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Episode 20: John Dobson - Singing from a different Hymn Sheet

He has run a successful publishing company, has a Masters degree in creative writing, a law degree, an MBA and has written two novels. But that’s just one piece of John Dobson’s story. In another part of his life he coached UCT to the Varsity Cup title, won a Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup as head coach of Western Province and guided WP’s U-21s to two national titles. He had playing stints in Italy and Portugal and is currently head coach of the Stormers in Super Rugby. His mother still asks when he is going to get a ‘real job’, but Dobson is a self-confessed ‘rugby romantic’ whose deep passion for the game was moulded by a family steeped in rugby. He sees coaching as not only teaching young players how to become better at their jobs and to win matches and titles, but also how to become better human beings.

Episode 19: Neil Powell - Creating Champions

He has coached South Africa to two World Series titles, a Commonwealth Games’ gold medal and an Olympic bronze medal, but for Blitzbok coach Neil Powell the job is only partly about winning titles. The South Africa sevens programme has become the envy of the world game, where it keeps churning out world-class sevens players every year and setting the tactical standard for the shorter version of the sport. The team had set its sights on Olympic gold in Tokyo this year, but that target has moved after the postponement of the global showpiece to July and August 2021 following the outbreak of the Coronavirus. It will lead to a massive adjustment of the Blitzboks’ preparation time frames but will also give them a chance to evolve even further. Neil joins the Maverick Sports Podcast today, to talk about these and many other issues.

Episode 18: The Front Line Of Covid-19

In this episode we hand over the Maverick Sports podcast platform to the biggest issue of our time – perhaps of any time since World War II – Coronavirus. The sporting landscape both locally and internationally has been decimated by cancellations and postponements in recent weeks. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo the latest casualty of the global pandemic. On the podcast today is respected journalist and 20 times Comrades Marathon runner Mark Heywood. Mark is a veteran activist who was on the front line in the HIV crisis in South Africa more than a decade ago. He is editor of Maverick Citizen, which is telling vital stories of Coronavirus and more at both a macro and micro level. Once again he finds himself on the front line of a health crisis. As a sports lover Mark understands the impact that Covid-19 is having in that space and helps us unpack it through a wide lens.

Episode 17: Trevor Immelman - The Green Jacket

The 2020 Masters has been postponed due to coronavirus but this week we turn back the clock to remember one of the great achievers in South African sport. Trevor Immelman has the rare distinction of twice fending off prime Tiger Woods down the stretch in massive golf tournaments. The first was to win the 2006 Western Open on the PGA Tour and the second, most famously, was to claim the 2008 Masters at Augusta National when he was only 28. Immelman’s victory made him the fifth South African to win one of golf’s majors and only the second after Gary Player to claim the Masters’ green jacket. Victory gave him a lifetime membership at Augusta and moved him into a select group of players to have won one of golf’s four elite tournaments. He also won the South African Open twice on his ‘home’ course of Erinvale. After that heady win at Augusta, Immelman’s career hit some bumps through severe injuries and loss of confidence and he never won another professional tournament. Immelman has no regrets though, as he moves into the next phase of his career as an analyst and commentator for the Golf Channel.

Episode 16: Doug Ryder - Africa’s Cycling Team VS. The World

Doug Ryder only wanted to be a pro cyclist. He eked out a living trying to fulfil that dream on the cold European winter and autumn circuit in the 1990s and had moderate success. Through those experiences a dream of building an African cycling team that would compete at the elite level started to form. The dream slowly became reality as Ryder banged on the door of the sport with only his vision and passion to sell. He met resistance, mirth and suspicion from cycling’s establishment, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. But he never gave up and today the NTT Pro Cycling Team (formerly Dimension Data) is in the first division of the World Tour. Since its entry to the upper echelons of the sport its riders have won many races, including seven Tour de France stages. It has also given over 80,000 bikes to underprivileged African communities through its Qhubeka Foundation and it continues to grow. Today, Ryder joins the Maverick Sports Podcast to talk about the rise of the little team from Africa, which had no money, to an organisation that employs more than 100 people and has a R255m annual budget.

Episode 15: CT Cycle Tour - Coronavirus & Big Decisions

It’s 42 in 2020 but unlike most 40-year-olds, the Cape Town Cycle Tour shows no signs of decline or of slowing down. The iconic race is now as much a part of South Africa’s sporting landscape as the Comrades Marathon. Its world-class organisation, coupled with unparalleled scenery, makes it a bucket list event for every cyclist and many non-cyclists. With 35000 participants riding a 109km route across the Cape Peninsula, it requires impeccable logistics, planning, cooperation, a little luck and a big sense of humour. Dave Bellairs is one of the dedicated team tasked with bringing all these moving parts together to ensure that the iconic event meets the expectations of first time riders and of those doing the Tour for a 10th time or more. In 2020, there is also the small matter of the Coronavirus outbreak to consider…

Episode 14: Sports Science - The New Frontier

This week we veer into the world of sports science, which has increasingly become the frontier battleground of professional sports. It’s a complex and vital area of sport and Dr Mike Posthumus, a respected voice in the field of sports science and a professional athlete himself, joins the Maverick Sports podcast to delve deeper. Heard of the 10,000 hour theory? Well, Mike tells us why it’s nonsense. Posthumus is the head of High Performance at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and an honorary Senior Researcher in the department of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at UCT.

Episode 13: Unpacking Cricket Capture

Neil Manthorp has been the voice of South African cricket commentary for nearly 30 years and he’s covered almost every tour and match the Proteas have played since readmission to international cricket in 1991. He’s a respected journalist and media entrepreneur and the author of seven books…. six about cricket and cricketers and one about drinking beer. He is an avid runner and keen golfer with the slowest backswing in the amateur game. This week he joins the Maverick Sports Podcast to discuss the trials facing the game in South Africa, Faf du Plessis and his favourite Proteas’ moment.

Episode 12: Robbie Fleck

Robbie Fleck played 31 Tests for the Springboks as an accomplished outside centre between 1999-2002 and he was also head coach of the Stormers for four seasons between 2016-2019. He was thrust into the Super Rugby coaching job when current England mentor Eddie Jones vacated the Stormers post after only 10 days, leaving Fleck to pick up the pieces. In today’s episode Fleck talks about the difficulties and challenges of that situation and how Western Province’s financial problems impacted on the team. He regales us with tales of the ‘Men in Black’, the talented 1999 Stormers team that came so close to winning Super Rugby and gives piercing insights into his 20 years in the game as a professional player, and coach.

Episode 11: Murderball a.k.a. Wheelchair Rugby

Despite breaking his neck in an horrific scrumming incident that left him a quadriplegic when he was 17, this week’s Maverick Sports podcast guest Andy Barrow would not change anything. Barrow showed courage and determination to embrace his fate and become an inspirational captain of the England wheelchair rugby team that competed in three Paralympic Games, three World Championships, and five European Championships, where his team won three consecutive gold medals. Barrow is now a motivational speaker and world traveler, spreading his infectious zest for life to hundreds of people of all ages.

Episode 10: Finding SA’s Serenas, Rogers & Rafas

Tennis South Africa’s chief executive Richard Glover can’t pinpoint exactly where or when SA’s first tennis superstar might emerge, but he and his organisation are building foundations to make that to happen. The last 20 years have been among the best ever in professional tennis. Roger, Rafa and Novak on the men’s side have redefined the sport while Serena has done the same for the women’s game. Over the past few years new Tennis SA has slowly started to rebuild the grassroots program and bring sponsors into the game again. Money is vital to find and nurture talent in a sport than can be financially crippling for young players and their families. This week Glover explains what is happening in South African tennis.

Episode 9: Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger is one of South Africa’s greatest rugby players. Famous for his intensity and skill, he is a former World Player of the Year, captained the Springboks against the All Blacks at his beloved Newlands, won the Rugby World Cup at junior and senior level, picked up a European Cup and an English Premiership title with Saracens, and had an acclaimed career in Japanese club rugby. Nowadays he’s a full-time dad, part-time car renovator and occasional rugby analyst on SuperSport. He joins us to talk about rugby and life and to share some anecdotes about being at the top of his profession for 15 years.

32 episodes

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