Fanfares and smiles as SA cricket stars visit Kenhardt ahead of desert trek

Team Cricket is the last to compete in the BrightRock Battle of the Sports

09 October 2020 - 12:44
Team Cricket meets members of the Kenhardt Carnival Band this week in Kenhardt, Northern Cape.
Image: Supplied Team Cricket meets members of the Kenhardt Carnival Band this week in Kenhardt, Northern Cape.

Kenhardt in the Northern Cape was abuzz on Thursday when three SA cricket champions were welcomed to the small town by the Kenhardt Carnival Band, led by Kiewiet Jafta and Wilen Titus.

Team Cricket — comprising Lance Klusener, Makhaya Ntini and Monde Zondeki — is the last team to compete in the BrightRock Battle of the Sports endurance challenge and Covid-19 fundraiser, a 200km trek around the arid Verneukpan.

The cricketers also met local soccer and cricket players at a Kenhardt sports field, where the town's teams received soccer balls, nets and cones donated by Neil Tovey, who participated in Team Soccer's challenge last week.

The local players tested their skills against those of the cricket legends, batting and bowling with the world's best, and got their pictures and autographs.

Kenhardt Classic Eleven captain Remarco Jacobs and coach Brian Titus accepted the donated equipment, handed over by Ntini on behalf of Tovey. The cricketer also shared some advice with the teams, saying: “Play the game because you love it; don’t play the game because you are looking to get something out of it. You might miss the best opportunity!”

Showcasing the Northern Cape

Also in Kenhardt on Thursday were Northern Cape economic development and tourism MEC Abraham Vosloo; local councillor and Kai-Garib mayor Marius Louw; and Peter McKuchane, GM of Northern Cape Tourism, one of the sponsors of the BrightRock Battle of the Sports.

Vosloo said: “We are so proud to partner with this wonderful event. We believe it presents a platform for exposure of the province to millions of people beyond our border, and that puts us in a unique position to showcase what Northern Cape Tourism has to offer.

“We believe the local tourism industry will greatly benefit from this. Our focus this year has been the small towns and villages in the province, so this challenge could not have come at a better time. We also greatly appreciate the gesture of sports equipment to our local community. It is much needed and takes our young people off the streets and onto the sporting field to escape the social ills in the community.”

All of these activities form part of efforts by Events to Aid to raise money for vulnerable communities hard hit by Covid-19.  

“We are appealing to all sports-loving South Africans to support our athletes doing this 200km challenge and to make a donation,” said Events to Aid CEO Clive Grinaker.

The fundraising is managed by the Covid-19-orientated NGO Right to Care.

Team Cricket set off at midday on Friday on their 200km journey, accompanied by team leader Erik Vermeulen.

The finishing times of the teams competing in the challenge will not be revealed until all the teams have competed. All the results will be announced on October 16.

How do you get involved?

  • Visit the Battle of the Sports website to support your favourite sports team doing the Verneukpan 200km challenge by donating to this worthy cause.
  • Use the hashtags #battleofthesportschallenge #lovechange when posting on the challenge's Facebook or Twitter page, or via Instagram.
  • Then challenge as many of your friends as possible, or any schools, clubs and companies, to support this cause by tagging them in your social media posts.