RECEIVING the KFC Mini cricket coach of the year award at the recently held Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards is a meaningful gesture for Ruth Bowles, who has been part of the KFC Mini-Cricket coaching programme for over 10 years.
Enthusiastic, optimistic and with a positive approach to coaching, her love and passion for developing the game cannot be understated.
Over the last few years, she has made it her mission to get Cape Flats teachers involved, especially at schools that have no extra mural activities.
Even though she left teaching in the Grassy Park zone to teach in another zone, she remained their coordinator in an environment where teachers are reluctant to add to their responsibilities.
Bowels is a role model of discipline, punctuality, assertiveness and has strong motivational skills. She is a wonderful communicator and therefore participates in the provincial executive committee of the teachers’ union, which is also a platform used to recruit teachers to start coaching KFC Mini-Cricket.
Her love for development helped establish strong partnerships with KFC Mini-Cricket schools in Grassy Park as well as the local cricket club. This partnership has resulted in a strong junior section.
KFC Mini-Cricket co-ordinator of the Year went to Julius Maziya from Easterns Cricket Union.
Passionate ex-cricketer Julius Maziya is an integral part of Easterns’ development set-up. He started his journey and love affair with the sport as a young player in 1990 at Edalinceba Primary School in Duduza. From there, he went on to represent the same Easterns Cricket Union at various national cricket weeks since the age of 13 and he remains committed to helping the regional’s mother body even until today.
After a spell of playing amateur level cricket for Easterns, he started working as a head coach for his home club, Duduza Cricket Club.
Ten years ago, and after an affiliation of 20 years with Easterns Cricket, Maziya started working for the Mpumalanga Cricket Union as a KFC Mini-Cricket co-ordinator while furthering his studies in HR management.
However, his desire to return to his roots drew him back to Benoni and in March 2017, he rejoined Easterns where he continues to work as a KFC Mini-Cricket co-ordinator.
The experienced Julius loves working with his young children and his passion continues to glow brightly when it comes to the development of cricket at grass-root level.
Sport fanatic Mercia Baatjies has been involved in some form of sport all her life. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to be involved in the sporting industry, hence her studying sport management. A former cricketer herself, the Port Elizabeth-born administrator entered the world of sport when she started out at the Eastern Province Cricket Union in 2008 and has never looked back.
After five years in the job, she was offered a post at KZN Inland in Pietermaritzburg which she grabbed, and under the guidance of former KFC Mini-Cricket Coach of the Year Sibonelo Ngcobo she has thrived.
Her passion for development knows no boundaries. KZN is a vast district but Mercia often travels to these regions to make sure all areas in the region get a chance to be part of this phenomenal programme. With the support of her family, the qualified level 1 coach is also actively involved in management of women’s cricket teams and has been the manager for the KZN Inland Senior Provincial Women’s team, the u-13 and u-16 Regional Week girl’s teams.
She was also an SA selector at the Girls u-19 National Week that took place at Michaelhouse in 2018.
A first for gender equality,the KFC Streetwise Awards were contested by both the Proteas men and Momentum Proteas women’s players. The award was won by Mignon du Preez for her brilliant six hit that virtually clinched South Africa’s victory over England at this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
It is an important sign of the changing face of cricket that for the first time our best men’s and women’s players competed on a level playing field for some of the awards, and Mignon du Preez’s achievement in being named winner of the KFC Streetwise Award is a very significant one.
She has been a wonderful servant of the game for a long period of time and her performance in reaching the milestone of 100 T20 International caps deserves special mention.
(Source: Alberton Rekord)