Going Strong TuksSport Academies Still For the last five

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For the last five years the hpc’s academies have been setting the bar for sport training and development, but can they keep it up?

Going Strong
cricket, the academy serves as the official feeder system for the Titans. This means talented young players are here afforded the opportunity to take their skills to a nationally competitive level. But the Cricket Academy is not alone in this quest to produce quality athletes, as the 26% membership growth across all the other academies indicates. Mr Danie du Toit, manager of the academies, points out that 2008 has brought about greater emphasis both in terms of an expansion of the academies and student involvement. One of the initiatives towards achieving this goal has been the establishment of Golf degree at the University of Pretoria. Talented golfers are now given the chance to complete a three year degree in Sports Science while also earning their PGA licence. Since TUKS (in partnership with the hpc) is the first university to offer such a programme, South Africa will soon be producing internationally qualified golfers and golf coaches at an astounding rate. Despite the growth the academies have shown, quality rather than quantity is still the main objective. ‘There is a limit to the number of people we will take in, as our strategy is always centred on providing individualised training and development,’ says Mr du Toit. ‘In order to keep our attention focused on a smaller number of members, our selection processes have become much stricter.’ Due to the high standards of excellence set by the academies and the specialised training they offer, no less than 24 junior and 12 senior Proteas have sprung from the academies in the last year, and 29 athletes from these programmes are on their way to Beijing. Considering then the achievements of the last year, we may attempt to answer the above questions. Yes, the academies have indeed lived up to their reputation, and because of this can paint a picture of words which complements these triumphs. Finally, there is probably no need to boast since actions speak louder than words. But if you have it, why not flaunt it?

Text: Rick de Villiers


n the Medalist of April 2007 we gave you the inside scoop on the development and evolution of the various academies at the hpc. We told you that the number academy members multiplied exponentially in the space of but a few years. We presented you with stats and figures to indicate the influence scientifically focused sports training has had on athletes within these units. We dropped names of high-profile coaches and sports specialists to dazzle you with the gravitational pull of our institution. In short, we boasted. And we did so because we could. The question in 2008 is whether the hpc’s academies have managed to keep up the good work, whether enough has been done to merit a sustained flourish of favourable adjectives, whether there is even need for the flattery of words. Weigh the facts and decide for yourself. In addition to the already existing academies for soccer, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, rowing, Taekwando, table tennis, athletics and golf, the full repertoire now also includes cricket. Heading this academy are Rob Walter (former assistant coach of the Nashua Titans) and Grant Morgan (assistant coach to the under 19 national side that recently made it to the final of the ICC u/19 World Cup). With its foci on moulding the future quickies and master blasters of South African

April 2008


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