By CLEMENT DU PLESSIS
DERRICK Hendrickse, the former South African Amateur Athletic Board’s junior men’s record holder and champion, has died at the age of 55 today.
He was a member of the Stellenbosch Amateur Athletic Club and was a pupil at Cloetesville High School in Stellenbosch – a school known for producing top-class athletes in Boland, Western Province, and at SA level.
Club coach and secretary Allan Parrott said, “It is sad to hear about the passing away of Derrick Hendrickse. I have coached him way back in the early 1980s whilst I was still a very young man myself. He was of course coached in high jump by a teacher at his primary school, Mr Albanie. When it was expected of me to take over his coaching and the coaching of other high jumpers like Waheed Arnolds, I heavily gleaned from other coaches in the area – men like Keith Cyster and Geoff Damon. Geoff was the coach of high jumper, Daniel Orange. Well, Derrick excelled and later became SA junior high jump champion as well as SA junior high jump record holder. Later on him and Daniel Orange became perennial competitors in the high jump at Boland Schools. When I bumped into Derrick a week ago in Stellenbosch our parting words were banter about how I cannot even run a 5km and how he cannot even jump one metre because we both grew some kilograms since the early 1980s. Derrick gaan jou goed!”
Former SA Board junior men’s and SA Colleges 800m champion, club chairman and captain Rubin Steyn said, “He specialized in the high jump and initialized a new enthusiasm in the event with Daniel Orange. Our heartfelt condolences to his wife Sania and their two children, Tauriq and Achillah.”
Hendrickse was the SAAAB junior men’s champion in 1982 (Paarl) and in 1983 (Durban).
Although he did not transition to regular competition in the seniors he had taken a notable scalp in Trevor de Bruyn from Caledon (Boland).
He was a regular follower of Athletics Clipboard.
Hendrickse, of the political party the EFF, was a councillor since 2011 at the Stellenbosch Municipality until the time of his death.
On the Stellenbosch Municipality website, ‘Mayor Gesie van Deventer, Municipal Manager Geraldine Mettler, Speaker Wilhelmina Petersen, and all councillors of Stellenbosch Municipality conveyed their sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Councillor Hendrickse. We ask that you please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time’.
The athletics fraternity of Athletics Clipboard, too, convey their deepest sympathy to the Hendrickse family.