Last Friday, September 8th, Jacques Kallis produced one of the best all round displays of his life. He was at his favourite venue and conditions were just about perfect. The fixture was even named after him. It was the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation Golf Day at his home course, Westlake.
It didn’t matter a damn how he played although, true to form, he rose to the challenge of at least beating his mate, Boucher, between whom the sporting rivalry is unsurpassed anywhere in South Africa.
What was important was that it took place at all. That the Foundation exists is worth more than every one of his 8000 Test runs and 200 wickets. The Foundation will sustain Kallis – spiritually and emotionally – in his life after cricket. All he has to do for confirmation of that is see how important the Ernie Els Fancourt Foundation is to the man himself.
Kallis is South Africa’s highest earning cricketer. In a good year, when the national team is winning more than they are losing, he can earn in excess of R3 million. His first-class career has already exceeded a dozen years and his international career has reached ten. There is no reason to believe he won’t be worth R50 million, or more, by the time he retires.
But Kallis, thanks to his wonderful, late father Henry, knew that money alone buys neither peace of mind nor happiness.
The look on Kallis’ face when his Foundation selected its first intake of students was one never seen before on a cricket field. All the centuries, the catches, the wickets and the victories – all very, very special – but not quite the same as the feeling you get when a young man looks you in the eyes and says ‘thank you’. Not for a bat, or a signature, but for a chance in life that he may not otherwise have had.
And the best thing about all that and last Friday was that Kallis could do it all without making any ‘heavy’ speeches – all he had to do was play golf with his mates and auction off a bunch of other sporting celebrities to other fourballs wishing to contribute to a good cause.
Many, many good people do all the hard work for Kallis – but he provides the cash and the inspiration. Some of those good people produced an information sheet on the Foundation – and the very least I could do was reproduce it here for your interest:
Jacques Kallis, in his Benefit Year, chose to give something back to South African cricket through providing the opportunity for talented young cricketers from various backgrounds to reach their full sporting and academic potential. For this reason, he launched the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation.
The main aim of the Foundation is to provide financial, administration, life skills, cricket skills and mentorship support provided by Jacques Kallis for these young cricketers who do not have the resources to maximise their individual potential.
Four schools across South Africa namely, Wynberg Boys High, Pretoria Boys High, Maritzburg College and Selborne College, have been elected as initiating partners to the program. By partnering with model C schools the Foundation not only provides solid cricketing structures but scholastic support too.
Every year each of these schools, along with the Foundation, selects one pupil to benefit from the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation. The pupils are selected based on the following criteria:
· Must be in his final year (grade 7) of junior school and be entering high school in the following year
· Proven ability as a cricketer in his junior school environment
· Ability to contribute to the school and his community in other fields
· Ability to hold his own academically. The applicant does not need to be a top academic, but he should have the capacity and interest to perform adequately
· Have a positive outlook, sound behaviour, helpful nature and friendly, outgoing disposition
· Must require financial assistance
In 2006 the following boy’s were elected as the inaugural Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation scholars:
· Jarred Scott (Maritzburg College)
· Jeremiah Tlokotsi (Pretoria Boys High)
· Lushen Govender (Pretoria Boys High)
· Leonard Killeen (Selborne College)
· Chad Fortune (Wynberg Boys High)
· Bhoteke Mbombi (Wynberg Boys High)
The Foundation was set up to include legal registration, bank accounts, trustees and founding statements.
The participating schools are required to:
· Manage a selection process to identify potential scholarship youths working with their local cricket development associations and through their own outreach programs.
· Provide the financial management of the scholarship in terms of weekly allowances, purchase of books, clothing, etc
· Provide the boarding and classroom environments
· Provide a mentoring program
The Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation is required to:
· Provide the financial support of R40 000 per scholar per year committed for a five year period
· Select the final candidates from a partner school shortlist utilizing the scholarship foundation criteria
· Provide a central administration service
· Provide a cricketing high performance mentoring support program
· Provide an ongoing Jacques Kallis communication program
It is intended for the program to be extended to other schools once the foundation is financially secure with future income being generated from:
· Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation Sponsors
· Jacques Kallis Annual Fundraising events such as the Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation Golf Challenge
· Jacques Kallis Scholarship Foundation Patrons who sponsor individual scholars within the scholarship program
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.