Radio 786 Send off Shahiem Rogers in Style
On Saturday evening 9 June, the Radio 786 Sportsdesk Team hosted a send off and farewell function in honour of London Olympic Torchbearer, Shahiem Rogers at their Gatesville studio.
Shahiem and his family were the guests of honour at this event. The function co incided with the Saturday evening Sportsdesk programme and Shahiem and some of the guests were interviewed live on the programme. At the function, various gifts were handed over to Shahiem. Most of these gifts were in the form of kit and apparel that will make Shahiem stand out in London. The Radio 786 Sportsdesk team took it upon themselves, to run with this initiative and it was heartwarming to see so many of the Sportsdesk guests over the last few months embracing this campaign and donating some much needed apparel to Shahiem.
Mr Beresford Williams, President of Western Province Cricket Association, was one of the key benefactors and in a short, yet powerful message to Shahiem, he encouraged the young man to go over to London and to represent himself, his family, his community and his continent. Mr Williams said that since the end of apartheid, there are so many opportunities for kids like Shahiem and that he is indeed a role model for all kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Another benefactor and former non racial rugby legend, the former WP and Junior SARU hooker, Mr Riedoh Allen also had a powerful message for Shahiem. He recalled some of his trips into the country as a young rugby player. He remembered how the WP rugby team used to travel by kombi to play matches against other provinces and where he for the first time encountered people who looked different than what he was. He told Shahiem that he will now be travelling much further and that he will be meeting different people from all over the world. But he now has the opportunity to start some lasting friendships with these people. Mr Allen referred to some of the friendships he made over the years, through his involvement with sport.
Mr Taariq vd Ross, from the Helderberg Sports Foundation had a very simple message to Shahiem. He told him to first and foremost represent himself and to enjoy the experience. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and he must cherish it and have fun.
The man, who first brough Shahiem to the attention of the Radio 786 Sportsdesk team, Award Winning Photographer, Rashied Isaacs, recalled his memories of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He told Shahiem that he will be making similar memories during his time in London.
Shahiem and his mother Shamiela, expressed their gratitude to the Radio 786 team and all the benefactors, who also included Moneeb Levy from SK Walmers, Goosain Benjamin from Collegians and Nachuu Parker from Radio 786. Armien Brink and Ierfaan Cassiem also handed a gift on behalf of the Sportsdesk Team to Sahiem.
Mrs Rogers said she was overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of the community.
Shahiem is truly a remarkeable young man and will definitely do South Africa proud at the event, which is scheduled for the 28 June.