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Cheryl Roberts remembered a year after her death

Family and friends remembered late sports icon Cheryl Roberts.

Family and friends remembered late sports icon Cheryl Roberts.

Published Oct 11, 2023


Family and friends remembered late sports icon Cheryl Roberts at the weekend, marking a year since her death.

Roberts, an advocate and activist of non-racial sport and in particular women, who represented South Africa at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona in table tennis, lost her battle with cancer on October 7 last year, aged 62.

From picking up a tennis racket at the of 11, she later made history as a black woman in a sport dominated by men.

Roberts went on to receive a number of accolades, including the coveted Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket.

Sharon and Vanessa Roberts said they were still reeling from the loss of their sister a year later.

“It will be one year... since we lost our dearly beloved sister, friend, sports activist, Olympian, writer and publisher Cheryl Roberts. The pain of her passing lingers in our hearts and thoughts. The avalanche of expressions of love, support and many gestures bestowed in our sister since her passing brought us great comfort.

“We know that she remains in the thoughts and hearts of her family, friends and sports-loving people in South Africa. We believe her spirit will be present during this time as we remember her passing one year ago,” the family said.

They described Roberts as a kind, humble and compassionate woman who took pride in her activism for women in sport.

“We will be remembering our sister in our own ways. We will remember her personality, the things she likes, the things she did, her many achievements and her life-long passion for sport.

“She was a wonderful, caring, independent, non-conforming and loving soul who we were blessed to have known and had in our lives”.

Molo Songololo director Patric Solomons, who knew Roberts for 30 years, said her passing has left a void in the advocacy for women in sport.

“Her death is still very fresh, the emotions and heartache one year on. She is in my thoughts everyday. I miss my dear friend Cheryl Roberts. Her presence on the national, provincial and local sport scene is missed dearly... a void in the advocacy for girls and women's sport is evident. All those who share this great loss, especially her sisters and family are in my thoughts,” he said.

Cape Times

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Deaths and Tributes