A school in rural KwaZulu-Natal has set up two sporting awards in memory of a St Mary’s School, Menston student who died in January 2020.
Ex-professional footballer Jordan Sinnott was a great supporter of the Bambisanani Partnership, set up by the school to support the Vuman-hlamvu Primary School in South Africa. Jordan was killed after he was attacked during a night out in Retford with his girlfriend.
Now the school will honour its Sportsman and Sportswomen of the Year with the Jordan Sinnott Award. The first winners were Nombulelo Biyela and Mzwandile Zondi.
The recipients were both surprised and delighted. Nombulelo said: “I am so very excited to be the first recipient of this award in memory of Jordan. Although this was the toughest year due to Covid-19 my teachers have managed to recognise my talent. I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to demonstrate it. I would like also to send my special thanks to the Bambisanani Partnership and to the Sinnott family for all this. May Jordan’s soul rest in peace. Thank you Bambisanani Partnership.”
Mzwandile added: “I am very happy and feel very much honoured to be the recipient of this prestigious award in memory of Jordan Sinnott.
“I would like to thank again the Bambisanani Partnership for their kindness and support to our school and also to Jordan’s family who are in our prayers.”
The principal of Vumanhlamvu School, William Vilakazi met Jordan when he was a pupil during a visit to St Marys in 2011.
“I remembered meeting Jordan – I remember his smile and how respectful he was. I also saw him play football – what a talent! It is a great honour to have these very special awards in memory of Jordan,” William said.
Following Jordan’s death, friends asked other football clubs to donate a team shirt with ‘Sinnott 25’ emblazoned on the back.
The response was phenomenal, with over 850 replica shirts received from more than 30 countries. More than 100 of these shirts will be going out to South Africa when Bambisanani volunteers from St Mary’s visit next summer.
David Geldart, founder and chair of the Bambisanani Partnership, had worked very closely with Jordan at St Mary’s as he prepared to become a professional footballer and described how he had remained in contact when he had left school.
David said: “Jordan was an amazing young man; a massive character with a heart of gold. Despite his phenomenal talent he was always modest and unassuming.
“He loved the Bambisanani Partnership and was a great supporter.
“The awards in South Africa will encourage learners, year on year, to be the best that they can be. With an award also to be introduced at St Marys School a wonderful legacy has been established that will ensure that Jordan will always be remembered and that he will continually inspire others.”
He added: “Taking his shirts out to South Africa will be amazing; Zulu children absolutely love football and I can see a ‘Sinnott 25’ shirt becoming a particular prized possession!
“Massive congratulations to Nombulelo and Mzwandile; we are all very proud of you. This is all very positive and just the kind of thing that Jordan would love.”
The Bambisanani Partnership is a multi-award winning charity that has gained international acclaim for its pioneering work in the most deprived rural area of South Africa using the power of sport to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership.
For more information about the partnership see: www.bambisananipartnership.org
Picture: St Mary’s pupils with the collection of ‘Sinnott 25’ shirts.