For the most part, sport in the nineteenth century was an amateur activity with significant prizes not being awarded to winners. Even sixty years ago, many international sportsmen were compelled to be employed fulltime in some other profession. In other words, sport was not a paying occupation but rather performed almost as a labour of love. This was the milieu into which Howard Sherman was born yet he thrived.
Main picture: Howard Sherman 1861-1935
This sports oval, now host to many school sports days and track and cycle events, was originally a muddy vlei (wetland) known in the late 1800s as “Russell Road Dam”. It is right next to the land which belonged to the London Missionary Society, where bubonic plague broke out in 1902.
Main picture: The Westbourne Oval in 1914
With the 102nd Tour de France currently underway, this epic three-week-long event is emblematic of man’s tenacity and perseverance. The unremitting odyssey encompasses tortuous mountain climbs, harrowing hairpin bends and breakneck speeds through hamlets and villages along the 3360km route from Utrecht in Holland to Paris in France.
The agonies and the ecstasies will be closely followed by hundreds of millions every day. What attracts these viewers is not merely the regurgitation of facts about each participant but more importantly the verdant fields, the Alpine vistas and the quaint forgotten hamlets through which the race traverses.
Main picture: The finish of the first Tour. At the right: the first winner, Maurice Garin. At the left: probably Leon Georget (not sure). Tour de France 1903.