Sacos athletics stalwarts honoured

Ian Rutgers and Alan O’Ryan, top athletes during the Sacos era, seen at last Friday’s gathering at Turfhall. Picture: Mark Ward


Contributions of several sports luminaries and committed administrators of the once powerful South African Council on Sport (SACOS) were recognised at a gathering at the Turfhall Community Hall in Crawford on Friday.

Among those who attended the event was its president, Frank van der Horst, school’s athletic administrator, Cecil Blaauws, and athletes Ian Rutgers, Terence Smith and Alan O’Ryan who were some of the former greats who were recognised.

Sacos is commemorating 50 years since it was established with its main objective to pursue non-racialism and democracy and oppose apartheid in South Africa.

The event is one of several which has been planned to honour and celebrate the role which Sacos played during the struggle for liberation.

Andrew Augustus, a former principal of Groenvlei High, who now resides in Australia, was among the former athletes who were honoured for their contribution to sport.

Andrew Augustus, former principal of Groenvlei High, was honoured for his contribution to sport at Friday’s gathering at Turfhall. Picture: Mark Ward

Asked if the Sacos as a sports movement has a role to play in post-apartheid, Augustus believes the organisation can focus on specific issues, especially community upliftment projects.

“The struggle is for schools to be afforded the same opportunities as those of the privileged areas. As we discuss the past and present we must set new objectives in our quest for non-racialism. We need to revive township sport. Just go see how an area such as Hanover Park has deteriorated. An area where I once worked as teacher and principal.

Also seen at last Friday gathering in honour of Sacos stalwarts, are, from left, Dougie Oakes, Russel Joubert, Nadeem Hendricks and Derrick Hoshé . Picture: Mark Ward

“But it’s amazing to be back. I’m not here to criticise. It’s great to meet and catch up with old friends. Look, a lot has changed, since I left life is tougher as was in the 1990s. This is mainly due to the economic disparities,” said Augustus.

From left, are, Willie Newman, Allan Zinn, Keith Cyster and Graham Daniels. Picture: Mark Ward