Johnathan Rorke’s win – gloom amidst the doom

Local selected for SA Lifesaving team
File Photo: Johnathan Rorke.

Recently, the disturbing news of the N3 being targeted by criminal elements in the guise of protesters, cast a pall of gloom over all right-minded thinkers in the country. On the same day, the Golden Highway in Gauteng was also blocked by protesters venting their displeasure about something or other.

A service station in Flagstaff was looted leaving nothing in the café next door but empty shelves and air. One is reluctant to turn on one’s television set in fear of hearing and seeing more bad news.

Even media platforms such as Facebook, seem to be carrying more and more images and news of atrocities.

It was therefore such a boost to my morale that, while being house-bound for a few days, I turned on the television set and surfed the various channels to find something good to watch. By sheer coincidence I came across a sports channel that lifted my spirits by the boot straps.

But first, the background, so readers can better understand the reason why this left me so encouraged. In the latter half of last year, while cycling up a little hill near my home in Scottburgh South, I came across three teenagers who were up to something. One fellow had a boxlike container which he had tied to his waist by ropes.

He then dragged this behind him as he ran up the same hill that I was cycling up. The other fellows were, dragging the box down the hill once he had reached the top. He repeated this several times.

On other occasions, I came across this same fellow either going to, or coming from, the gym at the Mall. I have known this lad from when he was a little guy when he and his friends played in David Road and then, as they grew older, cycling around the suburb.

He is a member of the Scottburgh Lifesaving Club and he had made a name for himself by winning the Beach Sprint at the 2017 Inter-Provincial Lifesaving Championships. Fast forward to last Wednesday.

The channel I had fortuitously selected was screening the 2018 lifesaving championships held in Port Elizabeth.

Since I had learnt to surf at the northern end of Kings Beach at a spot called The Fence, I had a personal reason to watch the events taking place at the same stretch of beach that holds good memories for me. No sooner had I made myself comfortable when the Open Male Beach Sprint appeared on the screen.

After a shaky start, one competitor gained his rhythm and won the beach sprint in a tight finish – and the winner?

None other than Johnathan Rorke from Scottburgh! Not only Scottburgh, but Scottburgh South!

The same guy who had designed a homemade contraption filled with something heavy and hauled it up the road countless times.

How fantastic! This young man spent hours behind the scenes conditioning his body so that he could compete at the very highest level, and his dedication and natural ability enabled him to win the gold medal and remain the South African champion. How is that for a good news story?

The Scottburgh Lions officially opened the covered pavilion at the T. C. Robertson Nature Reserve last Wednesday. This pavilion is a most welcome addition to the reserve and will enable the Mongoose Restaurant to operate even in inclement weather.

During the opening address by Eddie Donaldson, who was the initiator of the project, he mentioned that the Lions offer support to the entire community in the Umdoni district. One of their main fundraisers is to man the Lions Refreshment Table during the Jberg2c and Sani2C races.

He appealed to anyone who wanted to assist the Lions in manning the refreshment tables to please come forward.

Any volunteers are guaranteed to have a rewarding day helping the cyclists to stock up on food and drink to sustain them for the final push to the coast. You can be of service on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

It is an opportunity to get close to the action and have a good day while doing so.

Any persons who are interested in assisting the Lions on any of these days may do so by contacting Priscilla Tedder on 083 309 5758 for further information.

  AUTHOR
Henry Parsons

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