Franco Smith Shares Saint’s Memories and a powerful message at Saint Andrew’s Senior Sport Awards.  He was the guest speaker when Saint Andrew’s held its annual Senior Sports Awards recently. The Cheetahs’ coach is a former Saints’ student master and teacher.

He was introduced by Saint Andrew’s Director of Cricket and the current Free State Coach of the Year Gregg Hobson, who cited Franco as the person who has been the biggest influence on him as a coach; Gregg was a schoolboy when Franco taught at Saints.

Wearing a blue and white tie, Franco told humorous stories about his time at Saint Andrew’s before sharing his message with the audience: “I want you to always know that opportunity and privilege and talent and all those gifts are not for you. It’s to influence somebody else’s life. I believe that if sport or teaching is that way, or in whichever business you are in, if we are always there to serve somebody else, you are on the right path to finding purpose.

“I believe it is very important to have more people thinking about somebody else. There are four Ls that are very important to me: live, love, learn and legacy.

“Live life and love one another. It’s horrible for rugby players to tell each other they love one another! So we changed it slightly. We talk about care. In Galatians 3, it says we must wear the cloak of love, and that means that you must really give, rather than take.

“Learn, every day you learn something from somebody. The more under pressure I became in my job, the better my skill sets became, and it is the same for you. Don’t worry about pressure. Don’t think that every day there is a wrong and a right. Make a decision and just follow it with your heart.

“Leave a legacy. It’s very important that people say, when you have passed, that you have contributed to life. That is the main challenge for everybody.

“We often live one hour at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time, and we forget that other people are also counting what we contribute to the world. Hopefully in South Africa, in the way we go about our daily lives, we can honestly make a difference.”

Gerald Coetzee received the Fred S Webber Trophy for the Best Achievement in Sport for representing South Africa at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, where he made the Team of the Tournament.

The Len Tuckett Sportsman of the Year Award went to Pheko Moletsane, who was selected for the SA Schools Colts cricket team, and who also won the Dave Warner Memorial Award for Hockey.

Photo on top:  Franco Smith – caption: Cheetahs’ coach Franco Smith, a former teacher at Saint Andrew’s, was the guest speaker at the school’s Senior Sports Awards.