On November 4, Border Icons in Sport (BIS) will award sporting stalwarts, both past and present, for their contributions towards furthering sports in the Border region.
The Chairman’s Award will be bestowed upon eight exceptional athletes who have made an impact at grassroots and national level.
Among the winners include legends such as motorsport prodigy, the late Des Ally, and interdisciplinary sports hero, the late Billy Goodford, whose families will collect their awards posthumously.
Other winners will include Ricardo Groom, Ellen Khumalo, Marilyn Sass, Charles Smith, John Bennet, Robyn Pillay and Samuel de Wet.
The award winners will be honoured at a gala dinner to be held at the Amber Luxury Wedding Venue.
BIS is a local NPO aimed at promoting the development of sports in under-resourced areas in the region.
This year, the organisation has played an active role in reviving local school-based rugby, providing training for sporting administrators and raising funds through sport for the benefit of charities and old age homes in the city.
This is the second gala dinner to be hosted in honour of Border athletes.
The awards serve to encourage future generations to not give up as local schools are abandoning sports programmes due to funding and facility constraints, while community sports grounds are laid waste to vandalism and theft.
BIS hopes that shining a light on the achievements of past athletes who faced hardships will rekindle hope in the future of Border sport.
Ally, for instance, was a motorsport hero on par with world champions such as Ivor Raasch and Jody Sheckter, yet during his career in the 1970s, he was banned from the sport and forced to compete with his identity concealed because competitive leagues were not open to people of colour.
Yet he remained committed and contributed from his own pocket towards events and competitions.
He never received sponsorship or sufficient recognition for his excellence despite being entirely self-taught.
His daughter, Caroll Warmberg, who will receive his award, said: “As a family, we are extremely proud of my late dad’s achievements including this latest award and more so now that we can share his successes with others.
“It is important to honour sporting heroes from Border because their success turns them into positive role models…”
BIS member, Garth van Heerden, said the youth were involved in gangsterism and substance abuse due to the lack of recreational and job opportunities. For more details, contact Geoff Gamiet on 072-1428-548 or email: bordericons2022 @gmail.com.