Bethelsdorp Wrestling Academy and Mandeville Aquatics Disability Swimming Centre of Excellence triumph at the Jack Cheetham and Letsema Awards

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2013: Tonight saw Murray & Roberts awarding their annual Jack Cheetham Memorial and Letsema Awards to two amateur sporting clubs in both their able-bodied and disabled... Read more

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2013: Tonight saw Murray & Roberts awarding their annual Jack Cheetham Memorial and Letsema Awards to two amateur sporting clubs in both their able-bodied and disabled categories.

The award, now in its 32nd year, held in conjunction with the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), recognise the character and ideals of Jack Cheetham, a former director of Murray & Roberts and captain of the South African cricket team in the 1950s and reward those who contribute to the development of sport in South Africa.

The Jack Cheetham Award for sports development projects for able-bodied persons was awarded to the Bethelsdorp Wrestling Academy, while the Letsema Award for people with disabilities went to Mandeville Aquatics Disability Swimming Centre of Excellence. Both these projects win R500 000 payable over five years.

The runner-up for the Jack Cheetham Award went to the National Archery in the Schools Programme with Dreamfields Project taking third prize, while in the Letsema category, Wheelchair Basketball South Africa and South Africa Wheelchair Rugby took second and third place respectively.

Runners-up in each category receive R150,000 over three years each, while the third place winners receive R75,000 over the same period.

For Group Chief Executive, Henry Laas, these awards are a way for Murray & Roberts to actively make a difference. We are constantly inspired by the way in which these projects use sport as a vehicle to transform the lives of so many young South Africans. As has been the case with the previous winners of these two awards, we believe that with financial assistance they will have an even greater positive impact in future.

Says SASCOC CEO: Tubby Reddy: As an Olympic movement, we render our undivided support to awards like these as they encourage our athletes and sports clubs to maintain a positive and winning spirit. Talent identification starts with these amateur sports clubs. That talent is then nurtured in order to produce winners all the way to international level. Well done to the winners, may they prosper.



About the Awards

The Jack Cheetham Memorial Award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 31 years ago in recognition of the special qualities of Jack Cheetham, a former director of the company and the inspirational captain of the South African cricket team in the 1950s who was able to instill in young people the belief that they could win. The award targets sports development projects, focusing on individuals or teams that have the potential to be champions.

The Murray & Roberts Letsema Award was first awarded in 2009 following the outstanding performance of athlete Hilton Langenhoven who captured the attention of the world at the 2008 Paralympics in Athens. This award recognises sports development projects for people with disabilities.




Bethelsdorp Wrestling Academy

Bethelsdorp Wrestling Academy is a programme to uplift children from communities in Bethelsdorp, Jacksonville, Gelvandale, Kwazahkele and Kleinskool in Port Elizabeth that are affected by drug abuse, gang activities and poverty. The academy provides an environment of self discovery, mutual respect and discipline and takes vulnerable children off the street. Bethelsdorp Wrestling Academy took home seven gold medals, six silver medals and one bronze medal at the South African Regional Championships in September.


National Archery in the Schools Programme

The programme introduces the sport of archery to schools in previously disadvantaged and rural areas and encourages young people to participate in responsible outdoor activities in order to uplift the community. Archery is an accessible sport that teaches life-long physical activity, self esteem and has been shown to positively impact on school attendance. The National Archery in Schools programme provides a platform for children to compete at a local level with the aim of identifying players for the National Team.


Dreamfields Project

The goal of the Dreamfields Project is better schools through sport, stronger communities through better schools. Dreamfields does this by supplying schools with basic equipment, sustaining regular and predictable football programmes in primary schools and giving teachers the opportunity to gain basic skills in coaching young players. The project also builds community football fields in rural areas and will build their 17th field in Ogies, Mpumalanga in early 2014. Through weekly football, children learn valuable life lessons about determination, teamwork and what it takes to succeed.




Mandeville Aquatics Disability Swimming Centre of Excellence

The Mandeville Aquatics Disability Swimming Centre of ExcellenceÖs mission is the development of swimming in Central GautengÖs disabled communities with a focus on previously disadvantaged children. The Centre of Excellence identifies talented swimmers and develops them to a level where they can compete successfully at National and Paralympics level with the objective of developing South AfricaÖs first black Paralympics swimming medalist.


Wheelchair Basketball South Africa

Wheelchair Basketball is not just a game, but a way of life for many disabled sports men and women. Wheelchair Basketball provides a platform for athletes to develop their abilities and skill through the growth of wheelchair basketball clubs and leagues and aims to encourage participation and awareness across provinces, in communities and schools, with the goal of identifying high performance athletes for selection to the National Team.


South Africa Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Rugby is the only full contact sport for people living with severe disabilities and caters for both men and women. South Africa Wheelchair Rugby competes in the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation Championship and encourages participation across all disabled communities. The South Africa Wheelchair Rugby National Team aims to develop their athletes in order to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

About Murray & Roberts

Murray & Roberts is a leading South African engineering, contracting and construction services company. It has created employment, developed skills, applied technology and delivered infrastructure since 1902.

The company offers civil, mechanical, electrical, mining and process engineering; general building, construction and infrastructure development services in the global underground mining market and selected emerging markets in the natural resources and infrastructure sectors.

The company operates in Southern Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia and North and South America. The company is based in Johannesburg South Africa, where it has a public listing on the JSE Limited.

Murray & Roberts is a group of world-class companies and brands aligned to the same purpose and vision, and guided by the same set of values.

More information is available at



The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is the controlling body for all high performance sport in South Africa and was formed as a Section 21 Company by representatives of all the sports bodies at a general meeting held on 27 November 2004.

In terms of the Memorandum of Association, the main object is to promote and develop high performance sport in the Republic of South Africa as well as and to act as the controlling body for the preparation and delivery of Team South Africa at all multi-sport international games including but not limited to the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, World Games and All Africa Games.

More information is available at

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