Reflecting on the year that was in sport

Abdul-Aziz Kunert at the conlusion of his SA title fight against Zolisa Bhatyi.

As we bid farewell to another remarkable year in sports, we take pride in our commitment to delivering extensive coverage to our readers.

We aimed to serve as a home for local sports, ensuring that every voice echoes as loudly as possible.

With that said let’s take a closer look at some of the headlines that graced our sports pages this year:

A fitting pinnacle to the year unfolded in the squared circles of the Western Cape.

Earlier this month, we bore witness to the 12th Boxing South Africa (BSA) sanctioned event, a remarkable improvement from the usual four or five tournaments.

This event was headlined by the highly regarded Simamkele Tutsheni, who faced her first international opponent, Mimu Adidya from Malawi. The surge in boxing events is a testament to the tireless efforts of promoters dedicated to propelling Cape Town’s talent onto the national stage.

Notable among the year’s boxing events was a televised SA featherweight title fight between Abdul-Aziz Kunert and Zolisa Batyi, which end in a draw.

The Brooklyn man came agonisingly close to bringing the SA belt to the Mother City and we can look forward to seeing Kunert’s pursuit of SA gold.

Savva Savvas orchestrated this televised event, showcasing the city’s boxing prowess.

Additionally, the combat sports scene expanded as Canadian kickboxers engaged in a thrilling affair hosted at Melkbosstrand High School.

The amateur test between South Africa and Canada showcased bouts spanning across various age groups and boasted an impressive lineup of over 30 fights.

Hosted by the Western Cape Kickboxing Association, the competition had two categories, full contact, K1, and low-kick, held within the ring for the seniors. For the juniors, the focus was on points and light-contact formats.

The test between these two nations played a big role in honing the skills of South African kickboxers, especially in anticipation of potential Olympic opportunities. The event was organised by Dave and Dorothy Venter, demonstrating their dedication to fostering the growth and competitiveness of kickboxing in the city.

Western Cape baseball continued its reign as the dominant force in the national competition, securing gold across all three age categories — under-12, 15, and 18.

The victories underscore the commendable work in developing baseball in the city, with teams like Bothasig Knights standing out.

The team, filled with international experience, has been instrumental in honing the skills of young players.

The Zone 7 BMX circuit witnessed the rising stars, Mason and Cruz Hendry, clinching victory in the WP championships.

Their sights are now set on international events in 2024, with the World Championships in the USA topping their list of targets.

The cycling brothers are making a name for themselves in the BMX circuit, promising exciting times ahead.

Killarney International Raceway, a haven for motorsport enthusiasts, received special recognition this year.

The track was awarded the Blue Plaque by the Cape Town Heritage Foundation, acknowledging its historical significance after 76 years in operation.

The recognition aligns with the track’s continued hosting of motor shows throughout the calendar year.

The ROK National Karting, a magnet for go-kart enthusiasts nationwide, and competitions like Power Series, Short Circus Rally, and Rally Cross kept petrolheads glued to the adrenaline-pumping action at Killarney.

In the world of rugby, Union-Milnerton (Uni-Mil) Rugby Club marked a significant milestone — half a century of existence.

While adding a trophy to their celebratory year would have been sweet, participating in the Gold Cup stands as a monumental achievement.

The club had secured a wildcard entry, with the competition’s return after a hiatus due to Covid-19.

As we bring the curtain down on 2024, we reflect on a year filled with impactful sports stories that have resonated within our communities.

We extend our wishes for a stellar festive season, and as we usher in the new year, we eagerly anticipate continuing our journey, bringing you many more positive narratives from our vibrant sporting communities.

Shane Deacon in his absolute best during his Muay Thai fight against Wade Hammond.
The Blue Plaque was unveiled by the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral committee member, JP Smith, at the clocktower at Killarney International raceway.
Anthony Pretorius in action with his Polo in one of the many events hosted at Killarney International Raceway.
Leon Casten in action for Union-Milnerton. The club celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
Mason and Cruz Hendry had a stellar year on the BMX track and took top honours in the WP Champs.