Meet some of Plettenberg Bay’s most pioneering sportsmen

All Plett Pioneers players are serious about community building through cricket, but are also competent enough to have progressed from nowhere on the map to Premier League status in the course of just one decade

 

PLETT Pioneers Cricket Club (PPCC) was established in May 2007 - the first Plettenberg Bay team to be registered with the South Western Districts Cricket Board, and also the first to compete in the SWDCB’s Promotional League.

The New Horizons-based club was subsequently registered as an affiliate of the SWD Cricketing Board in July of that year.

But various obstacles faced its founders, in particular infrastructure support, as cricket facilities were only available at schools and not at municipal sports grounds.

Explains chairman Juan Windvogel: “We were fortunate to build and manage sound relationships with local schools like Formosa and Plett Primary, while Wittedrift High has facilitated our practice sessions and matches over the years.”

In 2013 the SWDCB sponsored synthetic pitches at New Horizons and Kranshoek sports grounds, enabling the Pioneers to introduce the game of cricket to local communities directly. Practice sessions could also start at Plett Secondary, due to the installation of new cricket nets at the school.

This significantly contributed to the motivation, involvement and interest from residents and learners alike.

“Our feeder system is Bitou schools and we pride ourselves in the fact that our club has over the years consisted of players from all over Plett. Our values and vision have drawn different races but black players in particular.

“This in turn agrees and conforms to the promotion of the game to black African communities, as per SWD Cricket’s mission and goals,” explains Windvogel.

In terms of SWD Cricket, the Pioneers are young and small when compared to others within their league. But they have always performed admirably, competitively and above expectation, albeit with the minimum of funds at their disposal.

“In our second season we reached the Promotional League final, but unfortunately lost to the better team. Recently, however, in our 10th season of existence, we competed in the Sedgars SWD Promotional League - and were crowned champions of the 2016/17 season!”

This is a remarkable achievement for the club, the New Horizon Community and the whole of Bitou, especially since PPCC has now gained promotion to the SWD Cricket Premier League Competition for the 2017/18 season.

The club is thus compelled to register a second team that will compete in the SWDC Reserve League Competition. And as SWD strongly promotes women’s cricket, the club is also looking into the feasibility of forming a female team as part of its strategic plan.

“As a small independent club with limited funds and resources, we are always forced to seek assistance from local government and businesses to overcome our challenges and ensure sustainability,” says Windvogel.

Call him on 084 798 5544 or club secretary Mornay Stuurman on 076 093 5627, or email pioneercricket@gmail.com if your business would like to get involved, and check out the Plettenberg Bay Pioneers Cricket Club Facebook page for updates.

The future

A turf cricket facility and nets are to be constructed at New Horizon Sports Field. The club is always looking to expand its player base through various recruitment strategies, including coaching clinics, and is also welcoming anyone that would like to get involved with umpiring, scoring, coaching and administration.

All home games are to be played at Plett Primary School and fixtures for the start of the season include: October 15 Ramblers B v Pioneers B, October 21 George v Pioneers and Pioneers B vs Pacaltsdorp B, and Oct 28 NMU Madibaz George vs Pioneers.