The SA Sailing community were celebrating on Friday as the Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation won the prestigious Jack Cheetham award.
The award was initiated by Murray & Roberts in 1981, in conjunction with the Johannesburg Sportsman's Club and 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 awards are now undertaken in partnership with SASCOC and reward sports development projects, focusing on individuals or teams that have the potential to be champions.
'We are absolutely thrilled that Sail Africa have been recognised for their phenomenal efforts in development sailing and our congratulations go to Jackie DeFin, Nigel Milln and their team for all their hard work in sharing our wonderful sport with the youth of this country,' said Peter Hall, Chairman of SA Sailing.
'What they looked for apparently is an organisation that changes lives and an organisation that is holistic,' explained Strategic Director at Sail Africa Jackie DeFin. 'And that's what we do because we have an educational dimension... but obviously sailing is first and we've had success with development youngsters doing really well in sailing.
'We've got the first two black level two coaches in the country and the first two black yacht masters in the country who started sailing with us,' added an ecstatic DeFin, who described their fellow nominees for the award as amazing.
'The Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation was established in 2007 and is the development project of Sail Africa. We are a development project full stop - that is our chief function. The overall objective of the foundation is to expose youth to the sport of sailing and open up opportunities through this exposure, as well as to encourage careers in nautical sciences and the maritime industry.'
In the picture Sail Africa CEO Nigel Milln, Head Coach Refeloa Zililo, Full-time coach Ntuthuko Makhathini and Strategic Director Jackie DeFin celebrate winning the prestigious Jack Cheetham award
Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.