Marc Cayeux fights back

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A man of few words, yet when he speaks an abundance of wisdom proceeds from his mouth. Marc Cayeux has been through it all. He has mixed with some of the best golfers in the world and has had the opportunity and the gift taken from him for a while. At some point the thought should have crossed his mind, that he will never swing a club again. However he has shown great character and he has warranted a fight back. He refused to lie down and let it be. The golfer will play in the Zimbabwe Open on Thursday, April 14 and so much joy will fill the hearts of those around him and those who know his story. A story of hope, fight, belief and victory. It will be more than just golf as the Cayeux lines up on the green. Marc Cayeux is back!

Hey Marc, How are you?

Good thank you, how are you?

 

I am well thanks. So, what are your expectations of the upcoming Zimbabwe Open?

First of all I’m just happy to be part of the Open this year. It has been my goal to have my first event at the Zim Open as it is in my home country.  My only expectations at the moment is to have a few good rounds and make the cut really. As this is my first event on the Sunshine tour in 5 and a half years.  I just want to enjoy the moment.

 

What then prompted the decision to represent Zimbabwe in your golfing career?

I was blessed with great association with Junior Golf Association in Zimbabwe. It was key in developing my game and falling in love with it.

 

When did you start playing golf? Would you then also say the 10000 hour rule applies when it comes to such a specialist sport?

I started playing at the age of 10 with my dad and my brother.  I strongly believe in quality practice instead of quantity practice. That being said, the dedication and time put in always reaps one the rewards.

 

As a golfer, what was your most memorable victory and the most devastating defeat you have managed to encounter? Why?

My most memorable victory was Vodacom Championships in 2004 where I shot 61 in the final round to win the tournament by 6 shots.

Every tournament you don’t win, is always a lesson learned.

 

You have managed to play on the world stage before. Tell us about your 2009 season, The British Open and what could have been or what was?

Had a good season on the European tour, but sadly missed my Tour Card at the end of 2009.

It was a great experience playing the British Open at Turnberry.  But sadly missed the cut. But it was a great week, experience wise.

 

In 2010, something horrific happened. You want to tell us about that experience?

I was unfortunate while driving back from the border, a ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) vehicle swerved trying to avoid hitting a cow, she ended up hitting my vehicle head-on. To be honest the last 5 and a half years has been extremely difficult and frustrating trying to get back on track with my golfing career.  I can thank God for saving me through this whole ordeal.  It’s a miracle to be here at the moment.

 

The doctors, fans and many people had the belief you would never play again. Your career was deemed over. How difficult was it during rehabilitation as you fought the mental and physical challenge of recovery?

It was extremely hard as it was physically tough to get through this all. I knew I had to pull myself together to get back to where I was for myself and for my family. I’m not fully there but still working hard at it. My wife and I have done this together.

 

How important have your family and friends been in this period in particular?

My family and friends has been so supported through all of this.  We are truly blessed with a great group of friends.

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Who do you think is the best golfer in the world at the moment?

Jordan Spieth.  Not so much his golf, but I think what he does off the course is just great.

 

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The Ivan Venter story…

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Just year ago they had to remove a piece of Ivan Venter’s Colon that was diagnosed with cancer and he had to start with chemo-therapy.A lot has happened since that day and Ivan caught up with us to tell us how he overcame the challenges and his trip to the Las Vegas Sevens.

Ivan Venter is a fun person to be around as he always makes time for a joke or two. A hard working player who represents the Blue Bulls 7’s team. When it comes to rugby; he works hard on and off the field to be in top shape every time he gets the chance to play the game. Ivan is a very technical player who likes to be critical of his own performances. A player who looks to always improve in the day and age were sevens rugby is growing. His speed, vision, awareness for space and kicking game are his strengths.

While rugby is a passion for most, he was managed to face obstacles off the field that put rugby at the back of his mind. Let’s get to hear the story of a talented man that has so much more to be grateful for.

What makes you tick as a person?

I like to be around my friends and family. This is the norm when I have some spare time and when I’m off the pitch. The best way to relax when I’m having a break would be playing a bit of golf with friends or just stay at home and watch a movie. This helps to get my mind off the training and refocus. The next time I have to focus on the rugby I will be refreshed and ready for the challenge.

 

What has been the most life changing moment in your life? How did you get through this period?

Well it must have been a year ago when I found out that I had Colon Cancer. With the support from friends and family it made things a bit easier to get through the time as I had to go through surgery to remove the piece of Colon that was infected by the cancer. After that I had to go through a six month period of chemotherapy. They told me that I will only be able to train and resume playing rugby in 2016 but after 3 months there was no sign of the cancer anymore. I stopped the treatment and started training again. After the hard work, I played at the Nationals Sevens tournament three months later for the Bulls and we won the tournament. All I can say is thank you to the Lord for keeping me safe and that He healed me from cancer. I will always give all the credit to the Lord and honour Him.

Are you considering playing 15s again or 7s is your focus in the long run? Do you harbour any hopes of playing Currie Cup rugby? What are the chances of this happening?

Well I like both codes but if I had to choose one I would say 7’s. I would love to get a call up to the national 7s squad one day.  7s will suit me more than 15s as you have a lot of space to work with.

Currie Cup remains the dream of many a kid. Both my grandfathers played for the Blue Bulls that when it was known as “Northern Transvaal” it was a dream to follow in their footprints. At this stage I don’t know what the chances are but what I can say is when I get that call one day I will be ready to make that step up.

Your Vegas trip? What did you expect from the tour and your aims as a team and a player?

Yes, It was a very exciting tournament. I looked to help my team reach the Cup finals in the Elite Tournament that we will be playing in. I will not say that I had too many expectations in Vegas as I feel when you try too much on your own it will let the team down.The focus being the team and not myself. Who knows, I could get a call from the new Pro league starting in the USA in a couple of months time next.

It was great and we enjoyed every moment that side I played for the Elite Selects in the American Cup tournament a level just below the World Series!! We played in the plate finals but we lost and then the next day I was honored by being asked to play for the South African All star team that played in the other tournament. I managed to play in the semi-finals and finals.

Three things people do not know about you?

  • Humble
  • Trustworthy
  • Motivated

 

Who is your inspiration?

I would say Jason Robinson the former England fullback, as he always had something extra to provide when he had the ball. I think in today’s game you need a player like that in your team to keep your opponents guessing.

 

If you were to be a forward, what position would you want to have played?

I must say I started my rugby career as a flanker in primary school before I moved to the backs, but I would love to play flank if I was a forward. It’s an interesting position.

 

What position do you think is the easiest to play?

I don’t think any position is easy to play as they all have their own responsibilities and ways of playing. If I had to say the position that looks the easiest from the side I would have said to play wing. As most of the time they just have to catch the ball and run.

When you finally realize why you were born…

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But as I got older, I realized that time and chance happened to us all, you are responsible for what you become, so I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I had been an athlete all my life, my highest achievements were making the Athletics Limpopo team in Grade 5 &6 and being the best female athlete at school. I was going to be the best Long Jumper in the…

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Sihlalo Benge kicking for poles

My #GreatestGame story – Sihlalo Benge

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ABSA is running a #GreatestGame campaign and it is actually quite an impressive campaign. You get to hear so many stories that are inspiring, motivating and heart warming. My #GreatestGame is being able to tell this story of a young man who was at the recently concluded under 13 Craven Week- Sihlalo Benge. He is driven to play the game and one day he would love to live the dream of making rugby his career. What really catches the eye is how Sihlalo has managed to forge a friendship with his hero and favorite rugby player. Its not often a 12 year old will be in direct contact with his favorite player and the fact that the motivation and inspiration is mutual to both parties is a special testament. I must laud Allan Dell for making this young man not just feel special but by being a positive role model and making a difference. I hope Sihlalo, who has gained a new fan and admirer continues to work hard and that he hopefully gets to achieve his goals; for now lets hear from him :

Who is Sihlalo?

I am a youngster who is proud to be a Queenian. I enjoy rugby and hope to pursue a career in the game in the future. I am blessed to have taken part in the Under 13 Craven Week this year.

What was Craven week like?
It was an amazing experience . Unfortunately we managed to come sixth out of eighteen teams. Hoping to continue to develop as a player.

What inspired you to play rugby?
I have to credit my dad for that. He managed to drive and develop my love for the game.

Who is your favorite player?
Allan Dell is my favorite player.

What team are you supporting in the Super Rugby season?
I am an avid Sharks fan and there is only one team and it wears black and white. Nothing else matters!

What for you do before games?
I just have the warm up with the team and I make a prayer to God. I then go out there and enjoy myself.

Which player do you play like or want to play like?
I am a fly half but I really hope to play like Allan Dell. He is a terrific player that keeps inspiring me to play better and to enjoy the game. I hope to match his determination and enthusiasm.

Lionel Messi imploding, Ronaldo’s beacon shining brighter

Cristiano Ronaldo is now the best footballer in the world. He has adapted even more with the forward not just scoring goals, but also creating and is making it a habit to repeatedly laud the efforts of his team mates and coaches. To put it in a football context, before last year’s awards ceremony the Portuguese star was 4-1 (Ballon d’Or) awards down. It is now 4-3. He showed his delight as his crowning glory was announced. Through the years of Lionel Messi’s dominance Ronaldo coped with adversity, doubt over his abilities and gained the tag of one of the most hated players in the world. He put his head down and worked hard as he watched Lionel Messi claim four Ballon d’Ors in a row; while seated in the first row of the Zurich building. Fast track 2015, Ronaldo has bagged two in a row as the Portuguese cream is finally at the top.

Now its Messi’s turn to be the fan, the side-show and the guy back in the trenches working harder. Now he sits on the sideline and watches Ronaldo bask in the rays of the sun. Messi however has not had the best last two seasons; plagued by injuries, poor form, the bickering and the inability to be the main guy in world football. Even Joseph Blatter was quick to label Ronaldo as a extravagant, a commander on the pitch and mocked his hairstyles. Making note of his preference of Lionel Messi. Isn’t the president of FIFA meant to be objective? Ronaldo went on to respond in a respectful manner to Mr Blatter as he powered through the dramas to be the world’s best player last season.

In recent weeks the murmurs outside the Nou Camp have been rather different. Messi has been very vocal lately. While his arch adversary has been known to be vocal and one who loves the spotlight both on and off the pitch, Messi has been known to be the private and reserved player. Oh has he? Messi has changed, or are his true colors showing?

What we noticed:

*A rocky relationship with Luis Enrique.
*He is unsettled at Barcelona, as he goes back and forth about his future at the club.
*He got gastroenteritis after being dropped by Luis Enrique for the Real Sociedad loss. (Funny enough Xavi Hernandez made comments earlier that week about how players who make such a complaint (gastroenteritis – stomach bug) are often covering up something and there is more to it than revealed.)
*The star forward is showing his frustrations, which has been reported to be missing Cesc Fabregas a close friend.
*Maneuvering a move away? Maybe, with the player or was it his son Thiago liking Chelsea’s Instagram account, and some of their players’ accounts. He then votes for Jose Mourinho as the best coach in the world. Read into it as you want.

This is unfamiliar territory for the Argentine skipper. So used to the limelight that being away from the headlines in the last two years may be affecting him. Messi could be hoping for a move away, but with FFP (FIFA Fair Play) active only two clubs can realistically get the star. Real Madrid and Manchester United, who both are in no position to get the player. The deal will be worth around £550 million. The question is, is it worth it in a financial sense?

Barcelona’s easiest solution would be the sacking of another manager, who Lionel Messi has been unable to play under. It will be a softer blow than losing their talisman. This will leave Barca in an even more unstable state as they have had 4 coaches in the last six years. The tables have turned indeed and now we wait and hope to see how this change of events will affect the Argentine star. Even the purple suit Lionel Messi has worn in the last two ceremonies has led to the interpretation of frustration, as purple is the color of frustration. Will he be able to bounce back or show the same level of desire as Ronaldo? If he can not, we have to acknowledge Ronaldo a lot more for showing his fighting nature to surpass a once anointed football god. At this moment Ronaldo leads the race to not just another Ballon d’Or but a record tying fourth.

Africa Cup of Nations 2015- Group D

Another tough group, which features Côte d’Ivoire , Mali, Cameroon and Guinea. Two sides that have the potential to lift the crown are among the four in this group and are likely to progress. The group also feature two stalwarts of the game that once shared the field together for one of the best sides in the world. Seydou Keita and Yaya Toure, for Barcelona . Possibly the best midfielders to ever play football from Africa. How does group D look?

Ivory Coast

Favorites in the last four or five tournaments to no avail. They fail to get it together and produce the required performance. What is so different this year is they do not have Didier Drogba but have the four time African player of the year on their side and one of the best midfielders in the world. Yaya Toure. They stuttered into the tournament and never looked convincing once. With Wilfried Bony who has found it easier to score for Swansea than for his country taking over from Didier Drogba the Elephants will struggle unless the rejuvenated German based forward Salomon Kalou has one last hurrah. An unconvincing win over a Nigerian side that had local based players confirms their inability and shortcomings to be Africa’s best. Serge Aurier and Kolo Toure will need to be on their best if Ivory Coast are to survive. Will do well to make it to second in the group.
Will need to make a miraculous improvement, adapt and make the final.

Cameroon

Finished top in a group with the Ivory Coast, including thrashing the Ivorians 4-1. One of the favorites of the tournament. With a well balanced squad, a brilliant coach and prolific strikers what could stop them from surging through. Cameron were dealt a blow when they got news of Alex Song’s retirement from international football. They rarely played the West ham midfielder since the World Cup despite his fine performance and now they know he is out of reach. With Stephane M’bia, who will captain the four time winners, and will anchor the midfielder their foundation is well grounded. He will be assisted with proven finishers in Clinton N’Jie and Vincent Aboubakar. The Indomitable Lions, roar again.
Among favorites to win the tournament.

Guinea

Drawn in a tricky group during qualifiers, Guinea emerged with some impressive displays. They managed to finish strong by comprehensively beating Togo and Uganda. Finishing second behind Ghana, they face a tougher task as they look to overcome three former champions. The side do boast a prolific goal scorer in Seydouba Souma who plays for Slovan Bratislava . The Forward cum Midfielder bagged a hat trick when the side thumped Togo. His versatility allows his coach to deploy him in the midfield if need be and allow Mohamed Yatta to lead the line. With a workaholic midfield, a shaky defense and strikers that know how to find the back of the net the side will be able to put in a performance if the ball rolls well into their path.
Tough task to progress, a dark horse and will do well to pip Mali to third. The strikers will be a joy to watch.

Mali

Dark horses. Led by Captain Seydou Keita. The AS Roma midfielder has resurrected his career in Italy and has been top class. The Mali captain is also, the country’s top goal scorer with 24 goals, and has the most caps. Should Mali progress from the group he will get his 100th cap in the tournament this year. It will be on Keita whether the team progress or not. From the creativity side of the team to the goal scoring department the Roma man will have to take it upon himself. Mali are goal shy with the squad lacking many goal scorers besides the captain. Their midfield will need to pitch in with some strikes and the defense must shore up a bit. They have managed to finish third in the last two campaigns at the tournament. Winning mentality. Remember 2010? Down 4-0 with 11 minutes to play, the Eagles stormed back to end the game at 4-4! Fighters…
Fancy them to battle Ivory Coast for that second spot.

Africa Cup of Nations 2015- Group C

That group no one wants to be in. Four former champions in South Africa, Algeria, Senegal and Ghana. The group of death which will see two quality sides depart early with nothing. The stakes are raised, and they must all hit the ground running. With affairs off the field likely to be more telling on how the group will look like at the end. Let’s look at the four teams:

South Africa

After years of under performing, overpaying coaches that never delivered and an over reliance on stars that were past their prime something had to change. In steps, Shakes Mashaba. The former Under 23 mentor who is in his second spell as Bafana Bafana coach hit the ground running as he topped the qualifying group which saw South Africa knock out Nigeria. The team has had a resurgence in the last few months which was also entwined recently with having to also deal with the passing of captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa. A well balanced squad, which may have one weakness ,the inexperienced shot stoppers. Up front Tokelo Rantie will have lots to prove in front of goal; not just for the Bafana fans but the Bournemouth fans. The attacker will be in the company of Kaizer Chiefs’ Bernard Parker.
Bafana Bafana have a very good chance of progressing, and will need to take their chances and maintain their defensive discipline. Battle with Senegal to edge that second or third spot.

Ghana

Five tournament debutants and a new coach in Avram Grant leaves the Black Stars in unfamiliar territory. Many a time, we have seen quality coaches fail on the big African stage. How will the Israelite fare? Without the troublesome pair of Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, the Black Stars will rely heavily on their prolific striker Asamoah Gyan and the creative Andre Ayew. The Ghanaians have a habit of getting drawn into tough groups and failed to progress in the World Cup due to this. Without another star player in Kwadwo Asamoah the task only gets tougher for the Black stars. Individual performances cost them in Brazil last year, with Jordan Ayew the main culprit. They will look to play more as a team if they are to progress.
Tough task, but they will find it tough against resolute and more complete sides in the form of Algeria and Senegal. Outside shot of progression, third at best.

Senegal

Diafra Sakho and Sadio Manè are out of the AFCON. A huge blow to the Senegalese squad as two of their most inform attacking players are out. Also without the services of Demba Ba whose form has been exceptional with 16 goals in 19 games for Besiktas due to the war of words between the striker and Alain Giresse the coach. A costly choice as two of their chief attackers look to be out, despite Giresse holding thumbs on Mane. The side will turn to Mame Biram Diouf and Papiss Cisse. How will they fare? They boast a handful of inform players and will be favorites to win the show piece. They must first manoeuvre a way out the group of death.
One of three teams with an all round squad. What can stop them is failure to click. Expect them to get that elusive second spot ahead of Ghana and South Africa.

Algeria

The number one side in Africa. Exceptional at the World Cup as they showed their all round qualities. The favorites to not just top the group but to also win the tournament. They have a strong defense and a phenomenal attack. They will have a key player in the form of Riyad Mahrez who has started to show his abilities with elusive runs and defense splitting passing. Combining with Yacine Brahimi and Nabil Bentalib who will be the engines in midfield who also add goal threats. The World Champions battled against Algeria and its difficult to find a weakness in this side.
Group winners and favorites to land the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations trophy. This side are Africa’s best, hope they show it.