After last night’s launch of the Russell Adams Scholarship, the word on everyone’s lips is “inspiring”.
Russell Adams inspired the guests with a heartfelt and emotional story of where his life began, where he is today and how other boys from disadvantaged communities must be given the opportunity for embark upon the same journey.
Russell spoke about his early years at Heathfield Primary School, as a passionate and aspiring cricketer in a country divided by apartheid with a father, Clifford, who worked round the clock to ensure that his family had every opportunity.
He spoke of how his father established The Young Cavaliers, a cricket team of children from his community, and took them to play against white teams. “He believed there could be unity in cricket – maybe not in the country… but in cricket.”
As a result, Russell’s brother, Brian was taunted by his peers. Russell spoke of Clifford's frustration and wanted to send his boys to a school like Bishops but did not have the financial means to do so.
Andre Pretorious, retired Principal of Heathfield Primary School provided a moving insight to the wonderful yet often challenging experience of "fathering" some of the boys at Heathfield Primary. Many had come from difficult backgrounds, but with firm boundaries and support they excelled in the warm and encouraging environment he established.
The purpose of the Russell Adams Scholarship will give talented children from Heathfield an opportunity to change their future. Russell emphasized that the Scholarship not only has the potential to change the life of the recipient, but that the boy's community would enjoy the benefits too. This is manifestly the case, seeing the impact that Russell's involvement continues to have in the Heathfield community to this day.
When asked why he agreed to launch the Scholarship, Russell attributed it to:
- His father – a hardworking man who always supported others where he could;
- The families who made it possible for him and his brother, Brian to attend Bishops; and
- Bruce Jack, of course, who persuaded him that it was not only necessary but his duty to tell his story and be a part of the change.
To be a fly in the wall at The Mitre last night, you would have heard stories of hope, gratitude, possibility, success, awe and inspiration.
The Class of 1987 invites everyone to support this initiative. All amounts, no matter how modest, will be directed to establishing the target of a R7 million fund. The fund will cover a full scholarship for a Heathfield Primary School boy to attend College.
To support this important initiative, please click HERE.
Please ensure you reference your payment with your name/RA87. These payments are tax deductible and will be recognised with a Section 18A receipt.
Finally, we wish to thank Bruce Jack from The Drift
for donating his wonderful wines.
We would also like to thank everyone who attended this special evening.
Russell Adams and his mother, Sheila