Kallis partners with company to help SA kids
Jacques Kallis has controversial views on transformation in cricket that have garnered him negative press in recent times, but what is seldom reported on is how his foundation every year pays for 10 previously disadvantaged children to attend top schools and thus ensure their lives are properly transformed.
Much of what is said and done in the name of transformation is mere self-serving political expediency or empty talk, so Kallis deserves credit for actually making a difference – the Jacques Kallis Foundation gives a full bursary to children who show cricketing talent, as well as academic merit and have financial needs, to attend one of four prestigious schools – Wynberg Boys High, Maritzburg College, Selborne or Pretoria Boys High.
Kallis himself admits he would never have become the global cricket icon he is were it not for the bursary that paid for him to attend Wynberg, where his incredible talent flourished.
The profitability of these efforts, which have been in place since 2004 when Kallis started the foundation with the R550 000 he received from his Western Province benefit year, is best measured not by the cricketers it produces but by the lives it changes. An example of this is the young man who was given a bursary to Pretoria Boys High after being spotted at the national Under-13 week; although the cricket did
not work out as hoped, he is now studying for an honours degree in actuarial science.
The Jacques Kallis Foundation is now being amalgamated with the Momentum 2 Excellence Bursary Programme, meaning 26 pupils will now have their school fees paid for, securing quality education and a bright future for even more deserving youngsters.
The announcement of the merger was made at the announcement of something that is the best news for South African cricket in a long time: that Momentum have extended their sponsorship deal with Cricket South Africa for another five years.
The wonderful thing about Momentum’s involvement in cricket is not just what thoroughly decent people they are or what wonderful functions they host, it is that they have invested as much in the grassroots of cricket as in their high-profile title sponsorship of all one-day cricket in South Africa and their groundbreaking support of the rapidly rising national women’s team that recently did so well in the World Cup in England.
The company also sponsor the Friendship Games in which top schools play, home and away, against a combined team of underprivileged schools in their area; all CSA’s junior weeks and development projects focused around the eKasi Challenge.
While some local stakeholders are warning that the massive investment in South African cricket that will come from the T20 Global League might not have an entirely positive effect, nobody will quibble that Momentum’s continued involvement is a tremendous coup and a feather in CSA’s cap.
As CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “We know what Momentum have done through the years with their huge commitment, from the junior ranks right through to international level. They have been fabulous sponsors.”