As 2016 draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the year that was. For many it was a rollercoaster ride of the highest highs with a few bumps in the road here and there but, as usual, sportsmen and women in the Tabletalk catchment area proved their worth and came out on top, for many, crowning their achievements in style throughout the year. With the new year dawning, they are sure to be making good use of their break and gearing up for yet another bumper sporting year.
With January kicking in the second half of the summer season for most sporting codes, it was only fitting that the sports pages opened the year with one of the area’s premier cricketing sides, Milnerton CC, chasing league honours as they got their opening matches of 2016 off with great fervour.
Of course, we weren’t just checking in on the pitches but on the surf too. Stand-up paddleboarder, Elkanah House’s Cameron Tripney was representing as he claimed the top grom spot in the Coreban SUP Summer Series.
His achievements set the tone for what would be a year of celebrating champions. Surfers, lifeguards and kiteboarders took prime spots throughout the month as revelers flocked to beaches for all manner of entertainment.
By February, traditional codes were starting to crop up again as footballers vied for under-19 supremacy in the Metropolitan Premier Cup.
First up on our pages were perrenial contenders Jumbo Giants and Atlantic Nacional, putting their hands up for recognition as the West Coast’s top flight contenders. Before the competition proper came about, we checked in with teams such as Table View FC, Sunningdale and the ever-present and resurgent Hellenic outfit. It was clear from the start that this year would be a great one for the soccer-mad area.
Milnerton’s Cape Town Jockey academy made history that month when one of their jockeys, Haevelon van der Hoven, rode his colt, Illuminator, to the first South African $1million race victory, during the Queen’s Plate event at Kenilworth.
We also touched base with fighters Michael Clacher, of Bothasig, who was getting ready for his first professional K-1 bout and Renzo Gracie Academy’s Richard Lowe, who was looking to make a name for himself at the upcoming SA pro national jiu jitsu championships. Together they taught us to fend off adversity and be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
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Little did anyone know that, with summer days still shining strong through March, soon the rugby sides in our area would be setting tongues wagging. First up on the calendar were the high schoolers, with the inaugural West Coast Rugby Festival pitting the best schools in the area and seeing traditional rivals setting the pitch alight with some to performances.
Then, it was also time for the under-19 soccer boys to show their stuff. In the end it was Pretoria’s Supersport United that lifted the Premier Cup but our teams put in a good show at the tournament. Both Atlantic Nacional and Hellenic made it to the cup quarter-finals with Hellenic going on to win the mid-section finals.
In April we were back on the rugby fields with the second year of Northern League schools rugby in full swing. 2015 champions Edgemead Eagles were looking to retain their title, while teams like Table View HS and Bosmansdam hoped to pip their rivals to the podium. We covered the league extensively with updates over the following months. Edgemead weren’t able to replicate their 2015 feat and newcomers Fairmont, who were the definition of a powerhouse throughout the season, lifted the cup when the season closed.
May saw us taking to the streets, so to speak, as we delved into the world of parkour, with traceurs (those who take part in the practice of parkour) hitting up a jam at Canal Walk, turning everyday low walls and railings into play things and obstacle courses.
Also in May, with his gloves packed in his kit bag, Table View High School goalie Marc Anderson was heading to Amazulu FC after trialling with their under-19 side, to walk in his father’s footsteps, where he hopes to one day also get a chance to done the Bafana strip and man the sticks with precision.
Just up the road, by the middle of the year, with Craven week looming, Bosmansdam were boasting as they produced their first provincial rugby player in a long while. For Reginald “Reggie” Mazula, the chance to represent his province against some of the best under-18 players in the country was a dream come true.
Tabletalk readers love their high-speed action on the tar at Killarney Raceway and we strive to keep them up to date with all the action on the track. We caught up with GTI Challenge stand-out driver, Bryan Morgan, who was blitzing his way through the Class C ranks and stood top of the table at the time. The plucky driver went on to win his division and racked up a sizeable haul at the year-end awards ceremony.
And just like that we were halfway through the year already. What that meant was that it was time to check in with the big rugga boys in our area, Union-Milnerton RFC. With the season at the halfway mark, the boys in baby blue and white hoops were battling it out for the top spot and only had one loss on their scorecard. They were putting in the hard yards during the mid-season break.
Having narrowly missed promotion to the Super League A for the last few years, players and coaches could smell promotion in the air. Coach Isma-eel Dollie went on to guide his charges to the top of the log, lifting the SLB trophy for the first time and securing promotion, where they will battle it out with the top teams in the promise next year.
Meanwhile, there was a new form of all styles mixed martial arts competition making waves in the fight scene as around the country fighters competed in regional Last Fighter Standing tournaments, with the aim of getting a chance at their share of R1 Million in prize money in the grand finals, which would take place in Johannesburg later in the year.
Locally, our hope was placed in the hands of Joshua ‘Zeus’ Ignjatovic, a young mixed martial artist who had made a name for himself as a good wrestler and striker. He went on to win the Cape Town leg of the lightweight division but was unable to clinch the overall win in Jozi. He will look to use the experience he gained in the competition to reach new heights next year.
In August our pages were again flooded with rugby. The Northern league was nearing its end, Uni-Mil were on their rampage but we also took time out to visit with their women’s team to see how things were panning out for the players in pink and white hoops. Echoing their male counterparts’ efforts, the women’s side also went on to win the WP women’s league, giving Uni-Mil plenty to brag about.
Of course, we can never stay out of the water on the West Coast and we met up with one of our best wave-riding exports, bodyboarder Jared Houston. The 2015 world bodyboarding champion was taking time out of his schedule for a family visit and while he was in the area, he hosted a tournament for up-and -coming local bodyboarders. Melkbosstrand’s Wilder Schultz was the winner of Houston’s inaugural VS Grom competition. The champ hopes to get the comp up and running as a yearly event.
By early September we were prepping readers with our annual Move for your Health running and walking programme, where, over 6 weeks we got readers ready to run a 6km road race, in conjunction with Landmarks event held in November.
Soccer was in the news again as juniors at Table View FC graced our pages. The little under-9 Tigers beat all and sundry to lift their league trophy. They were just one of a number of teams that performed extremely well. This bodes well for the club who admitted to taking a slight dip in previous seasons but now seem to be back to winning ways.
The year might have been slowly drawing to a close but sporty folk were still in full swing. In October we visited with body building family, the Shumans. Walking in dad, Anton’s, footsteps, Table View’s Aaron Shuman, although only testing the waters of the sport this year, was already making some ripples and he flexed his way to some silverware.
In November, Killarney hosted a huge motor show, offering petrolheads their revved-up fix before the holidays and our readers tackled the Landmarks event with steadfast resolve. We covered some news of the WP club 7s, which, in its second year, has grown to quite the spectacle.To round the year off we again sat in the front seat with a Killarney favourite, Edgemead’s Anthony Carstens, who, in his first year of racing in the Midas Clubmans Challenge, blitzed through multiple class ranks and broke into the senior ranks to claim the championship’s driver of the year award and overall Class C championship. His speedy track times were the perfect metaphor showing just how Tabletalk’s sports stars refused to take their feet off the pedals and surely we can expect nothing less than that as we jet into 2017.