The Recognition Minute

Comrades of South Africa who won The Medal July 13 2017, 0 Comments

In 1921, Bill Rowan, the first Comrades winner, crossed the finish line in Eight Hours and Fifty-Nine Minutes.  He was one of 16 runners to finish the race and went on to represent South Africa at the 1924 Paris Olympics.  A piece of history was carved into the records on that 24th of May, an event commemorated each year to this day.

Until 1962, the winner’s medal was awarded to South Africans mostly.  Between ’62 and ’72, three Brits took the first gold medal, all finishing in under six hours.  In 1965, a lady crossed the finish line in top position for the first time – her time: 10:07.  That was Mavis Hutchinson.

Familiar names such as veteran Wally Hayward, Allan Rob and of course, Bruce Fordyce have been inscribed in the history books as winners and legends of this ultra-marathon.  Eight successive wins for Fordyce from ’81 – ’88 set an exceptionally challenging record for the future, which is not likely to be beaten any time soon.  His finish times remained reasonably consistent throughout with race no. 8 being close to his personal best, a remarkable achievement.

In 1989, Samuel Tshabalala took first place among the men and Frith van der Merwe received her gold medal in 5:54 on the down run; her second Comrades win and an improvement of 38 minutes over the previous year which was an up run.  Tshabalala was the first Black South African contender to win Comrades.

There are many names not mentioned here who have helped place South Africa first in the medal and trophy stakes.  Names such as Moshiywa, Mamabolo, and Ngomane come to mind.  Among the ladies, let’s not forget Maureen Holland, Lindsay Weight, Caroline Wostman and Charne Bosman.

In 2014, Bongamusa Mthembu wins his first Comrades in 5:28:34.  In his own words, it took him eight years to win.  He started as a brick layer and ran to keep healthy.  Latest achievements include gold medal status in six marathons since 2012 and of course, his latest victory, a gold medal for his win in 2017.

Gold Medals and Trophies are for the few but what would the Comrades Marathon be without the thousands who support and cheer and hand out water and energy bars as the winners run by.  And who are the winners?  Those who put in the hours of training before the great race; those who finish before the gun and those who tried but missed their award, who pick themselves up and try again.

Prestige Awards salutes all our South African Comrades.

For athletics medals with a South African flavour (athletics image with SA Flag colours ribbon), see: and the new Mzanzi medal:


Wayde van Niekerk – a true South African wears the medals July 10 2017, 0 Comments

 Do you remember, August 2016?  Round about the middle of the month in Rio when a true South African stormed to victory.  Wayde van Niekerk not only won the gold medal but set a new world record, covering 400 meters in 43.03 seconds! 

This was a momentous occasion for the South African medalist as a world-class winner and the owner of the first gold medal in a track event for South Africa in 96 years.  The previous record achieved by Michael Johnson over this distance had stood since 1999.

Minutes later, Usain Bolt ran the 100m in only 9.81 seconds, the third in a series of 100m titles.  Wining trophies and medals was in the air.

Wayde was inspired by Bolt’s achievements and spent time in Jamaica training with him.  “My favourite event is the 200m so I would love to race him one day when I am big,” said the fastest man ever over 400m.

It was earlier in the year that Wayde became the first athlete to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, the 200m in under 20 seconds and the 400m in under 44 seconds.  Imagine the pleasant weight of three gold medals around your neck!

Now, he has added one more: a gold for the 300m in sub 31 seconds and has become the first man in history to hold the title over all four distances.  What an exceptional athlete.

Wayde is humble in his achievement and readily acknowledges that there were significant others including Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach in Jamaica.  Back home, another true South African and unlikely coach, his white-haired grandmother, Ans Botha.  This combination proved to be dynamite for van Niekerk.

We salute you Wayde!  May these records again be confirmed and beaten by you, a proudly South African man and a role model to many, young aspiring athletes. 

For athletics medals with a South African falvour (athletics image with SA Flag colours ribbon), see: and the new Mzanzi medal:


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!





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:

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.

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.

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


Green Field Hockey March 13 2017, 0 Comments

What do Ireland and field hockey have in common?  One quite obvious similarity is the colour of the hockey field - green.   But, before we go too far on that one, it is not always the case.  With the advent of indoor 'field 'hockey, the colour could be an azure blue.

But why even mention Ireland?  It's nearly March 17, the day that the Irish celebrate St Patrick's day, all a-green.  I thought that was good enough reason.  Traditionally, Guinness and all things green are the order of the day but Ireland does have hockey teams, men and women, who bring back the trophies as well!  And, by no coincidence, all dressed in green.

In Ireland, the game is referred to as hockey but in Canada and the USA, it is called field hockey in order to differentiate between the game of ice hockey, which is more popular in those countries.  In Sweden and Norway, it is referred to as 'stick hockey', although the rules remain the same. 

Unlike association football, where the positions of players are well-defined and to some extent, remain that way during play, hockey is more fluid.  Players generally arrange themselves into forwards, mid-fielders and backs, where the forwards are technically attacking positions and the backs are defenders.  However, during play, anyone with the ball is considered to be attacking and anyone of the opposite team who receives the ball, defending, no matter what their nominated position may be.   This dynamic type of play adds excitement and daring to the game.  And on synthetic turf, the ball moves all the faster and never kept in limbo for a second!  Since everyone is a potential attacker, each player needs to remain alert and be on their guard or risk missing the opportunity to score.  And only when one has control of the ball is one likely to score and scoring wins the trophies.


So, whether you are playing sport this week - maybe even hockey - or just celebrating life, give a thought to St Patrick, if for no other reason that he is green and Irish.  And maybe he played hockey, too.

Trophies help add spirit to any game.   All trophies can be 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.

Mounted aluminium trophies are specially designed by Prestige Awards for a number of different sports 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 any ideas that you have for different designs and then bring them to life in  our factory.

Be sure that you are prepared with all the right trophies for the season.  Everything 'awards' is available from Prestige Awards.

Never Too Young for a Medal or Too Old for a Trophy March 10 2017, 0 Comments

There are some sports that are clearly not for the young of age.  Running over hurdles, weight lifting and possibly gymnastics need some height and some power and height but hockey is different.   Start whenever you want to!

If you are young and you want to play, find a stick your size and begin.  If you are at varsity, choose a stick and boots that fit and play.  Now, this is where it gets interesting.  If you are a veteran, young or old, it is never too late.  Just start to play.

Starting something new is challenging at times but before you decide that the challenge may be beyond you, think first of the benefits.  One does not have to be a hockey star or living legend, earning all the trophies and weighted down with gold medals.  Nor does one need risk becoming a late legend with no trophies and medals left for the mantelpiece. 

There are many reason to play hockey, such as social, health and some good networking, too.

Hockey can be a strenuous game, so start out slow, at your own pace.  Be prepared to leave the shore or familiarity (and the couch, also often too familiar) and begin.

For those young players who dream of winning in their varsity years, it is advisable to start no later than during the first year of high school.  Even better would be to start during their first years of junior school, between ages four and seven.  To become familiar with the game and develop the skills takes a little time.  Starting early may give one the edge but nevertheless, it is always the right time to start.  It is also good to become known among the hockey fraternity if you want to be noticed for selection for regional or provincial teams.

Learning is a process, so the sooner one starts, the better.  Even a toddler can begin by being involved in the sporting activities and watching the game, for just a few minutes every week to develop interest in the game.  If Mom, Dad or older sibling play hockey, even better.  Parents who know just a little about the game can start teaching their children in the back yard!

One way of encouraging hockey is for kids to attend camps. This allows them to try out a stick, hit some balls and learn a few tricks from enthusiasts in an unpressured environment while having great fun.  Playing around with a sport as well as playing the sport is how it all starts, which is why football and rugby seem to come so naturally to many kids in SA, and sometimes cricket and tennis as well.  It also why people may wait until later in life before playing hockey!

So remember, if road-running medals are not your thing, squash trophies are a piece of old tacky, you can always play for a hockey award.  And if medals and trophies are for someone else, then I say again, just start.  It’s a fantastic, racy sport that will keep you fit for as long as you can run upright and hold a stick.

One day, when you throw in the stick, don’t throw in the towel because hockey would be so much less without you.  Become a spectator. 

Trophies help add spirit to any game.   All trophies 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.



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.

Trophies for Djokovic - Commitment and Hard Work Pays Off February 22 2017, 0 Comments

How often does a starry-eyed child sit at the sidelines of a champion playing a great game of tennis and dream of being a champion one day? It has been said before that if you don’t have a dream, how can you make a dream come true?  So, I suppose dreaming about trohpy’s, medals and badges of honour are a good start.

In the tennis world, currently we have the Big Four – Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer.  No one has won more men’s singles grand slam tournaments than Federer’s seventeen and amongst is awards you will find four Indian Wells trophies.

Nadal claimed the French open nine times, a record so far unbeaten.  Djokovic captured the Australian Open for the fifth time in February, matching Federer’s Open Era haul.  And Murray?  No more need be said.  He's a champion and his mantelpiece is cluttered with all sorts of medals and trophies. 

Each of these men were little dreamers once and they dreamed big.  But what were the realities that they faced in order to reach such heights and raise so many trophies?    

I suppose one could say that Djokovic did not just dream.   "Talent, hard work, commitment to the sport and having Federer, Nadal and Murray around," was his answer when asked by a CNN reported recently.  Earning trophies all starts with the individual.  “You have to be able to put in the hours of practice and make many sacrifices,” said Djokovic. 

Clearly, the promise competing in the final, of having a record marked against your name and magnificent trophy or golden medal is part of the incentive.  Without trohphies and awards, perhaps tennis would have remained a family game for the back garden.

What is interesting is that Djokovic attributes his success partly to having excellent competition along the way.  All said and done, he emphasized that hard work is what did it in the end.

Any worthwhile trophy will attract talent. The winner will raise his award and think back on months of thankless training, interrupted social life and dogged commitment to the sport, all for the sake of a win.  And in the case of Novak Djokovic, what a winner!

Super trophies for winners are found here:

 Leave nothing to chance.  Dream, practice, play hard, commit, learn from your rivals and WIN, with Prestige Awards at your side.

WHAT DO LOVE AND TENNIS HAVE IN COMMON? February 08 2017, 0 Comments

Ever wondered about how tennis is scored? Unlike most other sports, where point is worth one point and no more, tennis is different. You could be excused for being confused because it has a scoring system all of its own.

At the beginning of the game, when both sides have no score, the game is love-love meaning nil-nil. To win a game, you need to score above 40. That sounds like it could take a long time but not to worry. Your first point will score you 15, your next, 30 and the next point will give you the 40. One more point and you’ve won that game. But no one asks the value of that one more point. It is just a win. Don’t ask why but no one ever scores 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in tennis.

In professional tennis, there may be no love lost between the competing players. Trophies are won through hard work. They are never won with love. This is because love actually means nothing in tennis. Literally nil. So, if the score is 40-love, someone has scored nothing and is not likely to see an award. One more point to top 40 and the game is won and medals and trophies can be awarded. It is a love match.

There are a number of suggestions as to where the affectionate name of the love score came from. One such theory is that it is derived from the French word l’oeuf, meaning an egg. I guess it is because of the shape of the egg which is broadly oval, and looks like a zero on the scoreboard. If that is so, we could find ourselves calling 40-egg! Rather not, let’s just stick to love, which is particularly appropriate in February.

But, if you are not offering love in a game of tennis, perhaps you would like to pick a Valentine’s gift from our range at   Buy on line or mail us directly from the website. It could make you a winner in someone’s eyes. Game, set, match!

In a Tennis Dream February 05 2017, 0 Comments

"It feels like I'm in a dream," said Peers, who is coming off a title run at the Australian Open with Henri Kontinen.  And his partner, Groth was feeling in equally great form when he said “We came up to do a job and I thought we played great today. I’ve played as good a match as I’ve played all year.” 

Such was the ecstasy of the Australian doubles winners who triumphed over Czech pair, Jan Satral and Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 30 minutes, which include 11 aces. 

The 28-time champion Aussie squad has not dropped a set through three matches, including singles routs by Jordan Thompson and Nick Kyrgios on Friday.   Played at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, former venue of the Australian Open, Groth and Peers powered their nation into its second World Group quarter-final in three years. They will face either Switzerland or the United States next. 

While the world watches this global tour, every day in SA, children are earning their trophies and medals on the tennis courts around the country. They are inspired by the professionals powering ahead, earning their awards.  They are also inspired by the many who teach them, so painstakingly, to hit the ball over the net and not give up!  So, remember, when you win an award or are presented with a trophy, somewhere along the line of your success, you will need to thank a teacher.    Tennis trophies to be seen here:



Williams, Federer and Nadal January 29 2017, 0 Comments

Yesterday was a family affair, where two blood sister fought to win the ladies Australian Open championships.  It is not the first time they have faced off in professional tennis.  This was a record-breaking event, with Serena taking full honours.  She was heard to have said, "Its a win for the family".  Such was the spirit of her achievement, shared with the whole family, and no less with Venus and their fans.

Today, two more champions battle it out, providing enthralling tennis at it's best.  What is it within a man when two games down, fights to win back his position and a whole lot of respect to boot.  Such stamina, character, fortitude and grit is supported by the prospect of winning, raising trophies, wearing medals and many people from teachers, coaches and family giving their all for the reward, alongside.  The duce!  And now, 14:15 SA time - Federer wins the men's singles, Australian open, 2017.  What champions!

TENNIS AND TROPHIES January 19 2017, 0 Comments


It is Australian Open time again, the first on the annual calendar of four grand slam tournaments.  Each year, about this time, tennis fans gather to watch the drama of hard-won tennis matches.  Who will lift the final trophy is always top of mind but that is only a small part of this major competition.  It is also who will get the medals along the way to victory and who might upset the cart by stealing a match from a favourite, right under their noses. 

Lifting the winning trophy, a weighty, silver, perpetual cup is a dream most of us won’t realise in a lifetime but we can be part of the glory of victory it all when these awards are presented. 

The Men’s Singles trophy, called the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after a former Australian tennis champion, has a history.  It bears hallmarks of London, dated 1906, making it 111 years old this year.  Standing proudly at 43cm high, including the plinth, it bulges to an overall width of 39cm, including the impressive handles.  The design was based on a large marble vase, dated second century AD, found in 1770 in what was the gardens of Emperor Hadrian’s villa.  The original vase would have been of the best that Rome had to offer to satisfy the emperor and, therefore, represents the excellence that is dished up on the court today! 

The trophy is what we see and applaud.  What else awaits the winner?  This year, the singles winners (both mens’ and women’s) can look forward to a cool $3.7 million, which translates into a neat 50 Million Rand. If you feel that a win is out of reach, you could bow out with 5 Million at the Quarter finals, which would at least buy you a new pair of shoes and a ticket home with a suite case full of change. 

If you play tennis, coach tennis or are in charge of selecting the trophies for you club or school, have a look here:  for a wide variety of options, and make your event a grand slam to remember.



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!

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.

RESOLUTIONS ARE FAMOUS January 05 2017, 0 Comments

The ten most commonly broken new year’s resolutions are:

  • Loose weight; get fit
  • Stop smoking
  • Learn something new
  • Eat healthier; diet
  • Get out of debt; save money
  • Spend more time with family
  • Be less stressed
  • Travel to new places
  • Volunteer
  • Drink less (presumably alcohol)

 If this is the case, then looking around, we would expect to see many hard-working overweight smokers with a glass of grog, on their own hiding from the debt collectors! Sound familiar? 

While new year is a time for reflection and an opportunity to start your race anew, it means checking what you really want to achieve and what exactly it would look like once you have achieved it. A new activity instead of a new outcome may just be the problem with our famous resolutions that fail. We need an outcome, represented by something tangible. 

Imagine your resolution is engraved on a trophy. It describes in a few words what you had achieved and the date. The date is important. It is written in past tense so that you see it as an accomplishment. It is not a wish; it is a firm resolution. 

Imagine, also, that along the way to achieving your resolution you have been awarded a medal for each step of the way.  If you had resolved to travel to new places, the trophy might say “Arrived in Greece – 7 October 2017” (remember – past tense) and the medals would be steps along the way such as (1) “Map and Travel Evening with Family” – pretend it was a bronze medal. (2) The silver medal could be “Travel Agent Engaged” and (3), your gold medal for this achievement, “Tickets to Athens Bought.” By this stage, you are well on your way to achieving your resolution. 

I like to call this your medal plan, which you can adopt for any endeavor and is especially useful for those famous resolutions that are somehow stashed away for most of the year and brought out for an airing during the excitement of another new year. So, along with us all at Prestige Awards where you could buy medals to make you resolutions more tangible, we wish you well along the journey to achieving your dreams in 2017.

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.

The End of a Glorious Year December 05 2016, 0 Comments

Someone once remarked that a race is never worth running unless there are those along the track that clap and cheer. Approaching the end of the school year sometimes makes one feel as if they were both cheering and running at the same time.  It feels like a significant achievement to see the arrival of December.  Whether it is athletics, rugby, academic or cultural activities, everything suddenly goes quiet as we cross the finish line.  For each teacher, it is the prospect of a well-earned break.  For the learners, it is a time of anticipation of success as they wrap up their academic year with final exams, celebrate and look forward to their certificates and reports.  It is true that for some, learning did not come easily and thinking was not always crystal clear.  These folk may not all share in the honour of rewards this year but if they clapped along the way for those who won the hard race, they have the opportunity to start over and aim for next year’s rewards!  They also deserve a special medal.

My Medal! November 28 2016, 0 Comments

In a few days you may need a medal just for reaching the end of November in one piece. If no one wants to reward you with your well-earned gift, you can select the award of your choice by visiting and still be in time be in time to wear it with pride in December!   (Have a peek at the gifts!)

The year flies by so quickly, especially when you are managing a career, a home maybe while attending school meetings, helping your children earn that certificate that says ‘Well done!’, time for s break.  Take a moment to imagine what you would engrave on your medal this year. What would you like to recognize as your achievements?  How about “I made it!” – make that a Bronze. Or, “Rising Star” – that could be Silver.  What about the Gold category?   We’ll leave that up to you but when you have decided, we’d love to hear from you.   Keep up the good work - 2017 is just around the corner - but with an awful lot inbetween.

Of Wreaths, Cups and Shields November 26 2016, 0 Comments

Awards are presented in recognition of a job well done.  Unlike in the times of the original Olympic games, where wreaths were given to the winning athletes, today, recognition comes in many forms.  Awards will often symbolize the event with e.g. a soccer figurine or rugby boot and ball.  The name of the participant may appear on the trophy, too, applied through laser etching, scratch engraving or full colour UV printing.

Another popular choice of a symbol for an award is the shield.  These are usually made from a hard wood such as Teak, formed in the shape of a knight's protective shield and adorned with small silver, engraved plaques.  The idea of a shield may have developed from the times when armies captured bounty from fallen men and returned these spoils to their kings or emperors as evidence of victory.  The tradition of displaying our achievements continues today but happily, we have moved from the battle field to the sports field.

Is the medal gold? November 25 2016, 0 Comments

Any school learner will wear a medal with pride.  Medals are awarded for both academic achievement, for excellence in the gymnasium or winning on the sports field.  Traditionally, the gold medal was the most coveted award as it was both a sign of being the best at your discipline and it was also a valuable asset.

As a high value item, there was always the possibility that the heavy ‘gold’ medal was, in fact, not gold at all. It may have been replaced with a gold-plated, lead replica that had very little financial value, while the medal makers ran away with the gold.  Have you noticed the tradition of checking the medal by biting it to see if the gold is, in fact, gold?  Well, it would be more correct to say that they were checking to see if the medal was made from lead.  Lead is much softer than gold so if a tooth mark was noticed on the medal after biting it, they could be sure it was not gold.  This could have developed into another sort of competition!  Today, most medals are not manufactured from solid gold but the colours gold, silver and bronze remain to signify first, second and third place!