Meet our Managing Director, South Africa
Describe your career in 5 words.
Rewarding, exciting, demanding, challenging, enjoyable.
Having worked in the talent management industry for many years, what has been the highlight of your career so far?
As an athlete manager you get to know your client behind the scenes, which is so different to the public image of a player. Juan Smith was forced to retire from rugby in 2013 in the prime of his career after many unsuccessful operations on an Achilles injury. He was down and out and eventually on the brink of insolvency. Through collaboration with the French office, I convinced him to have another go. Unfit and badly out of shape Juan flew with me to France to consult the doctor regarded as the world authority on Achilles injuries. To cut a long story short, he had a successful return to the game winning the French Top14 and Heineken Cup with Toulon, scoring a spectacular try in the corner in the final moments. But that day in Marseilles when we heard the news that he could play again, we just sat there laughing, crying, laughing and crying some more - which in hindsight was my career highlight.
With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching, what are you most looking forward to about the pinnacle of the rugby calendar?
I think the 2019 tournament isn’t a one horse race like the previous two editions where the All Blacks seemed unbeatable. All of a sudden there are a few Northern Hemisphere teams capable of winning the tournament again. I am looking forward to seeing how these new genuine contenders like England, Wales and Ireland fare against the All Blacks’s on the big stage. Add the traditional semi-final certainties who have been underperforming recently, Springboks and Wallabies, to the mix and it augers well for a interesting spectacle.
Having just completed the Cape Epic bike race and IRONMAN races before that, it seems you love a challenge! What drives you to tackle these challenges, and what have they taught you about yourself?
5 years ago I was unfit, overweight and leading the unhealthiest lifestyle imaginable. Being an extremely unbalanced person, I jumped right into it and decided to enter an Ironman triathlon (consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles of cycling and a 26 mile run), which I completed 12 months later and then did it again.
The change in my body composition and additional daily energy drove me to attempt more and more. For my 40th
I wanted to look and feel better than at 30. Wasn’t very hard to nail that! I guess it is a healthy addiction and now I just cannot get enough. Training is my daily “personal happy hour” and I have learnt that it is never too late to start – a year from now you will wish you started today. Anything is possible.
When not at work, what would we find you doing?
Running, riding my bike or playing golf. I have 2 boys (7 and 9) who are super sporty and most weekends are spent cheering them on. We also love the outdoors and go camping when we can.