3 November 2017

South Africa: Wrestling, Judo the Big Winners At Cheetham/Letsema Awards

The Olympians Wrestling Club and Judo Institute for People with Special Needs, were the big winners at the 36th Jack Cheetham and Letsema Sports Development Awards, hosted by Murray & Roberts in association with SASCOC.

Western Cape-based Olympians Wrestling Club were the winners of the Jack Cheetham Award, which recognises sports development projects that transform the lives of able-bodied young South Africans.

The club has a school and community outreach programme that promotes Olympic sports to disadvantaged youth in an effort to counter the effects of gang violence, substance abuse and crime.

The Letsema Award went to the Judo Institute for People with Special Needs. The institute uses judo to instil confidence, self-esteem and discipline into players with disabilities, amongst disadvantaged communities in the Eastern Cape.

The Letsema Award is in recognition of sports development projects for people with disabilities and was inspired by Hilton Langenhoven and his performance at the 2008 Paralympics.

Golden Lions Gymnastics Club were the first runners-up in the Jack Cheetham Award. The club is a community upliftment project for children in the Westbury community in Johannesburg and are consistently among the top performers in international competition despite their lack of funding.

The second runners-up were the Rock the Boat Canoeing Programme, part of the Grootbos Foundation. The development programme provides canoeing skills and basic water safety to youngsters from the rural Overberg region in the Western Cape.

The Letsema Award first runners-up were Mustang Wheelchair Rugby. The club aims to develop wheelchair rugby as a sport in South Africa to improve the well-being of people living with disabilities. Beneficiaries include children with physical disabilities from rural areas in the Free State and Northern Cape.

The second runners-up were the South African Transplant Sports Association. The association's vision is to optimise the quality of life of organ transplant recipients through sports.

'These awards recognise excellence in sports development and are a highlight in the year for Murray & Roberts,' said Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive. 'We recognise the organisations that are using sport to uplift and develop the youth in their communities and we look forward to seeing their potential develop over the next few years with the additional support the awards provide.'

About the Awards

The Jack Cheetham Award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 36 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 instil 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.

In the main picture are (left to right): Reinhard Bosse, Jodine Bosse, Marthinus Bosse, Wendy Bossee from Olympians Wrestling Club and Suresh Kana (Murray & Roberts chairman)

In the other picture are (left to right): Kana (Murray & Roberts ), Ndyebo Lamani, Sondisa Magajane, Siyamthanda Deleki from the Judo Institute for People with Special Needs

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