20 quickfire questions with ... Dan Nicholl

Sport24 and Laureus Sport for Good South Africa have teamed up during the lockdown and asked their ambassadors to answer 20 quickfire questions. Look out for a new profile each day!

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TODAY: Host of The Dan Nicholl Show and passionate supporter of Laureus Sport for Good ... DAN NICHOLL

1. Nickname/s: Nothing very exciting - Dan the Man from university days. And “you idiot” from my wife on a regular basis

2. Greatest sporting moment for that you can recall (in general): Hugging the guy next to me (who I’d never met) when Shabba scored the opening goal in 2010, and Soccer City went mad - and standing on the second green at The Links in gathering gloom as Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus debated the fate of the Presidents Cup at Fancourt in 2003

3. Childhood sporting hero: When I was very young, definitely Schalk Brits and Jean de Villiers ... but Brian Lara topped the list. I remember listening to BBC radio when he broke Gary Sobers’s world record, hitting a boundary to go past 365. Still get goosebumps remembering that

4. Greatest sporting moment personally: Playing golf at the Old Course after the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with Bill Murray. Being on stage at the Laureus Awards over the last few years. Surviving a four-day cycle through the mountains of Laos with Ron Rutland and completing the Just Challenge last year, joining fellow Laureus ambassador Annabelle Bond and Academy members Bryan Habana and Brian O’Driscoll for a four-day, 100km trek through the Drakensberg

5. Game or sporting event that you could watch on repeat: I’m a very proud UCT graduate, so the last 10 minutes of the 2014 Varsity Cup final can never be watched enough!

6. Sea or river: The sea - although Greek beach, rather than Irish

7. Chocolate or vanilla: Neither - us athletes have very strict diets ...

8. Favourite holiday destination: I visit Greece every year to see my wife’s family. Her home village is charming, Athens is a wonderful city, and the islands are enchanting - Paros or Spetses would be my first pick

9. Banana or pineapple on a pizza: Massively controversial, but pineapple (one slice, with a side salad, and an hour of sit-ups.)

10. What would your last meal be: Tough call - either a Greek feast cooked by my mother-in-law, or a ribeye on the bone, medium rare, lashings of hot English mustard, and a bottle of Hemel-en-Aarde pinot noir

11. Favourite superhero and why: Does Bryan Habana count? If not, then Deadpool - saving the world with a cracking sense of humour

12. If a movie was made about your life who would play you: (50 Shades Of Grey star) Jamie Dornan would kill for the role - and we’re both born in Belfast, which helps. But for physique, you’d probably have to go with Siv Ngesi

13. Three things you would want with you on a desert island: My golf clubs (bunker play should improve immeasurably), a coconut recipe book, and my complete Asterix collection

14. Current series addiction: Rewatching ’Trackers’ - best South African television production I’ve seen (and had Deon Meyer on The Dan Nicholl Show earlier this year - he’s brilliant)

15. Do you have a favourite joke: What do you call two Spanish firemen? Hose A, and Hose B ...

16. Best piece of advice you have ever received: Overnight success takes a lot of hard work. Keep persevering, and don’t be afraid of hard work. Took 13 years for The Dan Nicholl Show to get on air after the pilot was filmed. And always try to keep smiling!

17. Hobby: Assembling a trampoline during lockdown. Not recommended

18. How does Sport for good relate to you: As a sports journalist, and now a presenter, as well an amateur enthusiast, sport has had a huge impact on my life, just as it has through the Laureus platform around the world. Wherever I’ve visited programmes - Rio de Janeiro, Belfast, London, New York - the same principle applies: sport lifts kids up, allows them to just enjoy being children, and offers hope for a brighter future. South Africans celebrating after the World Cup win last year is just one of so many examples of sport’s power for good, and Laureus harnesses that power so effectively.

19. Laureus programme that you have interacted with, and what they do: I’ve had many of the programmes on The Dan Nicholl Show over the years - so many brilliant projects. I love Waves For Change, which featured on the very first show, as Stuart Taylor and I got our first surf lesson from kids at a programme that’s made surf therapy a life changing platform. And Fight With Insight, in inner city Johannesburg, has empowered and grown young people through boxing in a very challenging environment. Although that was where Boyzone singer Ronan Keating knocked me out on a project visit, so mixed memories ...

20. What are you and/or your family doing over this time to ensure you keep mentally and physically healthy? Trying to be out of our pyjamas by lunchtime ... assorted sport in the garden, keeping a semblance of routine, and watching the 2019 Rugby World Cup final together every evening!

Who is Laureus?

Laureus is a global movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.”

This has become the philosophy of Laureus, the driving belief behind all they do.

Laureus combines Laureus Sport for Good, the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors Programme and the Laureus World Sports Awards to form a unique organisation that uses the inspirational power of sport as a force for good.

Laureus Sport for Good South Africa

The Laureus Sport For Good Foundation Trust South Africa is a local chapter of the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation. Launched in 2002, SA was the first regional office to be established by Laureus International.

What is the Laureus Sport For Good vision? “Using the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage. Proving that sport can change the world”. 

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa supports over 30 projects nationwide. Every programme supported addresses at least one of the following six social issues, which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 

• Health: Enhancing mental wellbeing and encouraging healthy behaviour change

• Education: Increased access to and completion of education

• Women and Girls: Promoting equality, empowerment and safety

• Employability: Developing skills and creating pathways to employment

• Inclusive Society: Creating communities which embrace ethnic, cultural and physical differences

• Peaceful Society: Resolving conflict, promoting community peace-building and creating safe spaces

For more information: https://www.laureus.co.za/

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