Mitchell’s Plain home of champions

Looking back at the year in sport

As we look forward to a well-deserved break, here’s a look back at some of the sporty people who made headlines in the Plainsman in 2023.

Chantel Fisher, from Rocklands, centre, sporting the purple colours of the Chaeli Campaign, a social justice foundation promoting the capabilities and the role of children with disabilities, was among the thousands who took to the streets in the Peninsula Marathon, from Green Point to Simon’s Town, earlier this year. Picture: Fuad Esack

We kicked the year off on the road as runners from Mitchell’s Plain and beyond took part in the Peninsula Marathon, from Green Point to Simon’s Town. The event, held at the end of February, along with the West Coast Marathon in March, served as a qualifier for the Two Oceans Marathon in April and Comrades Marathon in June.

At the end of the first term, Plainsman reported that Mitchell’s Plain really is home to champions with a number of athletes from the area achieving gold with record-breaking performances at national competitions.

Riaan Galant, 18, from Beacon Valley, a matriculant at Eros Special Education School, in Bridgetown, smashed three records at last week’s SA Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) national championships. Picture: Fuad Esack

Among the star performers was Riaan Galant, 18, from Beacon Valley, a matriculant at Eros Special Education School, in Bridgetown, who smashed three records at the SA Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) national championships.

Parkhurst Primary School sprinter Lamica Adamson, 10, won gold in the under-11 80m dash, the100m sprint event and 4x100m relay at the nationals primary schools’ championships in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Fuad Esack

Parkhurst Primary School’s Lamica Adamson, 11, from Rondevlei, a key member of Team Western Cape’s under-11 4x100m relay team showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels at primary schools’ national championships in Pietermaritzburg. She also claimed victory in the 80m dash and 100m sprint event at the nationals.

Former Mondale High and WP hurdler Naeem Jack, 15, left, on his way to breaking the boys’ under-18 110m hurdles event, at the ASA national championships, in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Cecilia van Bers

Former Mondale High and WP hurdler Naeem Jack, 15, now representing Boland Athletics, crossed the finish line in record-breaking fashion in the boys’ under-18 110m hurdles event, at the ASA national championships, in Pietermaritzburg.

Stars of Zwelendinga’s Analo Mnwana, from Khayelitsha, gains possession during a Mitchell’s Plain Netball Union (MPNU) under-17 knockout fixture, against Brave Hearts, earlier this year. Picture: Fuad Esack

In March, players, coaches, referees, administrators and government officials gathered at Stephen Reagan Sport Complex, in Westridge, for the unveiling of a mural as a run up to the 2023 Netball World Cup. This was the second mural for Mitchell’s Plain and the eighth in the series of Netball World Cup legacy murals that the City of Cape Town unveiled ahead of the quadrennial tournament in July.

Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, aka BBoy Toufeeq represented South Africa at the Red Bull BC One world finals at the Stade Roland-Garros, in Paris, in October. Picture: Fuad Esack
Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, aka BBoy Toufeeq and Lakeisha Dick, aka BGirl Keisha, 16, were crowned champions in their respective divisions at the Red Bull BC One national breakdance finals, at GrandWest in April.

Eastridge breakdancer Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, aka BBoy Toufeeq, and Lakeisha Dick aka BGirl Keisha, 16, from Ocean View, were crowned champions in their respective divisions at the Red Bull BC One national breakdance finals, at GrandWest at the end of April. The two represented South Africa at the Red Bull BC One world finals at the Stade Roland-Garros, in Paris, in October.

Eastridge speedster Tamzin Thomas, 25, in action at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) track and field championships, in Bloemfontein. Picture: Barco Greeff

After recovering from a hamstring injury in 2021 and 2022, Eastridge speedster Tamzin Thomas, 25, crossed the finish line first in the 100m final at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) track and field championships, in Bloemfontein. The former Junior African champion, All-African Games silver medallist and 200m national champion started her running career at Imperial Primary School in Beacon Valley.

Tyra Booysen, 14, from Westridge, and a Grade 8 pupil at Mondale High, won the first event of the Clovelly Winter Series under-15 B division in May. Picture: Fuad Esack
Promising….Tyra Booysen, 14, from Westridge. Picture: Fuad Esack

Still in May, Plainsman reported that Tyra Booysen, 14, a young golfer from Westridge and a Grade 8 pupil at Mondale High, won the first event of the Clovelly Winter Series under-15 B division and was among the top finishers at the Nomads SA Girls’ Rose Bowl Championship at Sun City. Tyra started out with Mitchell’s Plain Golf Club in 2019 before joining Rondebosch Golf Club, thanks to a development programme involving youngsters from the Lentegeur-based club.

Promising soccer prospect Isma-eel Veldsman, 16, from Portland, was selected to take part in soccer trials, in Spain. Picture: Fuad Esack

In June, Isma-eel Veldsman, 16, from Portland, a Grade 9 pupil at Mitchell’s Plain High School and a member of the Table View-based BT Academy, was selected to take part in soccer trials, in Spain, in September.

Mitchell’s Plain kickboxer Mika-Eel Jacobs, impressed at a friendly international tournament in Ottery, in July. Picture: Fuad Esack

In July, Team SA’s Mika-Eel Jacobs, 17, a Grade 12 pupil at Aloe High School and a member of Mitchell’s Plain Kickboxing Club, beat his Canadian opponent, Martin Caro during their junior male 63.50kg low kick bout, at Vibrant Sports, in Ottery.

In the relatively short time since taking up the sport, he has already won the Cape Town District and Western Cape provincial championship titles, as well as the national title and is the newly-crowned inter-continental champion.

Taufeeq Murray, 15, from Colorado Park, was ranked the number one seed in the team event at the World 8-ball Pool Federation (WEPF) Ultimate World Championships, in Agadir, Morocco, and made the tournament’s dream team. Picture: Fuad Esack

Also in July, a group of youngsters from Mitchell’s Plain and one from Eerste River proudly flew the SA flag at last week’s World 8-ball Pool Federation (WEPF) Ultimate World Championships, in Agadir, Morocco, finishing second overall in the under-18 team event.

Portland High pupils Anique Oliver, from Portland, Cassiem Abrahams, from Montrose Park, Taufeeq Murray, from Colorado Park, Mitchell’s Plain Heights Primary School’s Nicklyn Maki, from Tafelsig and Jordan Wenn, from Eerste River, lost 8-7 on a decider in their final match against the team from Malta. Taufeeq, 15, was ranked the number one seed in the team event and made the tournament’s dream team.

Kyle Saunders, 26, from Beacon Valley, captained the South African Bok Tag Rugby team at the 2023 International Tag Federation (ITF) Tag World Cup, in Ireland. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

In August, former Oval North High School pupil, Kyle Saunders, 26, from Beacon Valley, captained the South African Bok Tag Rugby team at the 2023 International Tag Federation (ITF) Tag World Cup, in Ireland.

Kyra-Ashleigh Blanckenberg, 16, a Grade 11 pupil at Rocklands High, finished in third place overall in the Women Artistic Gymnastic (WAG) District Trials, in Eversdal, Brackenfell, in August. Picture: Fuad Esack

Paradigm Sports Academy’s Kyra-Ashleigh Blanckenberg, 16, a Grade 11 pupil at Rocklands High, finished in third place overall in the Women Artistic Gymnastic (WAG) District Trials, in Eversdal, Brackenfell. She’s been doing gymnastics for 11 years and joined Paradigm, based at Spine Road High, in 2018.

Collegians RFC stalwart Magadien Jappie, who died on Monday, August 28, pictured here during his hey day.

In September, we paid tribute to Collegians RFC stalwart Magadien Jappie, who died on August 28, after being admitted to Victoria Hospital in Wynberg. Considered as a legend of the game, Jappie played his entire rugby career at the club, while also representing WP and SARU under the SACOS banner.

Westridge FC’s Westridge FC Naeem Nanga slips past his marker during his side’s 6-0 win against Salt River Blackpool, in a Coke Cup match, at Rooikrans, in September. Picture: Fuad Esack

On the soccer front, Westridge FC booked their spot in the Coke Cup quarter-finals with an emphatic 6-0 victory against Salt River Blackpool, in a last round of 16 match, at the Rooikrans sports complex, in Grassy Park. Westridge’s dream run ended in the quarter-finals as they went down 5-3 in a tense penalty shoot-out against Hazendal.

Mondale’s two-goal hero, Siviwe Nkwali, centre, an SA under-20 player, and teammates David Wood, left, and Theodore Jantjies celebrate their side’s 3-1 win against Bergvliet. Picture: Fuad Esack

Mondale High had to dig deep to overcome a determined Bergvliet 3-1 in their under-19 boys’ Kay Motsepe Cape regional finals, at the Elsbury Park sports ground, in Matroosfontein. En route to the finals, Mondale won all their matches without conceding a single goal in six matches, beating all of their rivals, including defending champions Portland High, 2-0.

Meadowridge Primary School’s Uzair Mansfield looks to slip through the gap during his side’s under-11 cup final winning match against Yellowwood. Picture: Fuad Esack

Meadowridge and Yellowwood were crowned Mitchell’s Plain primary schools rugby league champions or Metro South Education Department (MSED) cup winners, at Cornflower Primary School, in Lentegeur, last Friday. The two sides walked away with the winners’ trophies in their respective divisions after Meadowridge beat Yellowwood 22-0 in the under-11 section and Yellowwood edged out Hyacinth 14-12 in the under-13 section. The league, which kicked off in the second term and played under the banner of Western Province Primary Schools Rugby, featured nine teams with the top two in each division going through to the finals.

Ashley “Blokkie” Smith, 27, from Eastridge, on his way to finishing second in Nantes Athletic Club’s Heritage Day 10km Race, held on Sunday September 24, in Bridgetown. In November, the star runner crossed the finish line first in Mitchell’s Plain Titans’ 10km run. Picture Fuad Esack

Star distance runner Ashley “Blokkie” Smith, 27, from Eastridge, finished second behind his long-time friend and training partner, Bruce-Lynn Damons, in Nantes Athletic Club’s Heritage Day 10km Race, held on Sunday September 24, in Bridgetown. Blokkie bounced back to take first place at Mitchell’s Plain Titans’ 10km race in November.

If you’re looking for trouble, you’ll find him in bantam weight brawler Faeez Jacobs. Picture: Fuad Esack

In October, former Mitchell’s Plain fighter Faeez “Troublemaker” Jacobs set his sights on bringing home EFC gold for the second time following a good performance in a three-round bout against Angolan Eduardo Barros. Jacobs showed his speed in the striking department and dominance in the grappling exchanges to walk away with the judge’s decision.

Georgia Petersen, 14, from Portland, selected for the Cape Regional Women’s Rugby under-16 side which took part in the George Tens in December. Picture: Fuad Esack

We also reported on Georgia Petersen, 14, a budding rugby player from Portland and one of 12 players from schools in Mitchell’s Plain selected for the Cape Regional Women’s Rugby under-16 and under-18 teams set to take part in the Africa Skills George Tens sport and lifestyle festival, at Outeniqua Park, in the Southern Cape’s Garden Route region, in December.

Multiple SA table tennis champion Shane Overmeyer, from Bayview, in action at the SA Open, in Bellville, in October. Picture: Fuad Esack

Multiple SA table tennis champion Shane Overmeyer, from Bayview, lost his bid to win a 10th SA singles title, going down to former Cape Town player Luke Abrahams, at the SA Open in Bellville.

However, Overmeyer claimed gold in the men’s veterans’ division, beating Shiloh Top Spinners Shaun Jones in the 40-plus division.

The two rivals joined forces to win gold in the men’s doubles final. The poster boy of SA table tennis, Overmeyer has never played in a tournament in Mitchell’s Plain but got his chance when Woodlands-based Royals Table Tennis Club hosted its 10th anniversary tournament, at Lentegeur civic centre at the end of October.

National women’s soccer team coach Desiree Ellis. Picture: Fuad Esack

In November, Plainsman caught up with national women’s soccer team coach Desiree Ellis at the third Cape Flats Book Festival, held at West End Primary School, in Lentegeur.

Hosted by literacy NGO Read to Rise, the festival brings together authors and publishers to showcase their work. Ellis was there as the headline speaker and to promote her book Magic, From Salt River to the 2023 World Cup. Ellis was named coach of the year at last week’s CAF awards in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Nedbank runner Zintle Xiniwe after winning Mitchell’s Plain Titans 10km women’s race in November. Picture: Fuad Esack

Mitchell’s Plain Titans hosted its annual 21km and 10km races with Ashley “ Blokkie” Smith, from Eastridge and Nedbank runner Zintle Xiniwe winning the men’s and women’s 10km runs.

Zoë de Kock, 18, from Tafelsig, going places. Picture: Fuad Esack

Zoë de Kock, 18, from Tafelsig and a member of the Rocklands-based Hotspurs Ladies FC joined Namibian professional women’s side Ramblers FC, in Windhoek. Last year, the Plainsman reported that the star striker was destined for greater things as she received her third call-up to the national under-17 side, ahead of the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Girls’ under-17 Region 5 championships in Malawi.

Hyacinth Primary’s Schools under-13 squad with former Protea batsman, JP Duminy, founder of the JP21 Foundation’s primary schools’ cricket league in Mitchell’s Plain.

Hyacinth Primary played in the JP21 six-a-side knock out play-offs at Bishops, winning their semi final against Yellowood Primary to set up a final against Woodville Primary, whom they beat with ease, bowling them out for 44 and reaching the target in the third over. Hyacinth also won the JP21 schools league trophy.