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Kevin du Preez: A Real Servant of Randpark
RANDPARK club captain Kevin du Preez, whose two-year term of office ends in September, says one of the main reasons he’s been in the job is because he’s very much a people’s person.
He enjoys people and they enjoy him, as the many members and staff who interact with him will testify to. “Kevin’s the very best club captain,” bubbles waitress Buhle Mdlongwa with a huge smile. “I think so too,” assistant Food and Beverage manager Seth Sepeng nods in agreement. Kevin just beams: “Look how they love me!” he exclaims. Walk around the bar area, and there’s loads of friendly chat and banter between Kevin and the members.
Kevin is not sure what he will do with his time once Derek McGowan takes over from him in September, but he feels maybe it’s time to take a break as he’s been a hard-working committee man for well over 20 years.
“It all started off when I saw an ad in a newspaper offering a good deal to join Leeuwkop Golf Club so I hooked up with them. I’m the kind of guy who likes to help whatever it is I’m involved in to go forward. So I got on the committee at Leeuwkop and moved on to being vice-captain, captain and vice-president,” he explains.
He also did sterling provincial duty for the Central Gauteng Golf Union, graduating to vice-president and then the top job of president, while also serving for a year on the South African Golf Association. While with Central Gauteng, he managed both the under-23 and senior provincial teams, the under-23s to victory in the SA IPT.
“So when I joined Randpark they asked me to stand on the committee and I thought to myself, ‘are you crazy, haven’t you done enough, Kevin?’ But I guess I couldn’t resist being the people person I am, and I was also motivated to help the club move forward. So it’s been a lot of hard work and commitment serving Randpark, but also very satisfying.”
A good part of a captain’s job is to be a liaison between the members and the committee. But, of course, there’s also Kevin always being present on Friday evenings to conduct the draw, and Saturday evening for prize-giving. More banter. There’s also the Captain’s Roast and Grill every Saturday and Sunday, with a range of delicacies on offer. And there’s also the small matter of disciplining “naughty” members. “It’s not a big issue, though. It’s mainly petty stuff as, thankfully, most people behave themselves,” he says with a grin.
Kevin can’t speak highly enough of CEO Francois Swart. “Even though Francois was relatively young when he took over the job when Doug Bain sadly died, he took control from the start and he’s done wonders for Randpark and it’s such a great club today. Besides what happens after play, we’ve got two great golf courses maintained by two fantastic greenkeepers in Roger Innes and Johan Smith and their respective teams. To have hosted both the Joburg Open and SA Open is no small feat, and it looks like the SA Open will be here for another few years.”
With McGowan’s help, Kevin also runs the club’s scratch league teams and under their leadership Randpark are having a cracking season.
Independently from the club, Kevin is also an integral part of Club 32, a charity organisation formed about 15 years ago. In a nutshell, there’s about 32 golfers, mostly from manufacturing and trade suppliers, who meet five times a year to play golf and raise funds for charity. So once a year a nominated charity is the recipient of the funds, and it’s never been less that
R20 000. Last year and this year Club 32’s charity has been the SA Riding for the Disabled Association.
This caring organisation, based at the Roodepoort Earth Centre, offers therapeutic horse riding to physically and mentally challenged children and young adults. This therapy is free to those who cannot afford it.
A farewell in the form of the Captain’s Vintage Dinner will be held at the club on August 22 to celebrate and honour Kevin’s two years of captaincy. To attend contact Leanne Chilvers on 011 215 8600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Grant Winter