With Day 1 of Maritzburg College’s 60th annual Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week just 17 short days away I was clearing out my cupboard and came upon a December 2018 feature I wrote on Mike Bechet, the outstanding SA schoolboy cricket (and hockey) coach. The upshot is that my cupboard is still not cleared up… as I spent the next hour before going to the office reading and reminiscing on a remarkable man I came across for the first time in 1981.
Here are some of the SA School Sports magazine excerpts from that fascinating interview with Bech. Can’t wait to catch up with this legendary Durban-born DHS Old Boy and Jeppe first XI coach in the iconic Kent Pavilion on Goldstones.
Feature image: Mike Bechet with one of his Maritzburg College players who have made it big on the world stage and the SA sports star who inspires him the most – David Miller – pictured here at the SA Cricket Awards Evening in 2016.
Impressive schoolboy cricket coaching credentials of Mike Bechet.
So what does Bech – the longest-serving member of the SA Schools and SA U19 selection panel – look for in a schoolboy cricketer?
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR EXCITING NEWS
Bech, is Gauteng schools cricket stronger?
‘Our school structures are arguably the best in the world’
The Mike Bechet you don’t know.
Bech’s thoughts on the life skills that cricket teaches schoolboys.
So what is it about schoolboy coaching that drives Bech?
Mike Bechet is director of cricket, head of boarding and a teacher/coach at Jeppe. So Bech, the teacher/coach or professional coach dilemma?
‘Surround yourself with the right people’ – Mike Bechet
Mike Bechet pays tribute to his family.
Four of the best. Guess who played first team cricket too?
In breaking news yesterday, Hilton College Old Boy and former Cell C Sharks centre Tristan Blewett (22) has been invited to try out for National Football League (NFL) side the New Orleans Saints.
American Football is of course big-money massive in the USA.
“It’s too good a story, I can’t tell you,” New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said about his surprise invitation to Blewett.
“If I told you a local artist texted me about this rugby player…
“Here’s what you have to understand,” explained Saints coach Payton:
“When someone sends you something about a player, obviously that happens a lot.
“If it’s a College (university) player, I might forward it to Jeff Ireland. If it is a pro player I will forward it to Terry Fontenot.
“When someone’s recommendation comes, you go about the process every time.
“Knowing that there might be 44 out of 44 (players) where there’s nothing… but then the 45th one…
“It was an email, a text forwarded. It is easy to work out a player who’s right here. That was kind of it,” Saints coach Payton added.
An American Football League try-out – a chance to play in the NFL – was definitely not on the Tristan Blewett radar, but now that the chance has presented itself, he’s going to give it a full go.
“When I first came over with my coach, I was joking about it, saying, ‘I am going to live here to play American football’, and then two weeks ago – when I got the call – we both laughed like, “It has actually happened!’
“I told my mom a day or two ago, but I think no one back home really knows much about (American) football – and neither do I. So I think, as I learn, I’ll sort of explain it to them.”
On Tuesday in the USA: Tristan Blewett, who plays outside centre for the NOLA Gold rugby franchise, discusses his mini-camp try-out with the New Orleans Saints NFL (professional American football) franchise team.
Tristan gets a big plus from New Orleans-based Maritzburg College Old Boy Benjamin Haswell:
“Tristan has been a credit to his family and his country over here in New Orleans, with his stellar play (for the New Orleans Gold rugby union team) — and that South African gentlemanly humbleness has made him a fan favourite.
“Tristan’s come a long way since turning out for the Impi at Maritzburg Varsity!”
Johannesburg-born and Durban raised, Tristan represented the Sharks before a brief stay with the Kings in PE in 2018.
Tristan signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Gold rugby union team towards the end of last year, where he has excelled in the USA Major League and captured the attention of both rugby union and influential American Football personalities.
COMMENTS FROM NEW ORLEANS SAINTS FANS
about Hilton College Old Boy Tristan Blewett:
Howard Jackson – “So what position this guy supposed to play?”
Chance Cooper – “They’re playing him as a DB, and punt returner.”
Geoffrey Ormsby – “He’ll definitely show people how to properly tackle!!”
DaPinkBubble – “I sure hope so; I still have nightmares of how bad the defence used to be at tackling…”
Eddie Scott – “Kicker or punter.”
Cash Money Gee – “Probably won’t drop a pass!”
Jerry Cave – “Give him the ball, you’ll see!”
Rafael Delgadillo – “He’ll most likely play… as a returner and a gunner. Though playing at running back will not be out of the question.
Gerardo Aguilera – “Running back or line backer.”
KZN10.com says – “Well, there is a lot of interest in Tristan but some confusion amongst New Orleans Saints fans as to what position Tristan is likely to play!
“The best of KZN10.com wishes to you Tristan!”
A final comment – this one from John Enslin: “Good luck young man… living the dream.”
It’s Michaelhouse vs Hilton College on Saturday – here are the 1996/97 matches in the words of 96/97 Michaelhouse head boy first XV flank and captain Ben Parham, when Men of House won 3 from 3. Hopefully many of you will share this with like-minded friends.
Feature image: Captain Ben Parham and the magnificent Michaelhouse first XV of 1997.
“Jono, it’s good to hear from you after many years… and what a privilege it is to be asked to reminisce about such a special and influential time of my life.
“Andy Vincent (Vinno) took over the first team coaching role in 1995. And was a fierce competitor and expected the same of his squad.
“Vinno played in-form players over historical performance, and was not afraid to let you know if your game was not up to scratch.
“He created a squad that would do absolutely anything for each other… He created ‘brothers-in-arms’.
“1996 was the Michaelhouse centenary year, and the boys were tasked with making it a highlight in the school’s history.
“Rugby was the showpony, and the pressure was on House to overturn a record 6 straight defeats against Hilton College, spanning from 1993-1995.
“If there is one rule about the Hilton/Michaelhouse sporting derbies, it is that there is no such thing as an underdog.
“Names on paper mean absolutely nothing on this occasion, because love, passion and a desire to be swamped by 500 like-minded ‘brothers’ is far stronger than a player with exceptional skill and flair.”
1996 Michaelhouse first XV
1) Henk Diederichs
2) Luke Flemington
3) Mike Fell
4) Wayne Lister-James
5) Brian Dalton
6) Richard Parks
7) Ben Parham
8) Gary Laue
9) JP Coppez
10) Andrew Caldwell
11) Simon Bridges / Euan Dixon-Smith
12) Justin Sage / Simon Bothner
13) Dino Papadopoulos
14) James Le Cordeur
15) Choppies (Emile) Marais
“In June 1996, Michaelhouse were the form team, coming into the match at Hilton’s Gilfillan Field on the back of 18 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss… However, three of our most experienced players were not available for selection, but as mentioned, during a derby, history and form mean nothing.
“It was a day of big boots and tough forward battles in what was a hard-fought match, and neither team managed to open a gap on the scoreboard.
“The flyhalves, Andrew Caldwell (MHS) and Grant Gove (Hilton) used their big boots to alleviate the pressure as soon as one team charged into the other team’s 22-metre area.
“Hilton took an 8-3 lead into half-time and Vinno didn’t need to say too much to us. We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we knew what to do. The forward pack, from prop to number 8, covered the pitch and rumbled forward.
“Mike Fell, steered by Wayne Lister-James, crossed the line from a maul. Justin Sage converted to give Michaelhouse a slender 10-8 lead with 20 minutes to play.
“Each team took advantage of a penalty and even though Hilton pressed hard for a try in the dying moments, Michaelhouse narrowly held out for a 13-11 victory… and the hoodoo was broken.
“It was game-on for the August return match at Meadows. Unfortunately the match was never to be… Hilton came down with a very serious flu bug which affected most of the school and the return derby was cancelled.
1997 Michaelhouse first XV
1) Marc Larsen / Gavin Erasmus
2) Thomas Modinger
3) Alex Akron
4) Guy Slater
5) John Delport
6) Angus Martyn
7) Ben Parham
8) Barry Jacobsz
9) John Harris
10) James Carmichael
11) Jackal Tshikosi
12) Attie Geldenhuys
13) Simon Greyvensteyn
14) James Le Cordeur
15) Jason McCormick
“The Michaelhouse 1997 team grabbed the baton from day one.
“This team ‘gelled’ like no other team that I had been part of. These were big characters and with some incredible individual skill.
“We came into the first Hilton Michaelhouse match on Meadows in a confident mood – on the back of 19 wins and 1 very narrow loss (19-20) away against Maritzburg College.
“We had scored over 700 points and only conceded 220 points. This team did not need to ask for directions to the try-line.
“The first match in 1997 was an open game.
“Both teams spread the ball wide and it was beautiful open running rugby. John Harris, Jackal Tshikosi, Barry Jacobsz and Simon Greyvensteyn all shone, and Michaelhouse grabbed a 32-24 victory.
“The August return match was at Hilton’s Gilfillan Field. There was a buzz around the school all week as this the first-ever televised Hilton Michaelhouse derby.
The spirit in the camp was high and confidence was reaching complacency levels. There was a very large crowd engulfing Gilfillan. It was a quiet first 10 minutes with too many errors.
“Hilton’s left wing, Muzi Tembe, scored the opener after flying around the outside; this after fullback Andrew Richmond joined the line and created an overlap.
“I pulled the team together but did not have to say much.
“Just a quiet reminder about how much this meant. It was our very last match in the Red & White… selfishly; this one was for ‘us’!
Soon after that, fullback Jason McCormick took a gap created by outside centre Simon Greyvensteyn. McCormick let winger James Le Cordeur loose down the right and he popped it back inside for flanker Angus Martyn to score.
James Carmichael popped it over for a slender 7-5 half time lead. We knew we had a lot left in the tank. The final 30 minutes of our Michaelhouse rugby careers was memorable.
We scored another two tries, myself and James Le Cordeur going over in the right-hand corner, both very well converted by James Carmichael.
“Our flyhalf Carmichael added another penalty and Michaelhouse closed out the match 24-5.
“The Hilton Michaelhouse derby days were not easy.
“The Hilton and Michaelhouse players spent a lot of time together at several events and became good friends off the field, but on the field, with pride at stake, those friendships were put on hold.
“To this day I still have some very close friends who wore the Fleur de Lys while we donned the St Michael’s cross with equal pride.
“I’m still in contact with most of my team-mates from those days. I still treasure my Michaelhouse days like no other period of my life. The bonds and friendships forged during that time are life-long.
“I may not chat to my school friends on a weekly basis as I live in Abu Dhabi, but I have regular contact with them via social media and I see them when we visit South Africa.
“There is something so powerful about the friendship and support bonds forged at an all-boys boarding school, which are almost totally unexplainable to someone who has never experienced it.
“Spending every waking moment together makes you open your mind and heart to the needs of those around you.
“With that bond comes the passion displayed across all events in which the boys represent the school, be it sport, music, academics or stage productions… and Michaelhouse was certainly no exception.”
Thanks Ben. I felt like I was at the matches! Your detailed memory of those matches all of 22 and 23 years ago is quite remarkable.
It is what I have noticed when asking similar questions to Old Boys of the KZN10 schools. And such detail pays homage to the fortunate few who are so privileged to be part of something so special.
Wonderful to hear from you and may the best team win on Meadows Saturday, the arena of which you have so many unforgettable memories.
Dylan Richardson had a great game from the U20 team in their match against Georgia. The flanker ran with purpose and had some silky offloads.
South Africa – Tries: Dylan Richardson (3), Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Rikus Pretorius, Thaakir Abrahams, Angelo Davids. Conversions: Jaden Hendrikse (3), Sanele Mohamba.
Georgia – Tries: Otar Lashki (2), Teimuraz, Tchitchinadze. Conversions: Tedo Abzhandadze
South Africa’s next match is against the New Zealand baby blacks on Wednesday 12 June.
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux praised his team’s attitude and character in their opening match of the World Rugby U20 Championship, against Scotland at the Racecourse Stadium in Rosario on Tuesday, for a bonus-point victory of 43-19.
SA U20 scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse was in fine form and scored two tries, three conversions and a penalty goal for a personal tally of 19 points. But it was essentially an effective team display that steered the Junior Boks to victory, as they scored six tries to two, while the Scots were also awarded a penalty try.
The Junior Springboks chipped away at Scotland in the first half by retaining possession and applying pressure, which allowed them to build up a 17-12 lead at the break, but they broke away in the second half, touching down four times to only once by Scotland.
“It is great to start the competition with a bonus-point win,” said Roux.
“We knew it was going to be tough in the beginning, but our game plan was to chip away and work at it, and we scored a couple of tries late in the match. The replacements deserve credit as well, they made a big difference when they came on.
“I am pleased with the way the team built an innings. The players need to realise this is Test match rugby, not school rugby, and they need to take the points when the opportunities arise.
“That said, the biggest work-on we will take from this match is exactly in that department. We had so many opportunities we didn’t convert, so we have to look at that and see if we can rectify it before the game against Georgia.”
Commenting on the main aspects the team will take from the match going forward in the competition, Roux said: “Our scrummaging went very well today, but we have to work on our lineouts and mauls because that is usually a big aspect of the game at the World Rugby U20 Championship. We also need the players to rest and be ready and hungry for the next game, as it is only one down and four to go.”
Hendrikse opened up the scoring in the eighth minute with a penalty goal, but Scotland bounced back strongly with a try by Murphy Walker (prop) in the 16th minute after some pressure up front.
Junior Springbok No 8 and vice-captain Francke Horn, however, cancelled this out two minutes later as he cut through the defence after a sharp pass by Hendrikse and forced his way over the chalk, and the successful conversion by the scrumhalf pushed the SA U20s into a 10-5 lead.
Roux’s charges continued to make their presence felt and their efforts paid off once again in the 36th minute as James Mollentze (flyhalf) broke through the defence and passed to Hendrikse, who finished off the try, and his conversion pushed them 17-5 ahead.
Scotland managed to work their way close to the tryline in the dying minutes of the half, and a yellow card to SA U20 lock Emile van Heerden for collapsing a maul resulted in Scotland being awarded a penalty try with a minute left, which reduced their deficit to 17-12 at halftime.
Hendrikse struck first for the Junior Springboks in the second half after a physical opening 10 minutes of play, as he received a smart pass and used his pace to score his second try in the 49th minute.
Scotland centre Cameron Anderson crossed the tryline for their third try in the 62nd minute after solid forward play and then a clever pass out wide, which edged them within three points of the SA U20’s, 22-19.
But tries by JJ van der Mescht (lock) and Sanele Nohamba (replacement scrumhalf) in quick succession allowed the Junior Springboks to break away on the scoreboard in the last 10 minutes, taking a 36-19 lead.
Kudzwai Dube (replacement prop) had the last say in the dying minutes as he dashed though and scored under the posts after good handling by the South Africans, to seal to 43-19 win.
Junior Springboks 43 (17) – Tries: Francke Horn, Jaden Henrdrikse (2), JJ van der Mescht, Sanele Nohamba, Kudzwai Dube. Conversions: Hendrikse (3), Nohamba (2). Penalty goal: Hendrikse.
Scotland 19 (12) – Tries: Murphy Walker, Penalty Try, Cameron Anderson. Conversion: Ross Thompson.
Photo: Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images
With the U20 Rugby World cup just a few days away, some of the past rugby stars of the KZN10 who are representing the Junior Springboks in Argentina, share their thoughts.
Scotland 4th June
kick off: 15:30 SA time
Georgia 8th June
kick off: 15:30 SA time
New Zealand 12th June
kick off: 20:30 SA time
JJ van der Mescht
We wish the boys well as they try to reclaim the world crown.
|With the myriad of choices available – and new career paths emerging all the time – our high school boys and girls face a daunting task in choosing the correct tertiary education option that is tailor-made for them, personally.
Last year’s (2018) Michaelhouse head boy William Norton faced those same challenges and thanks to a unique career assessment tool, administered by Pivotal Talent, Will is now happily enjoying his first-year studies at the University of Cape Town.
Michaelhouse will always be close to Will’s heart and this likeable young man has already made his mark.
Let’s hear it from Will as to how his initial career-option path unfolded.
KZN10.com’s Jono: Will, in what grade were you at Michaelhouse when you did the Pivotal Talent CareerGuide assessment and what drew you to seek outside help in order to feel comfortable with the course of tertiary study to take?
Will: “Thank you for asking, sir. I was in Grade 12 [last year] and not 100% sure about what I was going to study at university. I needed some guidance and Pivotal Talent helped me realise that being myself and trusting my interests and strengths would lead me to making the right choice.”
Jono: Will, given that you already had your school subject choices and were therefore focused on the Pivotal Talent CareerGuide assessment, if you had known at the relevant time (grade 9) that there was a Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice option as well, as to what subjects to take in grades 10, 11 and 12, would you have considered it?
Will: “I definitely would have considered it – and used it -because of the personal insight it gives to your preferences. Subject choices are a tricky thing and during the course of high school I changed one of my subjects. I’m sure the Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice assessment would have helped me make a more informed decision the first time!”
Jono: Will, as far as your experience of Pivotal Talent is concerned, were the following unique processes helpful:
– that it is online and could complete from anywhere and on any device;
– that you didn’t have to travel anywhere (i.e. you could do at home/school or over a weekend) and
– that your report and findings were automatically generated and sent back to you immediately via e-mail?
Will: “Yes, it made it accessible and took a lot of stress out of the situation because you could to do it in your own time, at your own pace with minimal pressure from anyone.”
Jono: Will, as the 2018 Michaelhouse head boy and now 1st year University of Cape Town student, how important is it in this day and age to know that you are going into something that targets/leverages your core skills and competencies but also your interests and passions?
Will: “I think it’s exactly what the whole of High School gears you up for.
“I thankfully have fallen in love with my degree and I think it is largely thanks to the Pivotal Talent CareerGuide assessment”
“I have begun to realise that studying something you enjoy is essential for your overall happiness. If you are interested in and passionate about your degree, it makes everything fall into place and it allows you to get the most out of your time at university.”
Jono: Will, how did Pivotal Talent assist you in taking the right option with respect to your university degree?
Will: “Well Pivotal Talent assisted me in discovering that I was passionate in learning about the softer skills, and dealing with people rather than the maths and science options.
“Pivotal Talent took into account my passions and skills, and furnished me with a considered report in double-quick time, which is now allowing me to enjoy every day at UCT!
“I almost fell into the trap of following the crowd and doing what everyone else was planning to do, but Pivotal Talent made me realise that being yourself and trusting in your own choices in responding to the questions is the most important part of finding your true career path.”
Jono: Will, what attracted you to the Pivotal Talent CareerGuide method of pinning down the ideal tertiary study path for you – perhaps in contrast to the traditional psychometric methods?
Will: “The thought of being able to do it quickly and easily from wherever you were was something that appealed hugely to me.”
Jono: Will, I find that particular answer very interesting. It says to me that Pivotal Talent takes away the pain and angst of over-dwelling on what can develop into an extremely stressful situation, fraught with what could be costly long-term implications should the wrong decision be made. Hence, one might say, the danger of “following the crowd” rather than forging your own, unique-to-you path?
Will: “Absolutely sir, Pivotal Talent pinpointed the right option for me and cleared up the uncertainty that faces many of us.”
Jono: Will, as you know Pivotal Talent CareerGuide is not only directed at Grade 12s. Would you recommend it to Grade 10s and 11s as well? In getting an early start on pinpointing where their core interests, skills and performance strengths should be steering them?
Will: “Sir, I would recommend it 100%. The earlier you can start grasping what you truly enjoy and what your passions are, the earlier you will be able to start developing those passions into a career path that sees you doing what you love.”
Jono: Will, you might know that Pivotal Talent is a proudly South African product. A powerful, web-based analytics tool intent on accurately & scientifically assisting individuals in predicting their core interests, skills and performance strengths relative to available and evolving career fields. Did you find it to be so?
Will: “Yes I did. It might seem contradictory, considering that it is completely online, but Pivotal Talent really does feel personal in the way that it paints a picture of who you are and where your passions, strengths and weaknesses lie. It seems to know you better than you know yourself!”
Jono: Will, I love that answer! Power to Pivotal Talent!
Jono: So Will, is there anything else you would like to add, with regard to Pivotal Talent? Was it professional and efficient in taking you through the process and to the end result?
Will: “Sir, the entire process was professional and efficient, and at the same time I constantly felt that I was in control of the process. It was slick, and the end result was something that has helped me already – and I know it will continue to help me throughout the rest of my life!”
Jono: Will, coming from you, a young man whom I have got to know and like, a young man with proven integrity, I believe that through your words you have opened the doors for many more of our high school boys and girls to follow the Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide assessment route.
Finally, if you will indulge me please Will – I know that you are a modest guy who prefers deflecting praise onto your peers – please list your school achievements, accolades and anything else of interest.
Will: “OK sir, if you insist, here goes…”
- Represented KZN Tennis for 7 years
- Selected as the KZN U19A Tennis Captain in 2018
- Selected for a School Exchange to Australia in 2016
- Senior Prefect of Michaelhouse
- Honours for Academics
- Honours for Tennis
- Colours for Cricket
- Achieved 5 Distinctions in Matric and was placed in the top 1% nationally for Economics and Life Orientation
- Own a business called NORTON&HARDIE
- Co-founded and ran the “Our House” social media presence
- Enjoy all ball sports
- Family and friends are extremely important to me
- Currently studying a B.Com PPE at The University of Cape Town
Jono: Phew! That is quite something. Will, once again, thank you for your time. I wish you all of the very best that life has to offer.
Will: “Thank you sir. Likewise.”
* Will was also the first KZN10 head boy from the 2018 year that Jono asked as to what he had learned from his position of leadership at Michaelhouse and what he would advise to the incoming House leadership group of 2019. Check out the link to that widely-read KZN10.com story.
Also: Please read the quotes below to get an idea of the calibre of man that is Will Norton.
Stuart Orwin: “I look forward to seeing the path that Will Norton chooses and how many countless more lives he will have an impact on. No doubt he will cast his light far.”
Barry Haigh: “Will Norton remains one of the most altogether students that I’ve taught. He has always remained consistent and strives to give of his best. Will, everything of the very best for your future – I will be following it closely.”
Jono Cook: “The super-power that Will Norton has, is that he doesn’t have to try anything, do anything, in a group of people to stand out. He simply does – because he is so comfortable in being the William Norton he was always meant to be. Therein lies a lesson for us all.”
Will Norton and Pivotal Talent – leading the way…
“Pivotal”: of crucial importance in the development of success.
“Talent”: a natural aptitude, gift or skill.
KZN10.com introduces Will Hardie of Pivotal Talent:
Jono says, “Hi Will, I am so chuffed to discuss subject choice and career guidance options with you, as it is close to my heart, based on my history, as well as my having children who will shortly be faced with the challenges these crucial choices can have on their future in the workplace.”
Feature image: Maritzburg College Old Boy Joel Stransky and Michaelhouse Old Boy Will Hardie, Pivotal Talent business partners.
Jono continues, “I went the traditional psychometric testing route when I was in grade 9 and then again in grades 11 and 12.
“Unfortunately the results were so off the mark that it took 14 years in the ‘workplace wilderness’ before I stumbled – purely by chance, into sports journalism, an occupation I have happily been in for close on 25 years now.
“If only I had had the opportunity to go the Pivotal Talent route.”
“So what is Pivotal Talent, did you devise it or is it a product that originates from elsewhere?
Michaelhouse Old Boy Will Hardie says, “Thanks very much for the opportunity Jono!
“Pivotal Talent is a proudly South African-based technology entity (part of the Pivotal Group of Companies) and is a powerful web-based analytics tool that accurately & scientifically helps individuals predict their core interests, skills and performance strengths relative to available and evolving career fields.
“The solution was founded and developed by Dr Juan Swartz to primarily help companies more accurately and intelligently recruit, develop and retain key staff in their organisation.
“However, as the solution evolved and matured, a further opportunity was identified to help students, sports professionals and individuals interested in a career change.
“From a Schools Focus perspective, and for the purposes of this discussion, Pivotal Talent offers SubjectChoice for Grade 9s and CareerGuide for Grade 10, 11 and 12s.”
Jono says, “Will, your Pivotal Talent business partner is Joel Stransky, one of the founding members of the Pivotal Technology Group AND the 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf – I was sitting behind the posts when Joel snapped over that matchwinning drop-goal!
“Will, you were an accomplished loose forward in your days at Michaelhouse and then at Varsity. Joel was at Durban Varsity around the same time you were playing for Maritzburg Varsity; did you ever play in the same team or perhaps against each other?
Will says, “Jono, I wish I had played in the same team as Joel! Unfortunately, that never materialised for me. However, I did play against Joel in my Michaelhouse grade 12 year (we got hammered) when he was at Maritzburg College and we may have crossed paths on the rugby field at Varsity.”
Jono says, “So Will, what was the unique motivation for you and Joel around Pivotal Talent?”
“Jono, we believe that Pivotal Talent is a world-first augmented intelligence (AI) analytics solution that goes well beyond the traditional aptitude & psychometric evaluation process and which very accurately helps to predict an individual’s full potential.
“It’s a carefully calibrated questionnaire that can scientifically and automatically match an individual’s interests and skill-set to suitable careers (and, in turn, also subject choices).
“In short, Pivotal Talent is a cost-effective and efficient online assessment that takes no more than 60 to 90 minutes to complete; is simple and very easy to follow and generates a highly detailed, individualised report instantaneously.
“As an aside, my 2 older children, currently studying at University, both completed their Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide assessments at School and are now studying degrees that are 100% aligned to respective careers – as predicted originally by Pivotal Talent!”
Jono: “That happy situation would certainly take the weight off many parents’ shoulders, including a number of moms and dads that I know.
“So what makes Pivotal Talent a fresh option, when our high school boys and girls must make subject-choice or career-choice – and thereby tertiary studies – decisions?”
Will’s response: “Jono, we believe that the Pivotal Talent value proposition, namely SubjectChoice and CareerGuide, is a unique solution to what can be a daunting undertaking.
“Apart from the obvious ‘softer’ benefits of Pivotal Talent, such as convenience (can complete the online assessment anywhere in the world and on any device), being substantially more cost-effective and its instant reporting capability, the compelling differentiators we advocate are as follows:
“Unique algorithms for matching – Pivotal Talent uses complex and proprietary algorithms which scientifically match individuals based on the skills, characteristics, capabilities and faculties that predict performance to the unique tasks, performance criteria and success factors required in different careers.
“Scientific approach – Pivotal Talent is based on objective, validated research from top global institutions compiled from research into multiple fields over the last 60 years, and we use this information in our model to more accurately match individuals with the right career options.
“Automated – Pivotal Talent is an automated solution. Results are available immediately after completing an online questionnaire, and focus is provided to help individuals develop a plan of action that moves them towards a particular career path and ultimate employability.
“Multifaceted – The suitability of a career path is based on, 1) how the scholar measures against the key performance criteria in that career path, 2) the scholar’s interest in the tasks performed in the career path, and 3) the desirability of that career path, including elements such as opportunities.
Jono says, “Will, I found the 4 differentiators mentioned above particularly interesting… it makes a lot of sense. So with respect to the genesis of the Pivotal Talent model – did you and your team research and then align with international ‘best practice’ variants in establishing the necessary validity and reliability of the Pivotal Talent blueprint?”
Will: “First and foremost, our solution is theoretically valid, as it only draws on corroborated research from the top institutions globally. We ensure reliability and validity by only incorporating constructs that are supported through extensive quantitative research.
“Our solution is corroborated by integrating constructs that have been found to be predictors of performance across different fields of study.
“These theoretical models are then validated by statistical analysis, whereby the model utility -and thus the predictive power of the model within the client’s environment – is tested to ensure precision and accuracy.
“Where construct validity is a theoretical concern, our model is based on constructs that have been theoretically postulated to have a causal link to performance.
“Accuracy and precision are our main proof points, as our solution is not a standardised assessment, but rather an analytical model that accurately and precisely predicts performance in a career.”
Jono: “Will, once again you have hit on a point that resonates with me, Accuracy and Precision, something sorely lacking in my case when it came to subject- and career-choice decisions during my schooldays.
“Will, is there anything else you would like to add?”
“The Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide have been available to the South African market for 2 years now and have already seen a lot of interest and adoption across several provinces and multiple Schools. The feedback from Schools, scholars and parents has been incredibly positive on all fronts.”
Jono wraps it up: “Thanks for the chat, Will; I have personally found this to be one of the most interesting and rewarding interviews in my going-on 25 years in the media workspace. I have no doubt that Pivotal Talent will greatly assist Scholars to accurately predict subject choices and career choices – the 2 areas of uncertainty that plague our children and parents daily – and yet are both so crucial in plotting the way forward.”
Will’s response: “Thank you for the opportunity to share the exciting Pivotal Talent SubjectChoice and CareerGuide story with you Jono. KZN10.com has a fantastic following thanks to your efforts, and Joel and I are hugely excited at the prospect of working with and adding value to your wonderful cause. All the best!”
Last month, Westville Old Boy Luke Schlemmer, the KZN Inland senior team captain, put together two milestones innings.
On Friday 5th October vs Gauteng in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Challenge at the Walter Milton Oval Wits University in Johannesburg, the 23-year-old Luke made his maiden first-class century (119 off 215 balls in four minutes short of 5 hours that included 17 fours).
Feature image: KZN Inland captain Luke Schlemmer.
Two days later, on October 7, in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge match vs Gauteng; Luke played an innings that required a completely different approach.
Luke hit an unbeaten 117 in 110 balls over a period of 2,5 hours, a knock including 15 four and 2 maximums at a strike rate 106.36, the KZN Inland captain taking his team home by 7 wickets with 14.4 overs to spare.
For Luke, who played for KZN Coastal U19 in his earlier years, it was his second List A century.
KZN10.com asked Schlem to describe these momentous knocks against Gauteng, who as of today, 27 November 2018 are comfortably Pool A log leaders in this national 3-day completion.
“Thanks Jono. The first-class innings was by far the more draining of the two centuries I managed to score on that weekend.
“Gauteng have a really good and experienced attack with guys like Nandre Burger and Sean Jamison, who both offer something with the ball throughout the innings.
“I did have periods in my innings where I got a bit of momentum and scored quicker than at other times but it was more about identifying the bowlers’ plans to get me out and finding ways to combat that.
“At the same time, I needed to be able to score when opportunities presented themselves.”
Jono: Luke, surely that is not easy to achieve, it’s kind of like sitting in the middle of 2 different objectives?
“Sure Jono, it can be tricky at times, but absorbing pressure and being able to stick to each game plan I had towards each bowler really helped.
“Our coach Shane has been a big help, especially mentally; he reads people really well and understands what gets you going and what each cricketer amongst us needs.
“Shane has backed me for a while now so it’s awesome to ‘give back’ in terms of performances and to back up all the work we have done together in the nets and the chats we have had.”
Jono: Yes, personally I have a very high regard for Shane Burger, Luke. What he has done as coach of the KZN Inland senior team over the past number of seasons has been nothing short of remarkable.
Shane Burger has a way about him, a manner of doing things, a calming presence, almost an aura of assured competence that must rub off on his players.
But going back a bit, who else has played a major part in the shaping of Luke Schlemmer the cricketer and Luke Schlemmer the person?
Luke: “My mom and dad (he never played cricket) are my biggest supporters and have both played a huge role in my life and where I am today. They have always given everything to help me on this path I have of chasing my dream.
“Cricketing influences have been the likes of Doug Watson, Fabian Lazarus and Yash Ebrahim, who all played a massive role in getting me into first-class cricket. And, more recently, Shane Burger has added to that.”
Jono: Yip, no one can do it alone. Let’s get on to the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge innings against Gauteng; that unbeaten 117 in 110 that took you Inland guys to such a comfortable win.
Luke: The innings was a lot of fun. A lot of balls hit the middle of the bat. I enjoy hitting through the line on the Highveld wickets.
“I tried to make use of the Power Play as best I could, as I felt the pitch might get worse and harder to score on as the game went on.
“Spin was a bit harder to score off but I was helped along the way by my Inland batting partners Sohail Mahmoud and Grant Roelofsen.
“Sohail and Grant made the chase a lot easier with some awesome strokeplay.”
Jono: Yes I watched both Grant and Sohail as schoolboys and know exactly what you mean in the strokeplay scenario.
KZN10: Luke, if you had to rate, or compare, the two innings, how would you put it, if that’s possible as they required completely different approaches.
“Jono, I would say that the one-day innings played second fiddle a bit compared to my maiden first class century, which was very special to me, but the one-day century helped the team to a bonus-point win, which made me very proud as a player and captain.”
Jono: Luke, thanks for your time in sharing your thoughts on what I have termed ‘The Luke Schlemmer Weekend’ – and may there be many more.
Luke made his first-class and List A debuts, for KZN Inland, as close to exactly two years ago.
After his maiden ton in first-class cricket, as described above, Luke hit his second century in first-class cricket just three weeks later, a knock of 132 against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth.
* Of interest are the performances of several Old Boys of the KZN10 schools in the recent 3-day and 1-day CSA Provincial Challenge KZN Inland/Coastal derbies at the PMB Oval over the weekend of Nov 22-25.
Cody Chetty (Glenwood), Attie Maposa, Lwandiswa Zuma, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Sohail Mahmoud, Kyle Nipper (Maritzburg College), Gareth Dukes (St Charles College), Blayde Capell (Northwood), Luke Schlemmer (Westville), Brad Porteous (Kearsney College), Prenelan Subrayen and Nduduzo Mfoza (Glenwood).
SCORES IN BRIEF
3-Day @ PMB Oval from 22-24 Nov 2018
KZN Inland 1st innings 209 (Cody Chetty 63, Attie Maposa 49*)
KZN Coastal 1st inn 117 (Blayde Capell 33; Lwandiswa Zuma 4-18)
KZN Inland 2nd inn 141/8 dec (Cody Chetty 39)
KZN Coastal 158/7 (Kurtlyn Mannikam 4-35)
3-Day logs as @ 27 Nov 2018
KZN Inland lie 4th on the 6-team Pool A log having played 5 lost 1 and drawn 4
KZN Coastal lie 5th of 7 teams in Pool B having played 4 lost 1 and drawn 3
1-Day @ PMB Oval 25 Nov 2018
KZN Coastal 250/9 in 50 overs (Blayde Capell 45 off 39, Brad Porteous 29 off 49, Prenelan Subrayen 47 off 64; Sohail Mahmoud 10-0-41-3)
KZN Inland 231 in 48.1 overs (Luke Schlemmer 33 off 40, Sohail Mahmoud 37 off 40, Kyle Nipper 25 off 30, Gareth Dukes 48 off 50, Attie Maposa 37 off 50)
KZN Coastal won by 19 runs
1-Day logs as @ 27 Nov 2018
KZN Inland lie 2nd in Pool A having 5 won 2 and lost 3
KZN Coastal lie 4th in Pool B having won 2 and lost 2
Of further interest is where Old Boys of the KZN10 stand in the current Top 20 averages in the CSA competitions (as of today, 27 Nov 2018)
19th place in Batting – Luke Schlemmer 330 runs averaging 47.14
14th place in Bowling – Lwandiswa Zuma 14 wickets at 19.92
5th place in Batting – Luke Schlemmer 269 runs averaging 67.27 at strike rate of 92.75
13th place in Batting – Sohail Mahmoud 220 runs average 55.00 @ strike rate 91.28
2nd place in Bowling – Westville Old Boy Kyle Simmonds (Boland) 5wkts at 10.60
9th place in Bowling – Maritzburg College OB Daryn Dupavillon (KZN Coastal) 5wkts at 14.80
14th place in Bowling – Gareth Dukes 10wkts at 16.20
RUMOUR has it that Dads have been stretching hammies and dusting off their faulty footwork at pre-dawn indoor sessions in an as-yet-unnamed cricket net location ahead of the long-awaited St Charles College Community Cricket Day.
Yes folks, D-Day is nigh and it’s all playing out on Saints Super Saturday November 24.
TEN of the remarkable 12 cricket grounds on the St Charles College campus will be put to the test by no less than 12 matches including a scatterling of mini-matches.
From Grade 0 Dads and Lads Scrummies putting bat to ball on the Saints Oval at 7.30am.
To Saints’ U9A, U10A, U11A, Prep firsts in Dads’ and their Lads’ Twenty20 action on a multitude of campus cricket grounds from 8.30am.
To the Middle School’s U14A, U15A and U15B Dads and Lads T20 Battles of The Big Bashers.
Keep an eye on low-flying cricket balls if you’re anywhere near a boundary rope – or anywhere, for that matter.
The Big Guns take to the Saints Oval for the 8.30am curtain raiser-to-the curtain raiser, the Super Sixes (aka Clash of the Titans) dust-up between the Old Boys’ Legends and the Saints Staff Old Crocs.
Once the 10am bell chimes things get a little more athletic when the lithe Staff Young Guns tackle the sprightly Old Boys’ Invitational XI.
Unsubstantiated conjecture suggests that the loosely termed (?) Old Boys Invitational (?) XI (who’s counting) is going to spring some big names out of the cobweb-covered yearbooks of yesteryear.
Substantiated conjecture has confirmed that the Saints Staff Young Guns, perhaps buoyed by the as-yet-untested elixir of youth, are unmoved.
Definitely the best part of the day is the end-of-season braai and prize-giving which kicks off at High Noon around the splendid Saints Oval.
Adding further spice to the fare on offer is The Big Show – as Moms Dads Lads Brothers Sisters Aunties Uncles Extended Families braai -the Big Guns come out to play.
The 2018 St Charles College first XI crosses swords with an Old Boys Select XI from 1pm. Last year’s inaugural SCC CCD main match was a cracker. This one should be no different.
And once again, for the more paranoid among us, like this KZN10 scribe, we (or is it just me?) are fretting at the loose-fitting name of the (which?) Old (really?) Boys (Not!) Select (by whom, pray tell?) XI (who’s going to be counting the no. of fielders again, Gary Ritchie?).
But then again I’ve been reading too much Jeff Deaver/John Verdon/Harlan Coben lately.
Last year’s inaugural Saints Community Cricket Day was an unqualified success.
This one’s going to be a blockbuster.
Spare a thought for grounds curator Pete Allan & staff this week.
The weather forecast is good, thank goodness, so I’ll check you at Saints see?
* By the way, some of the above was said in jest and was liberally sprinkled with Jono insights-that-aren’t.
Seriously, here are The Suggested Rules
Dads, remember it’s intended to be a fun morning of cricket.
Dads may be substituted by moms, brothers, uncles, aunties, grandparents etc. Dads, don’t get shown up by Aunty Mavis.
Formats are flexible depending on numbers; batting and bowling should be in pairs so that dads get to bowl to their sons and vice-versa.
Each batting pair will face a limited number of overs and bowlers are restricted to a 6-pace run-up.
The Chiefs at each field will supply match balls, stumps and will direct proceedings to start with.
Some Chiefs may head off to play in Old Boys/Staff teams on the Oval.
* Social Information
Dads & Lads games are due to finish between 11.15 and 11.45am.
Please could all participants meet for Prize-Giving above The Oval at 12pm.
Thereafter, families and teams are invited to bring-and-braai around The Oval and enjoy the main game.
The following will be provided: braai fires, rolls, salads, paper plates, plastic cutlery – and the tuck shop will be open.
Please bring your own meat, drinks and chairs.
All festivities will be around The Oval (The Coach House will be closed) and The Boks vs Wales Rugby Test will be on The Oval big screen after the main game.
For parents who live further away and are not able to join us, the event will be live streamed.
Look out for the link, which will be advertised on the Saints social media platforms.
* Dads a final reminder: Do like Dicko – don’t forget to pack your box into the kitbag and liberate 1 of the tin pots in the kitchen to use as a helmet.
* And one more final reminder: Be it Under-9s or higher/lower, your Mini Me’s have been playing cricket 3 times a week and more for the past 3 months.
They’re up for it, have been waging the psychological war over breakfast and dinner all week.
Your footwork and bowling action has been on the back-burner for so long it’s about as faulty as an Eskom press statement.
Remember: Keep your eye on the ball, ignore the sledging and try be useful out there.
Otherwise you’ll never hear the end of it.