Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation and Rowing South Africa won the 35th Jack Cheetham and Letsema Sports Development Awards, hosted by Murray & Roberts in association with SASCOC.
Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation were the winners of the Jack Cheetham Award, which recognises sports development projects transforming the lives of able-bodied young South Africans. The foundation exposes previously disadvantaged youth to the sport of sailing and provides opportunities for careers in the nautical sciences and maritime industry. Participants in the project have previously represented South Africa at world sailing events.
First place in the Letsema Award went to Rowing South Africa for their Rowing for the Disabled programme. The Letsema Award, inspired by Hilton Langenhoven and his performance at the 2008 Paralympics, is awarded to sports development projects for people with disabilities. Rowing for the Disabled has a mass outreach programme for both indoor and outdoor rowing, which continues to produce elite athletes, several of whom have participated in the Paralympic Games.
Both awards are worth R500,000 over a three-year period.
The runner-up in the Jack Cheetham Award was National Archery in Schools Programme – South Africa, which uses the sport of archery to promote participation in outdoor activities, while developing life skills. Third place went to CODAH Cycling Club. The club provides support to vulnerable and orphaned children through an outreach programme that includes a feeding scheme, basic life skills and cycling training.
The Letsema Award runner-up was the Northern Cape Sports Association for the Physically Disabled. The association provides opportunities for people with physical disabilities to participate across a wide code of sporting activities. Third place in the Letsema Award went to Frances Vorwerg School for learners with special needs, for their sports programme. Through the sports programme, the school has seen improvements in their learners’ self-esteem, confidence and scholastic subjects.
Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts group chief executive concludes: ‘These awards have had tremendous impact on the beneficiaries over the past 35 years and tonight we celebrate another six finalists who use sport to nurture and inspire young people in their communities. We are excited about the potential that can be realised in our youth through the additional support the awards provide.’
In the main picture: Sail Africa’s Refeloa Zililo, Nthuthuko Makhathini, Mahlape Sello (Murray & Roberts chairman), Jacqueline De Fin and Nigel Milln
ABOUT THE WINNERS
Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation was established in 2007 and is the development project of Sail Africa. The overall objective of the Foundation is to expose youth to the sport of sailing as well as to careers in nautical sciences and the maritime industry.
The Foundation has forged strategic partnerships with the KZN Department of Education to identify and attract urban and rural schools to the programme as well as aligning their training programmes to support curriculums around nautical sciences and maritime studies.
Approximately 80 learners per term are engaged on the development programme with all learners afforded the opportunity to participate in national and international events. Youth that have mastered the basics of sailing are then passed on to yachting clubs, where they are supported in high-performance training. Several youngsters from the Foundation have gone on the represent South Africa in world events.
Rowing for the Disabled is a project of Rowing South Africa and has achieved great success. It is an inclusive sport in that rowers can participate and train as exclusively disabled rowers, but they are also able to compete with and against able-bodied rowers.
Rowing South Africa has a mass-participation programme including both indoor and water-rowing programmes and have elite para-rowers, with two crews having qualified to participate in the Paralympics in 2016.
Rowing for the Disabled was awarded the runner-up prize at the 2012 Letsema Awards.
Pictured in the Letsema Awards ceremony are: Sean Kerr, Mahlape Sello (Murray & Roberts chairman), two-time Paralympian Sandra Khumalo and Virginia Mabaso
Pictures courtesy of Michael Edwards