It was a bittersweet year-end function and prize giving for Kowie Striders chairman Sticks Stiglingh last Saturday, as it was his last one as chairman after five years at the helm.
But Stiglingh is graduating to become chairman of the Port Alfred Country Club, of which the Striders is one of the member clubs.
The Christmas-themed function was catered by Joba Café, but at outside tables spread beyond the restaurant in Heritage Mall.
“Thank you to each and every one who’s here tonight, and to those who couldn’t be here because of Covid and other reasons – thank you for making our club the best club,” Stiglingh said.
He thanked their sponsors, including Rosehill SuperSpar, Buco which sponsors the 27/10km run, Remax Kowie for always helping with the Boxing Day fun run which cannot take place this year, Heritage Mall owners Western Gruppe for sponsoring their 5/8km runs and for allowing the Striders to hold their year-end function there, and Talk of the Town for the space given to the Striders in the newspaper.
He said it was sad that the club would not be holding the popular annual fun run/walk on Boxing Day, which draws about 700 participants, but the decision was made “after long deliberations” and with Covid in mind.
Thanks also went to Cathy Momberg, Wimpy owner Mike Wilcock, Anel Heyns of Woolworths, club member Sarah Cohen for logging the results, and Marietjie Robb for all her help.
Stiglingh said their development programme was growing and would be named the Nemato Academy next year.
“Thanks to Foxy [outgoing country club president James Fox] for supporting the development programme. If it wasn’t for Foxy and the country club we wouldn’t be here.”
In response, Fox said: “At the moment we have 298 members at the country club. It’s because of you people.”
Stiglingh chose to give the chairman’s trophy to Zanel Venter this year, thanking her for handling the club’s finances.
“After five years as chairman, handing over the baton is sad. It was not always easy, I started with no committee. But people came forward and put their life and commitment into it. These past five years were the best years of my life as far as clubs are concerned,” he said.
Male walker – Jean Nepgen
Female walker – Carol Nepgen
Junior male – Lithemba Jekana
27km male – 1st Sizakele Dayimani, 2nd Xolani Mbeki, 3rd Zamile Xanti
27km female – 1st Shannon Kethro, 2nd Marianne Stiglingh, 3rd Nelly Phiri
Cyclist of the year – Lynette Harbrecht
Most improved – Sinethemba Jilingisi
Male runner – Sticks Stiglingh
Female runner – Avril Beyleveld
Vasbyt award – Billy Futter
EP certificates – Avril Beyleveld (cross country), Sticks Stiglingh (cross country and road running), Marlene Wiese (road running)
Chairman’s trophy – Zanel Venter