The Kowie has a rich sporting history and to mark the recent Olympic year, 2016, the Kowie Museum has consolidated several existing exhibits with seven new displays on a Local Sports Wall. Tribute is paid to a wide range of sportsmen and women over a long period of history, from a 1902 photo of the Cuylerville cricket team in the Pineapple Tournament to a photo of young gymnasts from Nemato who have recently represented South Africa. Those who have achieved national colours are given special mention.
It is interesting to see how several family names keep recurring. The 1902 cricket photo has one Bradfield, three Timms and two Claytons. The 1952 photo has three Bradfield’s and one Clayton. In relatively more recent times Clinton Bradfield obtained South African colours in kneeboarding. Surfing is also represented by the MacGregor family who has produced four generations of competitive surfers. The Peterson and Marais families each include a father and son who have national colours for angling, and Lloyd and Margie Stephenson (husband and wife) both have Springbok colours for volleyball. Kowie also boasts a double Springbok in Tjaart Coetzee who gained his colours in amateur wrestling and u/23 rugby.
It is fitting that many of our locals who have represented South Africa have participated in fields related to water sports: rock and surf angling, board surfing, power boat racing and rowing. Then there is the account of young Kevin Anderson, who swam the English Channel in 1979 at the age of 12 and received a telegramme of congratulations from the Prime Minister of South Africa.
Historical sporting equipment on display includes a set of vellum ping-pong bats, an old leather golf bag and clubs and an antique set of four wooden lawn bowls. The now defunct Langholme Bowling Club is remembered.
Cricket and golf are still played in Port Alfred, but horse racing which took place on the ‘flats’ – now the Marina – and golf putting on the river bank, are no longer with us. – Joy Billing