investec have been at the forefront of efforts to create more transparency around prizemoney in golf and have been pushing for sponsors to support women’s golf so that the sport can follow tennis and athletics in ensuring that there is no major gap in earnings between the top male and female stars.

Harris the physics expert but not earning astronomical amounts 0

Posted on September 04, 2020 by Ken

Paul Harris, whose expert knowledge of the physics of spin bowling has led to him being used as a Proteas bowling consultant, said on Wednesday that he is yet to receive any official confirmation from Cricket South Africa that his part-time services will no longer be used and that allegations he was earning astronomical amounts for his work are ridiculous.

CSA acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender has confirmed that they told the sports minister this week that from now on only Black people would be used as consultants and there has been speculation that the organisation was spending more than a million rand a month to use the services of Harris and batting coach Jacques Kallis.

Harris told The Citizen on Wednesday that while he could not speak for what South Africa’s leading run-scorer was earning, allegations of a million rand were farfetched.

“CSA have not said anything to me yet but all I want is for South African cricket to be better. If CSA or the spinners believe there is someone better to do that then they must go for it, if they feel I’m not the right person then they must use someone else, I have no problem with that. I’m sure someone like Robin Peterson would also do a great job, but he’s already got a full-time job as coach of the Warriors.

“I also have a full-time day job and since January I have not earned a cent from CSA, even though I’ve been helping the spinners in my own free time. Just the other day I was sent 10 videos and asked what I think, which I’m happy to do for nothing. Consultants generally get paid a higher rate per day than a full-time employee because they only work so many days in a month.

“But I don’t see how the consultants’ fees could add up to a million rand a month. In terms of myself, I earned nowhere near that, not even a quarter of that amount. I only worked 20 days for the Proteas over the whole of last summer,” Harris told The Citizen on Wednesday.

Harris was initially appointed as the spin bowling consultant after South Africa’s number one Test spinner Keshav Maharaj requested his help, and has subsequently been profusive in his thanks for the help of the fellow left-armer who played 37 Tests and played a key role in the Proteas gaining the number one ranking.

And it is not just Maharaj who Harris has been helping, the 41-year-old businessman now building relationships with the other spinners to match the great one he has with the Dolphins star.

With CSA adopting what would now seem to be a “No thanks, we’re fine” attitude towards enlisting the help of many White Proteas who took the country to number one across all three formats less than a decade ago, it is worth noting that South African consultants are paid considerably less than those former players who are helping countries like England, Australia and India.

Maties & Wits busy trying to catch top sides 0

Posted on May 12, 2016 by Ken


The University of Pretoria Tuks and the hosts, the University of Johannesburg, were at the top of the log after activities ceased in the first leg of Varsity Hockey’s men’s competition with the two Gauteng universities having won all four of their games, earning 12 points.

Tuks are in first place, having been more active in terms of scoring goals, with 15 being netted by the Pretoria students, who conceded just five for a goal-difference of +10.

UJ, after starting with a bang in a 5-3 win over Maties, were embroiled in three tough games thereafter, finishing with 13 goals but conceding eight for a goal-difference of +5.

Maties and Wits will be busy trying to catch Tuks and UJ when the second and final leg of the tournament gets underway in Stellenbosch on Friday, having both won three of their four matches.

Wits are fourth with a goal-difference of +9, while Maties have far and away the best goal-difference with +18. They recovered superbly from their defeat at the hands of UJ on the opening day by shutting out Kovsies 4-0 and NMMU 8-0, before producing an outstanding 9-1 hammering of Pukke to complete their Johannesburg fixtures.

Given their performances in their last three games and the fact that they will be playing at home, Maties could well be the side to beat.

UCT and NMMU, both with three points after one win, have an outside chance of making the semi-finals, with both playing the sides below them in the standings – Kovsies and Pukke – on the first two days in Stellenbosch.

It’s going to take quite a collapse though by Wits, who were impressive through their first three games at UJ before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of UCT on the final day.

The Stellenbosch leg starts on Friday at 1.30pm and it’s a massive clash between the two Johannesburg neighbours, UJ and Wits, that gets things started.

It will have a major impact on the log with UJ either going clear at the top or Wits joining them and Tuks on 12 points.

With wonderful players such as Taylor Dart, Gareth Heyns and Brynn Cleak – all members of the Southern Gauteng team who won the senior IPT  a fortnight ago, as well as Courtney Halle, Kyle Lion-Cachet, Tyson Dlungwana, Ryan Crowe and Amkelwa Letuka, who all played for the SA U21 team that lost in the final, UJ have plenty of scope for improvement.

Maties are also a powerful outfit, however, with goalkeeper Rob McKinley, Charles Bowren, Matt de Sousa and Alex Stewart from the SA U21 team and Western Province players in Dylan Swanepoel, Shannon Boucher, James Drummond, Keenan Horne and Daniel Bell. Former SA Schools player Reece Arendse is also a penetrative forward.

The Southern Gauteng B side, Wits, missed out on a semi-final place in the men’s IPT in a shootout against the SA U21s and they have several players in the Wits University side – Joshua Casaleiro, Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt, Rusten Abrahams, Brandon James, Chad Futcher, Stuart Philip and Thabang Modise – making them a dangerous unit.

Tuks have full internationals in Richard Pautz and Grant Glutz providing them with bite up front, while SA U21 caps Nduduzo Lembethe, Khumo Mokale and Tevin Kok also shone at UJ. Michael Marki is a former junior international and was the rock of their defence.

Tuks take on Maties in a massive game on the opening day and the local favourites will then meet Wits on Saturday, before ending the round-robin stage with a local derby against UCT.

Log (goal-difference in brackets): 1 Tuks 12pts (+10); 2 UJ 12pts (+5); 3 Maties 9pts (+18); 4 Wits 9pts (+9); 5 UCT 3pts (-1); 6 NMMU 3pts (-13); 7 Kovsies 0pts (-10); 8 Pukke 0pts (-18).

Jannie Dup says criticism made him tough but hurt his loved ones 0

Posted on September 03, 2015 by Ken


Stalwart Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis described the criticism he has had to face this year as character-building for him but extremely hurtful for his loved ones despite earning his place in the squad for a third World Cup appearance.

Du Plessis struggled for form during the Super Rugby competition as part of a dismal Sharks’ campaign, but as soon as the international season began, the 32-year-old confirmed that he is indisputably South Africa’s number one tighthead prop with a couple of powerful displays. He shrugged off suggestions that he was merely peaking at the right time.

“I think it’s by grace that I’m playing well now, I didn’t try any less hard at the start of the season. I want to see any player that doesn’t try his best whenever he runs out on to the field. I thought that the Sharks would actually win Super Rugby, we were experienced enough and we worked incredibly hard. Things just didn’t happen for us, so many games we could’ve won but it’s an unforgiving competition and just one missed tackle can mean you lose by two points. And then you play another top team and before you know it you’ve lost three in a row …

“So it was a disappointing Super Rugby season even though I put my heart and soul into it. You try not to listen when people call you too old or terrible. The humiliation makes you tough but it’s very hard for the people you care about; people say such bad things. So you do sit and reflect and think maybe it’s time to call it quits …

“But at the start of the Test season, the coach [Heyneke Meyer] told us a story about how things have different value for different people – a ring might just be stainless steel, but if it was your father’s wedding ring then it will have immense value for you. My effort has been no different and I’m happy with the faith the coach has shown in me and I believe we will win the World Cup,” Du Plessis said.

The veteran of 64 Tests said the thought of proving the critics wrong was also part of the motivation he felt before the tournament, where he and Bismarck will become the first pair of brothers to appear in three World Cups.

“You always feel under pressure because people have expectations and as a rugby player you always want to make people feel better. Everyone reacts in a similar way to criticism and that is to prove it wrong. But you learn how to discern between good criticism and bad criticism the older you get. Some people just don’t like the way you look, the way you talk or even just your hairstyle, so they’re going to criticise regardless,” Du Plessis said.


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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.

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