Trevor Watkins: an inspiration to all

2017-05-25 06:00
Trevor Watkins (66) from Jeffreys Bay, who daily walks to the beach with his four-legged friend Sparky, uses his passion to help residents less fortunate - even if it comes at great personal risk and cost.                                    Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

Trevor Watkins (66) from Jeffreys Bay, who daily walks to the beach with his four-legged friend Sparky, uses his passion to help residents less fortunate - even if it comes at great personal risk and cost. Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

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JEFFREYS BAY resident Trevor Watkins (66) is an ordinary man and stands just over 1.6m tall - but his heart and energy for local residents are enormous.

He likes nothing more than ‘surfing’ the waves on his ancient boogie board, playing volleyball or relaxing on the porch of his bright blue house with his trusted dog Sparky - enjoying a simple life with little wealth or material comforts.

But unlike most 66-year-olds, Watkins uses his passion to help residents less fortunate - even if it comes at great personal risk and cost. Organising a beautiful wedding on a shoestring budget for a young woman he met while playing beach volleyball, or organising a fun day for the elderly, is all in a day’s work for him.

Relishing living by the sea with the joy of a child, Watkins walks daily to the beach with his four-legged friend, Sparky, where he ‘surfs’ the waves with his boogie board. He is convinced that the shock of the cold water keeps him healthy. Only gale force winds and freezing weather will keep him indoors.

It is on these walks that he has befriended the many ‘unseen’ characters of Jeffreys Bay - the poorest and humblest of all citizens. He befriends them, without condescension, and help them with whatever crisis they may face.

A firm believer in staying active, Watkins formed the Kouga Sports Council in 2012, and was the Chairperson of the Council until February this year - organising many sport tournaments and assisting various sporting bo-dies and players in Kouga.

Every weekend he sets up a volleyball net at the beach for locals to come and play - bringing together the poorest residents from the informal settlements and those living a life of luxury. He also spearheaded an indoor volleyball team.

Not resting on his laurels when the sun goes down, he hosts a talk show on KougaFM from 18:00 to 19:00 and is the driving force behind Thyskor, a local initiative to coordinate the response of Kouga residents to the challenges and opportunities presented by the possible Thyspunt nuclear development.

When Watkins is not playing Volleyball or helping community members, he enjoys reading. He even wrote a book, Consent to Life.

“My dad is a simple man, but he has the biggest, humblest and most generous heart I know,” says his daughter Bronwyn Kohler.

“He lives a simple life with little wealth or material comforts, but the amount of good he is able to do with his limited means, for little recognition or reward but simply for the joy of helping people, is extraordinary. To me he is an inspiration.”

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