The Recognition Minute

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: sales@prestigeawards.co.za

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. 

 


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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-goal-resin-trophy

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-m-ring-floating-trophy-t0425

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award

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

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

 

 


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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-goal-resin-trophy

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-m-ring-floating-trophy-t0425

 

 


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: http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award  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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-goal-resin-trophy

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: 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!


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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-player-female-miniature-award

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

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.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/hockey-m-ring-floating-trophy-t0425

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:  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/achievement-oscar-award

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.


TENNIS TROPHIES RULE February 22 2017, 0 Comments

Well, today has come around again. While sport is all year round, the great budget speech happened once a year in SA and today is that day.  Let’s be grateful for the relief we get from watching a good tennis match.

Some news: Federer, one of the top four in the men’s singles category, although the oldest in the group is not leaving us just yet.  More trophies ahead, I’d say and more exhilarating playoffs with the younger competitors.  After a six-month layoff owing to injury, he came back to win his eighteenth Grand Slam title in Australia.  And now he has signed a three-year contract with the Swiss In-Door event, which he has won seven times in it’s ten-year history.

Meanwhile, in Doha, Karolina Pliskova showed why she, not Serena Williams or Angelique Kerber, could be the player to beat in 2017, being awarded the ominous trophy depicting a bird of prey. Serena and Angelique, watch out. 

Prestige Awards has a wide range of beautiful trophies to meet your need. In addition to the classical silver cup, of which there are numerous styles, we will design an award for you that meets your trophy specifications.  From motor racing to dancing, sport and academics, and much more.

So, while you may feel that the budget means a further loss, there is always the pleasure of sport and all the glitter that goes with it, including the trophy.


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:  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/collections/types?q=Trophies%20-%20Premium

 Leave nothing to chance.  Dream, practice, play hard, commit, learn from your rivals and WIN, with Prestige Awards at your side.  http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/


GIFTS FOR YOUR VALENTINE February 10 2017, 0 Comments

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,
Prestige has gifts just right for for you

Gifts for your love on Valentines day are going to be a must. In America alone, it is estimated that 145 million Valentines cards are sent over this period.  This excludes many that will be sent digitally.  About 224 Million roses are grown in the USA, red ones, just for Valentines day.  These are amazing statistics when you think about the industry and the impact it has on services and people.

The highest amount spent on gifts is $4.4 Billion on silver, gold and diamonds, mainly in the form of jewelry.  So, have you thought of your gifts yet?

Prestige Awards is in the business of awards, rewards and gifts.  We have ideal gifts for you, which are available on line or from our showroom in Ferndale, Randburg.  Walk in at 427 York Ave or phone us on 011 781 0833.  So, while Valentines Day is on your mind this weekend, pay a visit to www.prestigeawards.co.za and be on time with your gift.


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 http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/pages/valentines-gifts   Buy on line or mail us directly from the website. It could make you a winner in someone’s eyes. Game, set, match!


The Impression of Speed: Tennis February 07 2017, 0 Comments

 Many sports revolve around a ball. Traditionally, the ball is round, however, there are exceptions such as a rugby ball. In some cases, a ball has been replaced by a puck in ice hockey or a shuttlecock in badminton. Would you have ever guessed that the badminton shuttlecock is the fastest object in sports? A new world record was set in Malaysia while testing new racquet technology. The speed: 493 km/h! The ball with feathers can fly like no other.

What about tennis? Who holds the record for hitting a tennis ball the fastest? As far back at 1931, Bill Tiden served at a speed reported to be 293 km/h but this record is often excluded from official records because of the accuracy of questionable technology. Accurate it may not be but no doubt the tennis ball was one of the fastest, not seen in tennis before. 

Speed records in tennis may vary, depending on the calibration of equipment across the globe. This is why recorded speeds at challenger events may not be comparable. The Australian, Sam Groth, May 2012, while playing tennis in South Korea, reportedly served at a speed of 263.4 km/h. However, Technically, John Isner still holds the official record for the fastest serve ever in tennis. 

Tennis at Wimbledon is quite speedy, too. Sam Groth took honours for the second-fasted tennis serve in Wimbledon’s history. This was narrowly exceeded by Roger Federer who managed a serve speed of 148 mph (238km), turning a tennis ball into a weapon. 

To measure the speed of a served tennis ball, two specially designed radar sensors are positioned behind the baseline at either end of the centre tennis court, as well as on certain other courts. Once the play strikes the ball, the radar gun activates and detects it’s speed.   The details are automatically recorded on the IBM’s central tournament database, which is updated by the second. 

So it is not only the speed of the ball but the speed at which the information reaches the whole world. Now that is impressive.

Have a look at something else impressive: http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/tennis-female-figurine-trophy

 


The Impression of Speed: Tennis February 07 2017, 0 Comments

 Many sports revolve around a ball. Traditionally, the ball is round, however, there are exceptions such as a rugby ball. In some cases, a ball has been replaced by a puck in ice hockey or a shuttlecock in badminton. Would you have ever guessed that the badminton shuttlecock is the fastest object in sports? A new world record was set in Malaysia while testing new racquet technology. The speed: 493 km/h! The ball with feathers can fly like no other.

What about tennis? Who holds the record for hitting a tennis ball the fastest? As far back at 1931, Bill Tiden served at a speed reported to be 293 km/h but this record is often excluded from official records because of the accuracy of questionable technology. Accurate it may not be but no doubt the tennis ball was one of the fastest, not seen in tennis before. 

Speed records in tennis may vary, depending on the calibration of equipment across the globe. This is why recorded speeds at challenger events may not be comparable. The Australian, Sam Groth, May 2012, while playing tennis in South Korea, reportedly served at a speed of 263.4 km/h. However, Technically, John Isner still holds the official record for the fastest serve ever in tennis. 

Tennis at Wimbledon is quite speedy, too. Sam Groth took honours for the second-fasted tennis serve in Wimbledon’s history. This was narrowly exceeded by Roger Federer who managed a serve speed of 148 mph (238km), turning a tennis ball into a weapon. 

To measure the speed of a served tennis ball, two specially designed radar sensors are positioned behind the baseline at either end of the centre tennis court, as well as on certain other courts. Once the play strikes the ball, the radar gun activates and detects it’s speed.   The details are automatically recorded on the IBM’s central tournament database, which is updated by the second. 

So it is not only the speed of the ball but the speed at which the information reaches the whole world. Now that is impressive.

Have a look at something else impressive: http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/tennis-female-figurine-trophy

 


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:
http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/products/tennis-ball-miniature-trophy

 

 


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 RACQUETS: EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION January 25 2017, 0 Comments

THE TENNIS RACQUET

The man known as Slew was asked in the late 1970s about the changes in the equipment used to play tennis. He didn't hesitate.  "You can play with a tomato can on a broomstick if you think you can win with it," he quipped.  As the then-chairman of the US Tennis Association, his opinion carried.

But oh, how times have changed.

In 1993, Hester Slew died at the age of 80. During his lifetime he saw a game that evolved immensely.  Wooden racquets became steel.  (Jimmy Connors won at Wimbledon with a Wilson T2000 steel racquet).  Steel became carbon.  Carbon will - sooner rather than later become graphene. 

Not all players used steel racquets, some being more comfortable with the wooden-frame models. Administrators were worried about the direction the sport was taking and questioned whether tennis drifting in a similar direction to motor sport where the game would be won or lost because of the technology and not the player?

Although Connors used metal until the mid-1980s, he soon found he was being left behind in the technology stakes.  His rivals had shifted to more advanced designs and manufacturing techniques.  Steel began to lose it’s shine but instead of returning to wood, other alternative were being explored.  The result of all this innovation would herald a sport that was on its way to changing beyond all recognition.

Unlike Slew Hester, those responsible for tennis regulations today - the International Tennis Federation (ITF) - were bothered about technology. They keep tabs on everything - squishing every ball, for example, to ensure it makes the grade - bouncy, but not too much.

When the ITF looks at racquets its principal concern is whether they offer too much power. Given a free rein, a manufacturer could make a racquet so good at smacking the life out of a ball that the game of tennis would quickly descend into being little more than a serving competition.  In other words, bone-dry boring.  The awards and medals would then be highly predictable and spectators would dwindle.

The ITF tests racquet power using machines that move faster than the eye can follow. A computer calculates the speed of each ball.  At 120 mph capability, the steel racquets fell well within the stated limits.  However, to give some perspective of the power of players, Andy Murray delivered his fastest shot at a speed of 145 mph!  A mind-blowing 233 km/h!

In the small Austrian town called Kennilbach, Head Inc., innovators of top racquets, set up shop. It is here that the champions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova’s raquets are manufactured to their precise specifications.  Innovation for improvement is ongoing and there are many more materials in the wings, waiting to add to the exhilaration for the crowds, watching tennis balls flying at speeds previously thought impossible.

Awards are part of the drive to be great. See http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/search?q=tennis&x=0&y=0 for the trophies and awards available to you, for all your champions!  And there is much more to come.


TENNIS AND TROPHIES January 19 2017, 0 Comments

TENNIS TROPHIES

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:

http://www.prestigeawards.co.za/search?q=tennis&x=0&y=0  for a wide variety of options, and make your event a grand slam to remember.

 

 


SWIMMING January 12 2017, 0 Comments

The sport of swimming, like many other sporting activities, brings people together who compete with a common goal – to win!  Unlike athletics, which demands that the athlete does what comes naturally and run, basic swimming is a learned skill.  It is not intuitive for anyone to just jump into water and learn on the fly; in fact that could be fatal.  What then drives us into the water?  Perhaps, in the same way that we marvel at bird flight and want to experience the experience of soaring above the world, so too, we may desire to float on water and even join the sea creatures by remaining in their environment for as long as possible.
There is evidence that people swam as early as 4000 BC but as with many activities, it gained popularity as a sport some-time after the Middle Ages.  The exact style of the first swimmers is not clear but freestyle and breaststroke seem to have been popular, based on old drawings discovered.
Swimming has featured in all the Olympic Games from 1896 to this day with two events,  freestyle and breaststroke, being included until 1904 when backstroke made its debut.  What about butterfly?  Butterfly was only added during the 1940s when the breaststrokers discovered they could swim faster by bringing arms forward over their head instead of stretching out in front of them under the water, somewhat like a frog..  This new faster-than-breaststroke style made its first appearance at the Olympics during the 1956 Melbourne games and forms one of the four swimming styles at every Olympiad since.
Swimming is one of the few competitive sports where the women’s events differ only slightly from that of the mens in that the freestyle distance for men is 1500 meters with the women’s event being only 800.  But is there any other Olympic water sport that seems to favour the ladies?  Enter Synchronised Swimming.
Synchronised swimming is a combination of swimming, gymnastics and dance, which is performed to music.  Although a form of swimming and dance has been with us for over a century it was first seen at the Olympics first in 1984 in Los Angeles as a competitive sport, with Canada, Japan and the USA having taken all the medals.
In South Africa, we have the ideal climate for swimming.  Perhaps this has been the inspiration for names like Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Cameron van der Burgh and the most contemporary professional, Chad Le Clos, all having excelled as swimmers and brought home the medals.
The future of swimming depends on the passion and discipline of those who spend hundreds of lonely hours in water.  At each turn, the reminder of a gold medal excites their imagination and calms their burning muscles to tackle the next 1000 meters, and the next, as they build a human machine, never meant for water but tuned to swim and dive and dance without touching the ground.

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.


The New Year December 31 2016, 0 Comments

On the first day of the year, champagne flows, skies explode with coloured fireworks and people sing and dance.  The victory celebration has begun in hopeful anticipation of conquering another year.  We send wishes of health, peace and prosperity.  In Scotland you might hear the sound of a lone bagpiper, introducing Auld Lang Syne, a song based on the poem by Robert Burns.  Auld Lang Syne which is also sung at graduation ceremonies to graduates that that, too, is a time of saying good bye to the old in anticipation of the future after having received their awards and certificates.

New Year as we know it in South Africa is based on the Gregorian/Roman calendar unlike the Jewish or Chinese new years.  The Jewish new year is based on a much older calendar, calculated by the phases of the moon, like a silver pendulum keeping time, while the roman calendar is based on the sun.  This means that the Jewish new year, known as Rosh Hashana, is celebrated around September and October.  At that time it’s not the sound of bagpipes you may hear but that of the ram’s horn, known as the shofar.

Another well-know new year is that of the Chinese tradition.  It is also based on the moon and always falls somewhere within January and February. Wishes of prosperity are exchanged, having evolved from the wishes of a good year of farming when agriculture was dominant in China.  Chinese zodiac animals are used to name each year, with 2017 being the year of the rooster.  Many traditions such as exchanging red envelopes and wearing red clothes accompany the season of the old turning into the new in China.

Whichever new year you may be celebrating, it is a time to look forward to the journey ahead, while reflecting on the year just past. May it be peaceful and full of contentment, with each step a step of success towards that trophy and reward that you seek!