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Jack Cheetham


Olympians Wrestling Club

The schools and community outreach programme, a project of the Olympians Wrestling Club, was established in 2006. The club is based in the Western Cape and promotes Olympic sports to disadvantaged youth to counter gangsterism, substance abuse and crime.

There are five clubs operating, some headed by coaches that began as beneficiaries of the club, and they reach approximately 200 high-risk youth twice a week.

Twenty wrestlers have been identified for training at the High Performance Centre, all of whom have provincial colours and have represented South Africa at National and International level.

Olympians Wrestling Club was a runner-up in the 2014 Jack Cheetham Award.

1st Runner Up

Golden Lions Gymnastics Club

Established in 1988, Golden Lions Gymnastics is a community upliftment project for children from Westbury, Newclare, Claremont and Newlands in Johannesburg with the aim to produce South African and World Acro Gymnastics champions. The club takes children off the streets of rough neighbourhoods and gives them an opportunity to excel and perform while also educating them around the dangers of drug use, HIV and teenage pregnancy.

Over the past five years the club has produced 149 gold medals and 10 silver and bronze medals at the South African National Championships. In 2004, the club caused an upset at the World Acro Gymnastics Age Group Games by beating the Russian favourites to win the gold medal in their age group category. They are consistently amongst the top performers in international competition despite their humble beginnings and lack of funding.

2nd Runner Up

Grootbos Foundation – Rock the Boat Canoeing Programme

Rock the Boat Canoeing Programme was established in 2016 by the Stanford Canoe Club, part of the Grootbos Foundation, as a development programme to attract youngsters from the local communities in the rural Overberg region in the Western Cape to the sport of canoeing.

The programme offers recreational paddling, competitive sprint canoeing, marathon canoeing, ski paddling and canoe polo as well as basic water safety. In addition to sports, the programme teaches valuable social skills and keeps vulnerable children away from potentially risky and anti-social behaviour.

While still in its development stages, the programme has already produced inspiring paddlers and recently sent a team to the South African Championships in Swellendam.