Ben de Vos
Born and raised just outside Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I was exposed to sport from the outset, watching my dad play rugby and cricket, and trying out pretty much every sport which involves a ball, myself. Straight after matriculating, I took on an opportunity to play cricket in England, and before I knew it, found myself having enjoyed 18 seasons of professional cricket as a player and coach as well as owning and managing a cricket academy in SA for 8 years before moving to Derbyshire in 2008.
After completing my 20th year of competitive cricket I embarked on a Sport Management degree at the University of Derby, graduating with first class honours and was delighted to be offered an opportunity to become part of the team at Gullivers Sports Travel and Edwin Doran Sports Tours. It’s given me an opportunity to work alongside other likeminded colleagues, sharing the same passion in trying to offer other sport enthusiasts, the most amazing time touring and playing abroad.
In the words of the great Nelson Mandela “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.” What nicer industry to be working in!
Favourite sporting destination
Without a doubt Cape Town!! Stunning scenery, cosmopolitan lifestyle, amazing people, great food and drink, competitive sport, wonderful beaches, mountains, vineyards, golf courses, surfing…..I don’t think there’s enough space here for me to rave about it enough!
In terms of atmosphere though, I’ve got to say my old home ground, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth with the brass band in full swing, must be the best in the world!
Favourite personal sporting moment
Difficult to pin point one specific moment…… I guess scoring three consecutives hundreds, followed by two more and a 99 in between the two, the following season, must be up there.
Taking a hat-trick and scoring a hundred in the same match was memorable too, but perhaps the proudest achievement is the fact that I’ve scored a hundred in every country I have played: Holland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England, South Africa and Australia.
Winning the all Irish 6-a-side competition and a holiday to Barbados, getting man of the match in the semi-final and the final, was pretty special also, albeit unfortunate that I could not go to Barbados due to having had to return to Australia for another season.