Alvino Isaacs raises the bar

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ALVINO ISAACS of Gordon High School featured prominently in athletics of the Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union, setting high jump records between the period 1986 and 1988.

At Gordon High, he was privileged to have been the schoolmate of the sensational sprinter and long jumper Lionel Williams, whose life was cut short in 1986.

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Alvino Isaacs.

The 1987 WP schools team to the SASSSA champs in Paarl included the likes of sprinter Shaun Vester, middle-distance runner Ebenezer Felix, long-distance runner Owen Machelm, sprinter Adnaan Lakay, and, of course, Alvino Isaacs.

The girls’ athletes included the likes of high jumper Tania Brown, sprinters Lesley Ferdinando, Lucille Abrahams, Shamiela Davids, Sandra Petersen, Qanita Nazier, Maureen van der Ross, Rene Ford and middle-distance athlete Anita Witbooi among others.

Many of these athletes went on to participate at both junior and senior club level, and at the SAAB Prestige Track and Field Meeting where the cream of the athletes of schools, colleges and clubs competed.

During the period of 1986 to 1992, Orange, Isaacs, the evergreen Gwynne Botha, Andrew September, Graham Schaffers, Clyde van Graan and Julian Williams made up the competition along with other high jumpers.

Isaacs had a successful high-school career in athletics and, by 1988, Isaacs had taken over the high jump crown from the Bolander Daniel Orange at senior level.

The high jumpers mentioned were all two-metre-plus high jumpers, with each athlete having been the record-holder at one stage or the other in their age groups. The senior men’s record of 2,10m held by Orange was broken by Graham Schaffers. Schaffers’ new SAAAB record was 2,16m set in 1992.

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Alvino Isaacs in action at the University of the Western Cape.

Isaacs gained colours at all levels – WP schools, SA schools, WP clubs and SA clubs – as did many of the athletes mentioned.

He was a member of the Stellenbosch Amateur Athletics Club up until 1988, thereafter he was a member of the University of the Western Cape’s athletics club while studying there to become a teacher.

A very young R Mohammed was in the WP schools team to Paarl in 1987 and cleared 1,90m as a 15-year-old high jumper.

By 1992, Mohammed held the SA schools record of 2,09m.

A youngster of Mohammed’s talent, somehow, did not form part of any international competition by the time South Africa was readmitted into the international arena from 1992 onwards.

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