The Recognition Minute
Awards for South Africans July 21 2017, 0 Comments
May I state the obvious? We live in interesting times. As always!
The history of South Africa has given us lots to talk about. The wildness of the terrain has yielded so much to see. Diverse people live together in this colourful nation.
As South Africans, we have shown great resourcefulness in finding solutions to problems over the decades, even centuries. So, a little about our heritage of success, for which we could be forgiven for awarding ourselves a medal. No, make that a huge, silver trophy!
3 December 1967, on the tip of our African continent, Dr Chris Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplant. It was uncharted territory. A domain unexplored in humans. It was very risky since once he had removed the patients failing heart, there was no turning back. Either the recipient would never wake up or they would wake up with a functioning heart. If the heart did beat and give life, how well and for how long? There was no precedent. No one knew.
Louis Washkansky did wake up and Dr Barnard became the first ever to succeed in transplanting a human heart into another person. Kudos, trophies, medals and plenty of certificates all round. Barnard became an international celebrity and performed another ten heart transplants, one of the patients surviving for 23 years.
Another Doctor, Dr Selig Percy Amoils created a new method of cataract surgery, using his cryoprobe. He developed this method at Baragwanath Hospital and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Technological Innovation in 1975. His invention gave back sight to many, who could now enjoy their successes in the light. This put South Africa on the world’s stage of medical advancement again. His invention has since been on display in the Kensington Museum in London.
Another exceptional advancement in medical technology was the CAT scan. This was developed in Cape Town by physicist Allan Cormack and his associate Godfrey Hounsfield. It required medical and mathematical skill and innovation in order to achieve their goal: a scanner that could scan the whole body and translate the data into meaningful images. These scans were clearer than static X-Ray plates and took the medical world a leap forward in diagnostic ability.
Their work also deserved an enormous trophy and was recognized through a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
A CAT scanner is used routinely today in the diagnosis and management of many medical conditions and allows for much better and more specific treatment.
One more South African medical invention: The Smartlock safety syringe.
The Smartlock syringe automatically retracts the needle into a sheath and locks it in place as the needle is withdrawn the patient. Therefore, no needle caps to place over used needles or a specific ‘sharps’ disposal container. This meant safety for all concerned.
Interesting times indeed. May our people continue earning awards for South Africa, whether in science or culture, sport or engineering.
In our next blog post, I will feature some other, world-renowned inventions by South Africans who deserve the gold medal of innovation and the trophy of success!
Who Recognised St Patrick? March 17 2017, 0 Comments
Well, today is a Green day if you live in Ireland. 17 March - a day to remember St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in c400 AD and for ridding Ireland from all it's snakes.
Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock, a plant with three leaves to teach about the Christian Holy Trinity. This rather intriguing yet simple little plant is now the symbol of St. Patrick's day.
The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that St. Patrick chased them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking. Was he the early snake whisperer or did he have special powers that banished these serpents for good? It doesn't matter. What might matter more is that he is still remembered today, 1500 years later. Now that is recognition!
St. Patrick was never awarded a medal or a trophy for his work. He didn't boast any obvious academic achievements and may have lived a very non-competitive life, yet he has been immortalized with green shamrocks, and usually with lots of Guinness as well.
There are no medals or even certificates for being a saint today. In fact, awarding trophies is not likely at all, as the recognition of saints usually happens many years after their death. It is widely believed that St. Patrick died on this day, which is why the 17th of March was chosen for this annual celebration.
If you are celebrating excellent academic or sporting success, or top-class business performance in the corporate world, Prestige Awards has the trophy, the medal and the certificate for you. Many classical and traditional options are available for view. For a really special occasion, we will help you design something unique, to be remembered for the next 1500 years.
Contact us via the website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY ALL!
One Umpire, Two Umpire, Three Umpire, Four! March 16 2017, 0 Comments
Except for December perhaps, field hockey season could be yours to choose. While competitions may be held during a specific season, there is always time for a friendly or a bit of extra practice.
Indoor turf is a wonderful invention, allowing for all year round hockey. This means extra time to prepare for the competitions, for the trophies, the accolades and the medals.
As with all team sports, there are rules that give clear boundaries to the manner in which the sport is to be played. Players may have one aim in mind: to score trophy-winning goals but this, not at all costs. When a player is seen by one of the two umpires to break the rules, they will be blown up, the play stopped and the necessary sanction imposed against them.
Field hockey is a little different to some other team sports in that there are two umpires controlling the game. Technically, each umpire is responsible for one of the two halves of the field but in practice, they often control the diagonal half of the total playing field. Sometimes a reserve umpire is appointed since injury is a possibility in this fast-moving game. In world class games, technology is used to check certain decisions. A video umpire is also available.
A video umpire is reserved to assist with decisions pertaining to the legality of a goal. Some of the more common transgressions that are well monitored by the video umpire are related to whether the ball actually crossed the goal line, whether it was hit from within the circle and whether it touched a player’s stick illegally. There is little chance to sneakily break the rules these days… or maybe just occasionally, but it’s not worth it. The trophy stakes are high and the competition is fierce!
All trophies from Prestige Awards can be customised for the occasion, making them special: http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award
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. http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-m-ring-floating-trophy-t0425
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. http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-goal-resin-trophy
Add spirit to your hockey game with a hockey trophy from Prestige Awards.
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: http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award 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. http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-goal-resin-trophy
Enjoy your game of hockey!
The Origins of Sport January 09 2017, 0 Comments
As long as we have records of history there is evidence of people engaging in sport. Cave paintings, assumed to have been painted over 15 centuries ago have been found in France, depicting figures wrestling and sprinting. In Iraq a brass casting of two wrestlers was found among other remnants dated c2600 BC.
Ancient Greece has a well-known sporting heritage. The earlier forms of gymnastics took the form of religious bull-leaping and possibly bullfighting. In Homer’s poem, The Iliad, there are many portrayals of sport.
Monuments to the Egyptian Pharoahs (c200 BC) suggest many sports existed during those times, including weight-lifting, long jump, swimming, rowing, flying (believe it or not!), shooting, fishing and athletics, javelin throwing, high jump and even a form snooker.
Predictably, Greece first instituted formal sporting events with the Olympic Games first registered in 776 BC, Olympia, where we see the inclusion of boxing and athletics (run either naked or in armour!) as well as the sport of discus throwing amongst others. Unlike today where an athlete may receive a medal or a trophy in the form of a cup or a shield, a wreath usually made from an aromatic leaf (bay laurel) or the wild olive tree was awarded to the winners. Laurel wreaths are depicted on many contemporary trophies today, being recognized as a symbol of both sporting and academic victory.
Sport was played in it's many forms in many other countries in ancient times, such as China, Persia and Scotland.
During the middle ages, entire villages would compete against each other, sometimes in organized violent sports – a sort of war games. In contrast, Italy participated in jousting and fencing. In Great Britain, horse racing was a favourite of the well-healed. In 1711, The English Queen Anne founded the Ascot Racecourse, which has remained closely associated with Royalty ever since. The Royal Meeting held each June remains a major draw card, it’s highlight being the Gold Cup.
In more modern times, British colonialism helped spread particular games around the world such as cricket, football and tennis. The advent of the industrial revolution brought both increased leisure time and mass production, opening up various sports as a leisure activity to many more than ever before.
Today, we are spoiled for choice and sport has become an essential part of education and social activity for both participants and spectators. Without the cup, the medal, the trophy or just the humble wreath, the game would lose it’s edge and perhaps it’s players, too! The award for victory has always been recognized as a necessity and is not about to change now.