Westville Boys’ honour their greatest achievers in the field of sports

2014-11-25 00:00

SPORT achievers across all codes offered were recognised at Westville Boys’ High School’s sports awards evening last week.

Guest speaker was Old Boy and current Dolphins player Cameron Delport, who matriculated in 2008. Special guests included SA Olympic swimmer Leith Shankland and SA men’s waterpolo coach Brad Rowe, ­also Westville Old Boys. They were presented with Pro Meritis blazers by school principal ­Trevor Hall and is the highest honour the school bestows upon ­exceptional achievers.

Previous recipients of the blazer include swimming stars Chad Ho and Chad le Clos in recent years.

Delport reflected on his years at school, particularly his cricket journey, where he was already recognised as a batsman who enjoyed hitting virtually every ball. “It was an up and down time for me. Either I was being shouted at for trying to hit three sixes in a row by my U14 coach or sulking for being dropped,” he said.

Having a good eye and strong arms did not always ensure success for Delport on the cricket field, as he reflected on a change of course at the end of his U14 year. “I was dropped from the team and decided to focus on golf for a while but my mother kept sending me to Graham Ford’s coaching academy every week,” he said. “She believed in me playing cricket at a ­professional level.”

At U15 level, Delport never made the A team but thanks to Ford, he attended U15 trials and made the KZN team. The following year he toured overseas for the first time and made the KZN U17 and U19 teams in grades 11 and 12.

“At the end of matric, I was called to Kingsmead by Fordie and my Dolphins career started as 12th man for a match against the Titans,” said Delport.

“The next week, I was making my debut against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth.”

Rowe was honoured for his contribution to waterpolo, a sport he has coached since the mid 1990s. He matriculated from Westville in 1982 and has 94 senior and 81 junior Test caps to his name. As coach, he has reaped rich accolades at school and national level.

Shankland matriculated in 2009, earning seven distinctions in his final exams. He played hockey, waterpolo and indoor cricket, but swimming was his top sport.

He is currently a member of the SA swimming team, won two medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games, swam at the 2012 London Olympics and was in the world top 10 at the World Champs in 2012. He is currently training for the World Short Course Champs in Doha and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Coach of the year was Ramon Rademeyer whose U16A hockey team destroyed all in their path this season, remaining undefeated and playing in the Top Schools’ tournament from ­December 9 to 16 at Tuks, ­playing against Grey College, Jeppe and Bishops.

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