Coach hangs up her whistle

Cheryl Bocks will be retiring after 36 years of teaching. On the left she is pictured with pupils Denzil Saal, left, 13, and Kurt Classen, 12. Above she is pictured with her colleague, Zelda Johnson.

After 36 years of teaching, Alpine Primary School’s Cheryl Bocks has decided to bring down the curtain on an illustrious and rewarding career.

Ms Bocks, 58, from Strandfontein Village, taught maths, life skills and Afrikaans at the Beacon Valley School.

She started teaching at Meadowridge Primary School in Lentegeu in 1983 before moving to Reygersdal Primary School in Atlantis in 1989.

In 1991 she joined Alpine Primary where she became a stalwart in school sports and recreation.

Ms Bocks was one of the first teachers who caught onto the Diski dance, which was created for the Soccer World Cup held in South Africa in 2010.

She and her colleagues were chosen to tour Cape Town and teach it to the rest of the city.

Ms Bocks has also been involved in sports on a national level. In 1999 the teacher was an integral member of the South African Gymnastics team when they took part in the Gymnistrada in Sweden.

It was her first time travelling overseas and she was proud to be one of the chosen coaches.

Her pupils will miss her the most.

“I didn’t want her to leave because she would always encourage us to be better and be the best we can be,” said Alpine Primary School Grade 7 pupil, Kurt Classen, 12.

Ms Bocks helped Kurt win a schools athletics meet and also helped him reach the Western Province Champs of Champs.

Denzil Saal, 13, another Grade 7 pupil, was also motivated by Ms Bocks to be the school soccer captain and led the team to the Progressive Principals’ Association title in 2017.

“Ms Bocks always told me that I can be a great soccer player if I keep my discipline. She always made sure that we were fed and not hungry during our sports events.”

Denzil is the youngest brother of Devon Saal, who plays for Stellenbosch FC in the National First Division. Ms Bocks is known for her discipline and commitment.

“She is a woman of class and is always punctual; she is also Miss Smart herself,” said Zelda Johnson, a teacher at Alpine Primary.

Ms Bocks has impacted many people, from pupils to colleagues, but she says she felt the time was right to retire.

“Everything I did was for the kids, they made my day. I will miss teaching them. I knew that my time has come and that I needed to stop.”

Ms Bocks won’t be sitting idle though, and will be co-ordinating national Eisteddfod event.