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Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy and Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired triumph at the 2014 Jack Cheetham and Letsema Awards.

06 November 2014

Johannesburg, 6 November 2014 - Murray & Roberts, in partnership with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), presented the 33rd annual Jack Cheetham Memorial and Letsema Awards at a gala event held in Sandton tonight.

Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy was awarded the Jack Cheetham Memorial Award, for able-bodied sports development projects, and the Letsema Award for sporting projects for disabled athletes, went to Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired.  Both projects receive R500 000 payable over five years.

Runner up in the Jack Cheetham Award went to Olympians Wrestling Academy, with Lifesaving South Africa taking third place.  In the Letsema category, runner up went to Flairs Gymnastics Club, Thembalethu School Project and third place was awarded to Metro Eagles Sports Club.

Runners up in each category receive R150 000 over three years, while third place winners receive R75 000 for the same period.

For Group Chief Executive, Henry Laas, the awards are a way for Murray & Roberts to transform lives. “Sport is an opportunity to positively affect the lives of young South Africans and with the additional financial support provided through the awards, we look forward to seeing these projects nurture and develop our youth and sporting talent into the future.”

About the Awards

The Jack Cheetham Memorial Award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 33 years ago in recognition of the special qualities of Jack Cheetham, a former director of the company and the inspirational captain of the South African cricket team in the 1950s who was able to instil in young people the belief that they could win. The award targets sports development projects, focusing on individuals or teams that have the potential to be champions.

The Murray & Roberts Letsema Award was first awarded in 2009 following the outstanding performance of athlete Hilton Langenhoven who captured the attention of the world at the 2008 Paralympics in Athens. This award recognises sports development projects for people with disabilities.



Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy

The academy provides opportunities for the youth of Diepsloot community through sports development and empowerment programmes to enable them to become active participants in the social upliftment of their community. The long-term vision of the academy is to develop each athlete into a well-rounded and skilled individual who is able to earn sustainable income and provide for their family. During this year, athletes from the academy where selected to represent South Africa at the African Youth Games in Botswana, the Youth Olympic Games in Hong Kong and they also have a representative at the 2014 UCI MTB World Championship in Norway.


Olympians Wrestling Academy

The academy promotes Olympic Wrestling and academic tutoring among disadvantaged youth to empower them with leadership skills and personal success and provides an alternative to crime, gangs and drug abuse prevalent in the local community. The development programme introduces wrestling to schools in Fisantekraal, Philadelphia, Klipheuwel and Joostenberg Vlakte in the Western Cape; children receive training and are fed, clothed and taught important life skills. Individuals who show potential to compete are provided with additional coaching and mentorship, many of these athletes have SA National Colours, International Colours and have also represented South Africa at international events.


Lifesaving South Africa

The objectives of Lifesaving South Africa is to encourage and provide the best drown prevention practices and to create a healthy environment for mass and individual participation in the sport of lifesaving. The Wild Coast Athlete Development project provides a platform for skill development in lifesaving, coaching, assessment and administration in the local communities of Port St Johns, Mzamba, Mbotyi, Nyandeni and Coffee Bay. Lifesaving South Africa has several athletes from the development project, who have overcome challenging circumstances, to succeed at both Provincial and National Championships.



Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired

The association was established with the aim of supporting children with disabilities to access and excel across a variety of sporting codes including athletics, boccia, para cycling, goal ball, swimming and cerebral palsy soccer. Most of the children come from disadvantaged communities and are identified through partnerships with schools for learners with special needs.  The association provides an opportunity for disabled athletes to participate in sport nationally and internationally. Athletes from the association have been included in the Free State Sports Institute high performance programme with one athlete in the SASCOC Operation Excellence programme.


Flairs Gymnastics Club, Thembalethu School Project

The Flairs vision is to see a generation of young people reaping the benefits of a disciplined and healthy lifestyle by using gymnastics as a tool to improve discipline, team work, respect and self-confidence. The academy will introduce a Gymnastics for Children with Disabilities programme to Tembaletu School in Guguletu, which is the only special needs school to be found in a township in the Western Cape. The gymnastics programme helps children with disabilities improve their coordination, core strength and physical skills and will work in conjunction with the schools existing physio and occupational therapists. Gymnasts that show promise for competition work towards competing in the World Championships for people with Downs Syndrome in addition to more mainstream competitions.


Metro Eagles Sports Club

Metro Eagles Sports Club provides learners with disabilities an opportunity to participate in sport.  Athletes are recruited from four local schools, catering for children with intellectual impairment, in the Nelson Mandel Metropolitan Municipality. The children participate in cricket, athletics and soccer and the club provides an alternative to crime, drugs and abuse, teaching them to believe in themselves. Many of the athletes have national colours and four have been selected for a high performance programme.

About Murray & Roberts

Murray & Roberts is South Africa’s leading engineering and construction services company. It has delivered infrastructure throughout South and Southern Africa for more than 110 years and is today recognised as an international engineering and construction group. Murray & Roberts is a group of world-class companies and brands aligned to the same purpose and vision, and guided by the same set of values.

The company offers civil, mechanical, electrical, mining and process engineering, general building, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance services. Murray & Roberts does so in the global underground mining market, selected international oil & gas markets, selected African power and industrial markets and selected African infrastructure sectors.

Murray & Roberts operates in Southern, Central and Western Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia and North and South America. The company is based in Johannesburg South Africa, where it has a public listing on the JSE Limited. It has principle offices in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia.

More information is available at


The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is the controlling body for all high performance sport in South Africa and was formed as a Section 21 Company by representatives of all the sports bodies at a general meeting held on 27 November 2004.

In terms of the Memorandum of Association, the main object is to promote and develop high performance sport in the Republic of South Africa as well as and to act as the controlling body for the preparation and delivery of Team South Africa at all multi-sport international games including but not limited to the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, World Games and All Africa Games. 

More information is available at


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