CAPE TOWN - “I remember when we were planning our parties after a day’s play, there was JP and his dad taking down the video camera and getting ready to analyse his innings.”
That is Cape Town City goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters’ earliest memory of Proteas batsman and Cape Cobras captain JP Duminy. Walters and Duminy share a long history, both Cape Town sports stars having attended Plumstead High School.
Duminy and Walters, who is three years his senior, played together in the Plumstead High First XI cricket team, where they shared a dressing room with Rory Kleinveldt.
But even back then, Walters could see there was something different about the quiet, even shy, but seriously talented young left-hander who was already scoring the bulk of the team’s runs.
“Obviously football was my main focus but I enjoyed my cricket,” Walters said after returning from Durban, where City lost a “home” game 4-2 to Maritzburg United.
“But here was this little guy who just made the game look so easy. He was so focused. His dad would film all his innings. They would then go home and analyse every ball. It was immense dedication from both him and his dad.
“It just shows the role parents play in a sportsman’s development. Obviously you musn’t push your child. It has to be mutual. But I am sure JP is thanking his dad now for all the hours he dedicated to JP’s development.”
After all these years, the duo are teaming up again later this month. Walters is one of the “celebrity” players assisting Duminy with his JP21 Super Eights Charity Cricket Day set for the exclusive Val de Vie Estate on the December 17.
Fellow Proteas AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel and captain Faf du Plessis will also be involved on the day, which will comprise of fun-filled and unique eight-over games.
However, the day is about so much more than that. The JP21 Project, the brainchild of Duminy and his wife Sue and established in 2014, has made significant strides in reigniting enthusiasm for cricket and providing the platform to do so for underprivileged children, especially in the Western Cape outlying areas of Strandfontein and Mitchells Plain.
JP21 Project uses sport as a tool for change in underprivileged communities. YOU can be a part of the change. @jpduminy21 invites you to help FUNdraise at the @JP21SuperEights Charity Cricket day. Book your ticket via @iTicketsSA >> https://t.co/8e1h8cqjfG pic.twitter.com/eVHY1cd0h8
When approached to get involved in the JP21 Super Eights Charity Cricket Day by Duminy’s manager Jamaine Cloete - another Plumstead High graduate - Walters simply had to put his hand up.
“Besides going to the same school, JP and I have many more things in common. We come from similar areas. He was raised in Strandfontein and I was reared in Grassy Park. It is a similar culture.
“We know where we come from and we were taught by our parents to give back. That’s what JP is doing and I am also busy with a football foundation at the moment where we’re taking a group of underprivileged kids to Europe.
“That is what the JP21 Project is holistically about because that is that we are trying to achieve. It is about broadening children’s horizons that regardless of where you come from and what situation you find yourself in, that is not the end of your story.
“Children’s eyes must be opened so they know the world is so much bigger than just the narrow streets they live in. Once they are filled with that belief they can achieve anything.”
Independent Media is the official media partner of the JP21 Super Eights.