Message from the Vice-Chancellor: 2012 Rowing Team honoured with National Order
The University of Pretoria congratulates its rowing team, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and were individually awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in silver in recognition of their achievement.
The Order of Ikhamanga is one of four National Orders. These are the highest awards that South Africa bestows upon individuals who have contributed meaningfully towards the country in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sports.
We congratulate UP alumni Matthew Brittain, Sizwe Ndlovu, James Thompson and John Smith on their well-deserved honour. Since the Olympics, each of these athletes has continued to make a difference.
Brittain, despite having to retire from active competition due to injury, now focuses on events sponsorship and raising the profile of the sport. Ndlovu is the first black African male rower to win gold at the Olympics and was subsequently appointed to the World Rowing FISA Athletes Commission. He is now coaching the women’s eight rowing team at the University of Johannesburg.
Following the 2012 Olympics, Smith and Thompson claimed the world championship gold for the lightweight double sculls in 2014, setting a new world record.
Smith won South Africa’s first ever rowing gold medal at a world championship in 2010, and is now preparing for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, where he will compete in the heavyweight category.
President Zuma awarded the National Orders on Friday, 28 April.
– Author Department of University Relations
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Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP