The Recognition Minute

Mzanzi May 26 2017, 0 Comments

Friday.  Great weather.  And two days to enjoy it.

Weekend, the traditional time for South Africans to gather, braai, quench their thirst and think about what life might be like in the snow.  Then, grateful for the sun, the boerie and the beer, realise that life in Mzanzi is still good.

If you are in Cape Town, perhaps you will take a walk up a mountain somewhere.  And when you summit, reward yourself with the view, the breeze and the thought that it is all downhill from there.  You will have earned your medal!

If you are in Durbs, maybe a walk along the beach front.  There is still time for a dip in the warm current off the Eastern border.  Take part in a race through the hills or cycle to the Wild Coast and back.  And when you are done, reward yourself with a glass of cool mineral water, ice and lemon.  You have earned your medal.

Perhaps you are somewhere in Mpumalanga, among the citrus fruit and the pecan nut trees.  Hiking through the gorges in search of a waterfall.  Being on foot is challengin but it’s worth it because you too will have earned your medal.  You will enjoy untouched lands of green moss and fresh spring water.  An award or excellence.  Nature’s gold medal to you.

But what if you are in Johannesburg?  No mountain.  No river.  No sea.  How will you earn your medal?  Do no despair!  This is where life happens, too.  This is the buzz, the spark, the noise, the music.  Restaurants and clubs, movies and shows, gyms and park runs and loads more.  Any number of ways of earning your medal.  If it’s your time to just kick up the feet and chill and still want a medal, all you have to do is visit and buy one.  All possible without moving from the couch. 

Wherever you are in Mzanzi, there will be a medal.  

Look out for the special Mzanzi from Prestige Awards – coming soon!





A Brutal Netball Trophy April 07 2017, 0 Comments

Netball is a sport played and contested in relatively few countries internationally.  South Africa is one of them!

This month we see the start of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League (#BFNPL) in Durban.   Two opening matches on the 21st of April kick off the tournament – or should I rather say ‘shoot off’. 

This year they will be playing for a custom-designed trophy that depicts the three pillars of excellence – tuned body, tuned mind, tuned spirit.  It is slender and tall, symbolic of reaching skyward towards the goals; the path to victory and achievement.  The beautifully crafted netball crowns the golden trophy, supported by the three pillars of excellence which are reminiscent of the players in full stretch for the netted goals.

The wining team can look forward to owning this trophy, if only for a moment, as proof that they have summited. This trophy will entice and lure the players to run, throw and shoot all in the name of the game of netball for the sake of success and sportsmanship, one of the marks of our beautiful country.  And it promises to be Brutal!


Not much hockey and plenty of cricket! March 23 2017, 0 Comments

Well, let’s back away a little from the hockey theme to see what else is happening on the sports front, this weekend.  It’s none other than Newzealand vs our boys in the third game of the test, having won one, drawn one.   Saturday’s game will be the decider.

New Zealand are spending time debriefing and soul-searching as they try to prevent their season ending with a whimper following the three-day thrashing at the Basin Reserve.

Five days and a session of toe-to-toe cricket - throughout the Dunedin game and until lunch on the second day in Wellington - unraveled with alarming speed against South Africa.  No wonder Kane Williamson looked bemused as he tried to explain it away in the bowels of the Basin on Saturday evening.

New Zealand - both the players and management - have been reluctant to say that the visit of South Africa would define their season.  But if they do not put in a better performance at Seddon Park starting on Saturday the last few weeks will certainly influence how their 2016-17 campaign is judged.

Both cricket and hockey trophies are available now at Prestige Awards, whether for your game in the nets on the super turfs or just for some neighbourhood fun in the park.

All trophies from Prestige Awards can be customised for the occasion

Resin trophies are molded according to a three-dimensional design then cast. The resin is given and antique gold look, which brings with it a sense of tradition.

Aluminium trophies can be mounted on a smart wooden base. These trophies were designed by Prestige Awards and are unique in their class.  These trophies are also customisable to reflect the name of the club, school or event.  We would love to discuss with you and ideas that you have for different designs and bring them to life in  our factory.

Add spirit to your hockey game with a hockey trophy from Prestige Awards. 

The All-important Badge March 20 2017, 0 Comments

From the first day of life, maybe even before a child is born, a name is selected. That name will stay with that child until the day they die.   It is a life-long investment that is made on their behalf.

Perhaps that is why our names are so important to us.  Even if we share our name with another, somehow, when our name it called we tend to believe it is for us alone.  Have you ever been in a crowd and heard your name being called?

When we meet new people, is it not our names that we use first to introduce ourselves? “Hi, I’m Jack.  You are?”  Or, we may simply say our name and hand over a business card.  A business card is something for the other person, whether stranger or friend, that contains many details but most important of all, our name.

Names are great conversation-starters.  This is why so many more people in business wear badges, more than ever before. 

The cashier in the bank has a name badge pinned to her chest.  The waiter wears his badge prominently, so that patrons can call for him when they need service.  It is also useful to the waiter, to help the customer remember who they should tip.

In the security industry, employees need to be identified in order to differentiate them from civilians and other perpetrators of mischief.  For this reason, badges are manufactured to specific specifications, unique to that organisation.

Badges are not only worn as a means of personal identity.  Many forms of insignium are worn to indicate rank or level of achievement,  in the form of a scroll or possibly some other shape associated with the purpose – a star, a cross or a particular logo.

At Prestige Awards, we make badges.  We bring identity to the school teacher, the corporate employee and the pupil.  We recognise achievement and help give you your identifiable brand so that you are addressed properly and remembered.

Badges are made to order.  The badge may be pinned with a brooch pin or held onto the clothing using a strong magnet.  It’s your choice.  Direct your search to this link for more ideas:

We have been recognising people since 1983. Why not ensure that you are one of them; one of us!

No Trophy Without a Stick March 08 2017, 0 Comments

It is said that the hockey stick is the most important piece of equipment used in the game.  Well, put another way, a game of hockey without sticks just isn’t hockey.

The stick is no ordinary branch from a tree.  It undergoes a lot of punishment in the hands of the player, which means careful crafting from the right materials is essential. 

Sticks can be made from a variety of materials, traditionally from hard wood such as ash.  As technology developed, other materials with equally strong, flexible properties were used.  These include composites such fiberglass, graphite, carbon and Kevlar.  Kevlar is a trade name for a very durable, spun fibre, used originally as a replacement for steel in racing car tyres.

Right-handed players may have an advantage when it comes to hockey since only right-handed sticks are manufactured. 

The stick becomes a natural extension of the player, who skillfully maneuvers it to either gently coax the plastic ball in a dribble, or send it scooting as a 100km/h towards the goal.  Length and weight vary and can be chosen to suite each player’s needs.  The weight of a hockey stick ranges between about 500gm and 750gm.

Composite materials may have some advantages over wood in strength and flexibility of design. Wood is also water absorbent and should be kept dry.  However, water can be attracted from both the field and the players, which is why the grip is importantly made of water-proof materials, such as suede, secured with plastic tape.

A stick is always a potential weapon. In a fast-moving game like hockey, sticks can get in the way of players, either to trip or injure.  A referee is always on the look out for rough play as competitive teams strive for their trophies and medals.

The trophies at Prestige Awards are also not all alike. Some are cast from resins, with fine detail and colouring.  Trophy cups could be made from metals, such a nickel, silver or pewter.  Certain designs also lend themselves to aluminium, a nice, slick option, representing the speed of play.  Shields are traditionally made of wood with brass or silver plaques that display winners' names.  Trophies in the form of mini-statuettes of male and female players are available in plastic, coated in gleaming gold and are ideal as memorabilia for each player in the team.

Trophies help add spirit to any game and can all be suitably customised for the occasion.

Resin trophies are molded according to a three-dimensional design then cast. The resin is given an antique gold look, which brings with it a sense of tradition.

Aluminium cut-out trophies can be mounted on a smart wooden base. These trophies were designed by Prestige Awards and are unique in their class.  We would love to help you with your unique design, to bring it to life for your event.



The Role of a Ball March 06 2017, 0 Comments

Think of a team sport that does not involve a ball.  Well, there is badmington, which uses half a 'ball' and some feathers.  Then there is ice hockey which uses a puck.  But the ball is a prominent part of many team sports, as well as the individualistic games, like golf.  The one notable difference between these games is the variety of balls that are used (and abused - think squash!) during the game.

A ball is usually round, except when it's not.  Then it is usually more torpedo-shaped (what shape is that?) as in Rugby and American Footfall. 

Let's look at a field hockey ball.  This spherical object is dribbled and hit from stick to stick during a game.  It will hopefully find it's way to the back of a the goals on occasions, just to make the game a little more exciting (as if it's not exciting enough).

The hockey ball starts out life as a piece of cork, or as just a piece of platic.  The rest of the ball is made from hard plastic and is usually white.  Some balls are made in other bright colours, which is all OK as long as it is in contrast to the field.  (That would exclude green balls for obvious reasons)

The balls have a circumference of about 230mm and weigh around 160gm.  When this round object is travelling at full speed (even half-speed) can you out-run it?  Can you even run after it and catch it?  Well, not likely if it is drag-flicked at top league, international player's speed of about 120 km/h.  In fact, you had better have a stick in your hand, be clad from top to toe like a goalie, or duck or jump as fast as you can.  The hockey ball becomes a formidable weapon that is best avoided, if you can't play it.  And remember, Astro Turf has made higher speeds possible. 

Like other ball sports, the ball is integral to the game, as are the goals.  Remove the ball, or the goals and all you will have is a jumble of players just swinging sticks around, looking for something to do.  So, I'm sure you would agree that the ball is a critical element in field hockey... and perhaps deserves a little more respect than just being smacked around.  On the other hand, why not.  A good smack never hurt a hockey ball.

Now, for those who get past the formidably kitted-out goalie (often enough), they will have the right to the trophy.  Raising  a trophy is the third, important element (in addition to the ball and the goals) without which, hockey would be less exciting all round.  But remember, it is not the amount of goals that your teams scores.  It is the amount of goals they score PLUS one over the opponent.  One more wins the medals and the trophies.

At Prestige Awards, we carry a range of trophies that help add spirit to any hockey game, and maybe a little bit extra speed!   Trophies in the shape of cups, challises or plates and shields for the club; mini-trophies for each player are ready in male and female statuettes. See:  Medal - gold, silver & bronze - also available with hockey motif, just waiting to be engraved with your name or team's logo.

A special trophy made from resin and hard wood may be an option for a floating trophy. The trophy is molded according to a three-dimensional design then cast in resin.  The resin is given an antique gold look, which brings with it a sense of tradition.

But, if you can't find anything that you really would like for your team, talk to us.  We also design trophies and all sorts of other awards.  Be a little unique.

Enjoy your game of hockey!

Synthetic Turf for Speed and Trophies March 03 2017, 0 Comments

For some, winter in South Africa is a complete non-event. Consider the ice-hockey players from Calgary who plays on a frozen lakes. They rush by in minus 25 degrees, sometimes colder.  For any sportsman from Canada, our winters are sunny and pleasant. But for us, what could be better than taking some time to watch a game of hockey in the winter sun. Our weather lends itself to picnicking, relaxing and cheering for the trophy winners through most of the year in Gauteng (central province).

If indoor is what you prefer, that is available too. The game is played on a synthetic turf, which replaces grass. However, not all outdoor fields are grassed.  Turf has gained in popularity for outdoors as well.

As early as the 60s, the first synthetic turf was developed as a replacement for grass. This was useful as indoor sports were growing in popularity. The first brand was named Astro Turf and has become the generic name for most synthetic turfs, of which there many.

The advantages of synthetic turf may seem obvious. It is always green, nice and even and never needs irrigation or cutting. However, there are disadvantages. Synthetic turf does have a life-span, which means it needs to be replaced as high cost and periodically needs cleaning with toxic chemicals.

Astro-Turf was first installed at a prep-school in Rhode Island. The turf became better known in the public arena when installed in the Astro Dome in Houston Texas.

Synthetic surfaces have changed the sport of field hockey significantly since being introduced in the seventies.  It has increased the speed of the game considerably and changed the shape of hockey sticks to allow for different techniques, such as reverse stick trapping and hitting.

Players on synthetic turf generally need to be conditioned differently, being a faster game with slightly different rules. But, it is great to watch!

At Prestige Awards, we carry a range of trophies that help add spirit to any hockey game.   Trophies in the shape of cups, challises or plates and shields for the club. Mini-trophies for each player are ready in male and female statuettes. See:  Medal - gold, silver & bronze - also available with hockey motif.

A special trophy made from resin and hard wood may be an option for a floating trophy. The trophy is molded according to a three-dimensional design then cast in resin.  The resin is given an antique gold look, which brings with it a sense of tradition.

Enjoy your game of hockey!

With a Ball and a Stick March 01 2017, 0 Comments


Watching a game of field hockey is an exercise in itself. Spectators have to keep their eyes on a fast-moving plastic of fiberglass composite ball, which is hit and flicked across the field at high speed.  The players always seem to be on the move.  It is fast.

Typically in South Africa, Hockey is considered a winter sport, usually played outdoors on grass or turf. Two teams of eleven players each compete, their aim: to get the ball past the opposing goalkeeper.

The ball is propelled by hitting it with a wooden or fiber stick which is curved and flattened at one end.  The goalie also carries a stick, which may be shaped slightly differently to give it more surface area.  As in soccer, the goalie is the only one who may touch the ball with other parts of his body other than the stick.

The history of field hockey can be traced back to early civilizations but the modern game was developed in the British Isles circa 1860, with the first formal hockey club formed in 1861.

Field Hockey is now the second biggest team sport, world-wide, played by men and women, in over 100 countries.   Hockey is played by many sports clubs and offered widely in schools, who play competitively for trophies and cups.

Socially, hockey is a sport that is played by men and women of all ages, as long as they can wield a stick! The trophy and the medal my not be the object of the game when played merely for fun but the game is usually just as fast.

At Prestige Awards, we carry a range of trophies that help add spirit to any hockey game.   Traditional silver cups, which can be customised for the occasions and miniature statuettes for male and female players for the whole team.

A special trophy made from resin and hard wood may be an option for a floating trophy. The trophy is molded according to a three-dimensional design then cast in resin.  The resin is given an antique gold look, which brings with it a sense of tradition.

Something more modern perhaps?  We have trophies that are constructed from aluminium and mounted on a smart wooden base. These trophies were designed by Prestige Awards and are unique in their class.  These trophies are also customisable to reflect the name of a club or event.  We are open to discussing your design and bringing it to life in our factory.

Enjoy your game of hockey!



OSCAR - A Trophy of Excellence and Merit February 27 2017, 0 Comments

It’s Oscar time again! The 89th time round, to be precise.  And no less glitsy than the 88th.  It red carpet time and time for actors and actresses to be recognised and awarded for their talent.  The trophy: and Oscar Statuette.

This statuette is the most recognised trophy in the world.

The aims of the academy were set out in 1929. “How best to honour outstanding movie-making achievements and thereby encourage excellence in all facets of motion picture production.”  It was a call to greatness for this industry and this golden award continues to call today.

The statuette is of a knight with a sword, standing on a reel of film. Originally a flat design by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, then turned into a three dimensional trophy that we have to day.

Prestige Awards has been operating in the awards and recognition business since 1983. Many trophies and awards are available for your recognition evenings, including replicas of the Oscar.  See:

You could have your trophy, your medals or signage designed by Prestige Awards to your specifications. Custom made trophies are gaining popularity as schools, companies and clubs who need to differentiate themselves from other institutions. Excellence is the name of the game and we aim to help you to give recognition to your most excellent employees, school learners and club members.

The Oscar is made of solid bronze, coated in 24 karat gold. If you really want your trophy coated in gold, it is possible.  More favoured are materials that represent gold, silver or bronze.  Trophies are also made from aluminium, acrylics and resins, which can be enhanced with a number of different finishes.  A trophy for every occasion, all in the name of excellence.

Origins of Cricket January 11 2017, 0 Comments

Cricket originated in England during the late 16th century and became its national sport 200 years later.  International cricket matches began in 1844 and 34 years later, test cricket was recognized, albeit retrospectively.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the game of cricket spread and became a competitive sport that traversed language and culture.  Today it’s the second most popular spectator sport in the world!  However, its rise to popularity in the USA has been resisted by zealous supporters of baseball, one of the favoured summer sports in that country.

What would a game be without rules?  How would one know who would lift the cup?  The basic rules of cricket seem to have been understood from the beginning but being a game for gamblers, firm terms were needed to avoid arguments off the field.  Formal written codes of practice and the Articles of Agreement were drawn up, purportedly by the second Duke of Richmond and one other.   In 1744, the Laws of Cricket were recorded for the first time and some 30 years later the 'lbw' law and bat width was finalized.

Cricket continued quite uneventfully, interrupted only by major wars, owing to the lack of players and funding but curiously, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, British soldiers played a cricket match in the Bois de la Cambre park in Brussels, to be called later La Pelouse des Anglais,  The Englishmen’s Lawn.

Bowling of the ball as we know it today was not always in fashion. 'Round arm bowling' as it is known gathered pace in the 1820s, causing concern among traditionalists and rule-makers.  What would cricket be like today if Dale Steyn delivered under-arm balls to Adam Gilchrist!  In 1889 the four ball over was replaced by a five ball over and then, by 1900, the current six ball over was introduced, which remained except for a short period of experimental eight ball over games, ending with the break out of the Second World War in 1939.

One of the most significant crises to hit international cricket was the suspension of South Africa from international competition in 1970, which lasted until 1993 when the South African Government’s apartheid policies began crumbling.  It was then that South Africa was restored to international competition and regained its glory. 

Test cricket is not for everyone.  In the 1960s, English country teams started playing one-innings games which grew in popularity and in 1969, a limited overs national league was created.  Limited overs cricket was further enhanced by television, high-speed camera’s allowing for ultra-slow motion replays and review, and digital technology.  Cricket analysis was no longer dependent on sharp eyes and experience eye but evolved with the availability of more exact analytics, which has lead to the introduction of the third umpire.

Today, most schools play cricket and enjoy the input of coaches and umpires who have been seasoned by a heritage of over 300 years.  Not only do the scholars play for coveted team trophies but for equally important awards such as ‘bowler of the year’, ‘best fielder’ and ‘most improved player of the season’.  Supporters are also awarded tokens of appreciation in the form of shields and medals, which adds to the spirit of this wonderful game.  Long live cricket!

TO ALL THE WINNERS December 14 2016, 0 Comments


So, your race is nearly over and the end of 2016 races towards us with blinding speed and ferocious certainty.  Ahead lies the line across your path that sighs “finish”.   You know that somewhere beyond that point, there will be a reward, something to say that you made it and can finally recuperate.  Is it the gold that dangles, calling you to finish strong even though you are all but spent?  Is it a silver trophy, raised and shining, shouting for you that you made it?  Or, perhaps it’s a beautiful bronze medal that says you are the best you can be so keep going so that you will wear me with pride?  Well done all participants, without whom there would be no race at all!

This post is dedicated to all the winners!  This includes you who started the year with great plans and as you watched them unfold, somehow, your race track was diverted and you had to start again.  It’s dedicated to you who were pipped at the post, yet ran with all your might, the best race of your life.  It is most certainly dedicated to you who felt that the year was running faster than usual and you were just a spectator this time. You are winners because you share the most important achievement – life, and running all the way.  Well done!

In a matter of a few blurred days, it will be New Year and so much of last year will be unwritten history.  It will be time to take aim and think about the future, 2017.  How will you run and what will be your goal – bronze, silver or gold?  Resolutions will abound; promises even more so.  What will be your plan?  Perhaps it is unfair to ask you the questions now but can I leave you with this:  What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?  Maybe it’s about trying something a little different and exciting so that 2017 does not feel too much like 2016.  Whatever, may you enjoy this time of goodwill and recreation with good friends and family, wherever you find yourself running, or jogging, or just strolling along your path of joy.