Protea’s play it forward

Young cricketers score big with latest donation from Willowton’s Sunfoil Education Trust

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 27: Prize giving during day 4 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and India at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on January 27, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

An incredible R641 000 raised during the last two Sunfoil Test series will go directly to young South Africans in disadvantaged communities through Willowton Group’s Sunfoil Education Trust (SET). These funds will enable the organisation to sponsor bursaries for promising young township cricketers, offering them an invaluable opportunity to pursue a future cricketing career.

The Willowton Group donated R1 000 for every four, R2 000 for every six and R2 500 for every wicket taken during the series between South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as the South Africa – India series. While South Africa came out on top in both tests, Willowton Group’s generous donation is ensuring there are many more winners out there.

“This exciting test series is made even more rewarding knowing that the future of the South African cricket landscape will comprise players from rural communities,” said Shoaib Moosa, Chief Commercial Officer for Willowton Group, manufacturers of Sunfoil cooking oil. “Every talented child deserves a real opportunity to show the world what they can do, and we truly hope that each recipient finds a way to success.”

The most recent amount brings the total to more than R5,644 million raised for the Sunfoil Education Trust since its inception in the 1995/1996 domestic cricket season. This has enabled twenty-one talented township cricketers to attend some of South Africa’s leading schools, among them Glenwood High School in Durban, Somerset College in Cape Town, Hudson Park High in East London, Cornwall Hill College in Gauteng, Louis Botha Technical High School in Bloemfontein, Upington High and Kimberley Boys High.

The selection of each bursary recipient is a thorough process with candidates having to complete the Sunfoil Township Cricket development programme – a coaching scheme for disadvantaged youngsters. Those showing potential will make the Sunfoil development squads with only the most outstanding players becoming eligible for the bursary scheme. Once chosen, the recipient will receive funding for school fees, uniforms and hostel costs with ongoing cricket coaching alongside academic studies.

“While honing their cricket skills is part of the benefit of the bursary programme, there are also so many associated benefits of a sporting discipline,” explained Moosa. “These future stars are taught skills such as discipline, respect and teamwork, all of which will carry through into any career they choose. They are also encouraged to pursue their academic studies with as much rigour as they give to their sporting disciplines because education is the building block of any individual, and any nation.”

Willowton Group remains committed to the social upliftment of local communities through sponsorship of programmes such as these, as well as the brand sponsorship of cricket from township level all the way through to national test cricket.