Team SA off to Malaysia
The men’s team was announced at the end of the Growthpoint SA Nationals which concluded on the 23rd of October. Squash South Africa President, Kyle Potgieter, announced the five-man team which comprises a balance of experience and youth. The team shall represent South Africa at the WSF Men’s World Team Championships taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 7th to 12th December 2021. The team comprises the following players:
- Jean-Pierre Brits (Captain)
- Christo Potgieter
- Dewald Van Niekerk
- Ruan Olivier
- Tristan Worth (Non-Travelling Reserve)
The team coach and manager is Rodney Durbach.
Here is the team representing South Africa:
Name: Jean-Pierre Brits
Date of birth: 2 April 1991
Place of birth: Johannesburg
Khar gymkhana – Syska (India) open champion 2017
PSA ironman 4×4 champion 2018
South African national champion 2019
PSA ranking 151
South African men’s team captain 2019
Bronze medalist at WSF doubles championships 2019
Jarvis Cup (Growthpoint Nationals) 2017 & 2019 winner
Name: Christo Potgieter
Date of birth: 1 June 1987
Place of birth: Windhoek, Namibia
2017 SA open champion
Bronze medal at World Doubles 2019
SA racket ball (squash 57 SA champ 2020)
2020 SA national champion
2021 SA Nationals finalist
13 national doubles titles
PSA ranking 273
Name: Dewald Van Niekerk
Date of birth: 3 June 1997
Place of birth: Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha)
SA schools U14 number 8
SA Schools team to tour USA / Canada in December 2013
Selected for All Africa Junior Championships – Gabarone, Botswana 2015
Selected to represent South Africa at FISU University World Championships in Birmingham, England
Ironman 4×4 PSA Closed Satellite- 1st Place (Winner) 2020
GPCE Grand Prix PSA Closed Satellite- 1st Place (Winner)
Northerns PSA Closed Satellite – 1st Place (Winner)
Growthpoint SA Nationals winner 2021
Highest ranked South African player on the PSA – ranking 124
Name: Ruan Olivier
Date of Birth: 5 July 1994
Number 1 in South Africa all the age levels (U/14, 16, 19).
Toured Malaysia, Canada, USA, United Kingdom, and Scotland and also took part in three All Africa Junior Championships.
Represented South Africa at the World Junior Men’s Championships in Qatar, playing at number 1 in the team.
University Johannesburg number 1 player and captain leading the team to three consecutive USSA titles.
SA Universities team at the World Universities Championships where the team finished in 4th position.
Joined the PSA World tour in 2014 and has played in 36 PSA Tournaments since then.
Growthpoint SA National Championship finalist 2020.
PSA ranking 328
Wrapping up the Growthpoint SA Nationals 2021
The Growthpoint SA Nationals was concluded on 23 October with new champions being crowned in all four divisions. The tournament comprised of the top squash talents who had earned their spots in the tournament through the regional pre-qualifiers played in their respective regions. For the first time in the tournament’s history, the U17 addition was added to the roster and we hope it shall be a mainstay in years to come.
The tournament was held in Cape Town, courtesy of our title sponsor, Growthpoint Properties and our gracious hosts, the City of Cape Town and the V & A Waterfront; making use of the glass court. It was an enriching experience bringing the sport to where the people are, in the mall and the reception was warm and truly inspiring, especially for the players.
We also had the pleasure of hosting some guests from the City of Cape Town and Growthpoint Properties. A representative from Growthpoint Properties said, “This year’s Growthpoint SA Nationals offered three days of nail-biting squash at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Growthpoint Properties is incredibly proud to sponsor a sport that represents our values and commitment to shaping a better tomorrow for generations to come. The tournament was successful in not only bringing people together after a challenging year but also uncovering and showcasing exceptional sporting talent. Congratulations to our champions”!
The eventual tournament winners in their respective divisions were:
U17 Girls – Savannah Ingledew (Midlands) beat Awande Malinga (Northerns) 3/2
U17 Boys – Luhann Groenewald (Northerns) beat Seth Flisberg (Western Province) 3/2
Senior Ladies – Lizelle Muller (SACD) beat Milnay Louw (Western Province) 3/1
Senior Men – Dewald van Niekerk (SACD) beat Christo Potgieter (Joburg Squash) 3/1
The highlight of the tournament involved the Van Niekerk siblings who were all competing on the same grand stage at the same time. Dewald knocked out his brother, Rudi in the semifinals and went on to win top honors whilst their sister Lizelle clinched the women’s title.
As we look back and reflect, I would personally like to extend my gratitude to everyone that contributed to making the event the success that it was. As Squash South Africa, we look forward to the next edition of the Growthpoint SA Nationals and we believe the best is yet to come. Special mention to our title sponsor, Growthpoint Properties, and all the sponsors who chose to walk this path with us despite the challenges 2021 had to bring.
The Growthpoint Superstars is a program aimed at affording children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds access to the sport of squash. Through Growthpoint Properties, Squash South Africa has partnered with already existing programs which aim to carry out and promote squash related activities along with deserving beneficiaries.
With the Growthpoint SA Nationals being hosted at the V&A Waterfront, Squash SA had the privilege of hosting the Shoestring Youth Academy (based in Fishhoek) and the Ekapa Academy which is hosted by Siyoli Waters.
The children had the rare opportunity to play on an all-glass court in the shopping centre, with coaches Rodney Durbach, Vannessa Christenssen, Michael Lategan, Reece Cooper and Kathi Ross putting them through their paces.
The bulk of the beneficiaries are from Masiphumelele and are children that are linked to an NGO that looks after families that live in this informal settlement.
The Growthpoint Superstars program is a national initiative which has changed the landscape of our squash CSI activities. Children from all parts of the country now have the opportunity to play squash and grow in the sport. We also have a few hearty letters and photos from as far as Transkei Primary School in uMthatha, Eastern Cape and we could not help ourselves but to share some of them with you.
GROWTHPOINT SA NATIONAL PARTNERS 2021
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT