Chess and Cycling Achievers to Represent South Africa
Leading Western Cape chess and cycling achievers were honoured by Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer on Friday, 7 February 2014. Donovan van den Heever (SA male chess champion), David Gluckman (runner-up), Denise Frick (SA female chess champion) and Robyn van Niekerk (runner-up) will represent the national team at the World Chess Olympiad in Norway in August. Juan Smith, Jean Nell, Maroesjka Mathee and Kyle Borchjes are members of the South African elite cycling track team due to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in July.
Dr Meyer introduced the idea of the “chess revolution” in 2011 and the “cycling revolution” in 2012. These are focused drives to promote the development and growth in these sporting codes with the support of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). “Your contributions make a big difference,” he said. “They provide hope to young people who look up to you as role models. You can be proud of yourselves for being ambassadors of the Western Cape and possibly making your mark on the international scene.”
National women’s track cycling champion Maroesjka Mathee from Brackenfell felt honoured to be recognised for her achievements on the day. “It makes me proud to represent the Western Cape and to see cycling receiving support from DCAS and its partners.”
Chess champion Donovan van den Heever added that support from the province encourages athletes to do their best. “Access to chess boards in schools, libraries, museums and public spaces is encouraging people to play chess. It’s evident that the Department is raising public awareness of the value of playing chess.” The support of Dr Meyer and DCAS is helping talented Western Cape chess players and cyclists to reach their competitive potential, better together.