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Purposed by His Love

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Purposed by His Love – by Cresi Heslop

And so 2015 is busily underway. By now most of us have figured out where our new year’s resolutions, goals, new habits, and all those noble things fit into and on top of the daily “grind” of life. For some perhaps easily and seamlessly, but I guess for most, like myself, with much pain and effort!

Amidst all of this I want to remind myself once again of my roots, my grounding and my purpose. I want to revive myself when I need strength for my daily challenges in this: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life”. – John 3:16

These words inspire me to keep on seeking, keep on pushing, keep on working towards my purpose.

Remember “You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion”. – Galatians 1:15-16

So I urge you to be mindful of your purpose, whether it be in sports, academics, business, parenting, career, coaching or whatever it might be, as you push on with determination into the days ahead of 2015.


blog Image for Main web site

Image courtesy of Simon Heslop

Bible translation: The Message

Home Sports

Why We Love Sports

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Since it is February – the ‘month of love’ we will indulge in some LOVE and SPORTS articles. Today we are doing a repost of a brilliant article by Red Shannon, to be found here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/45904-why-we-love-sports


The short answer might seem obvious: sports is entertaining and provides a distraction from “real life”. Additionally, we know that competitive athletics somehow stirs us at gut level, either as participant or as spectator. I endeavored to dig a little deeper in hopes of finding some clues to our fascination with the world of sport. Come with me as I discover some vital links between who we are as humans and our love of the game.

Sport inspires us. In spite of the corruption, cheating and scandal so prevalent in today’s headlines, world-class athletes continue to demonstrate the fundamental nature of competition by giving us the strongest, the quickest, the smartest and most inspired performances on the planet. Their world is populated with people who strive for excellence. Being in the presence of such people – directly, as fellow athletes, or indirectly as observers makes us lift our sights a little higher…encourages us to loftier standards in our everyday lives.

Sport touches the depths of our emotion. Remember the old ABC theme “…the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat”? As a Portland Trailblazer fan, I carry a permanent scar on my heart from ‘The Meltdown’ loss to the Lakers in game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. That atrocity ranks close to ‘the loss of a close friend’ on my emotional scale. As deep and dark as that horrible event was, so too was the height and brilliance of the 1977 championship win over the Sixers. What is it about our soul that seems to yearn for the extreme? I suspect that apart from birth, love and death, sport uniquely spans the spectrum of our emotion.

Sport lets us believe in the impossible. “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” It doesn’t happen often enough but every now and then, just about the time we are ready to succumb to the predictable, to the inevitable…Whump! Young David rises up to smite the giant – whether that behemoth is the perennial powerhouse or the untouchable world record. It’s this aspect of sport that can, at any time, any place, stir the little kid in us to ask “why not?”

Sport engages our mind. No more “dumb jock’ jokes, please. Obviously sport is a physical discipline, but even the casual fan will tell you that mind and body work together. But when one gets to the top of his game, the mental aspect is huge – not only in the sense of getting “psyched up’ but in devising strategy, studying video, researching and developing training technique, etc. More than any other time in history, sport has now become a science. For the participant and spectator alike, there is plenty of mental stimulus in today’s sporting world – and we can swim as deep as we like in those waters.

Sport provides the element of danger. There is something in many of us, especially the young, that likes to tease disaster. We can stand at the edge of the cliff. We are aware of gravity, inertia and momentum, yet we disregard the unexpected gust of wind. Being a world-class athlete can be risky business. Think of it. One’s whole focus has been to go faster, higher, stronger. Sometimes, as in motor sports, downhill skiing, boxing (to name some obviously dangerous sports) in order to get an edge, one must go over the edge. Too many times we’ve watched in sadness and horror as the athlete crossed the line from order to chaos, control to helplessness. The spectator, who joins the competitor in this tease, peers over the precipice with him, disregarding the wind…and though sometimes the athlete pays the ultimate price, we who only watch are continually drawn back to the edge.

Sport can give us a place in history.  Most of us have been lucky enough to have witnessed in person an historic sporting event. Even if we were witness only via live TV, we may lay claim to being a part of that history. We were there, receiving and contributing to the collective energy at the precise moment history was made. It’s something that stays with us and even carries a certain weight to those who will only hear about it later.

Sport validates our competitive nature.  Some would argue that the competitive urges in us are merely primal, animalistic aggression which should be stifled. I’m convinced our competitive nature is God-given. The apostle Paul, in scripture* equates the spiritual journey to a vigorous race: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” And again** Paul reminds us: “But one thing I do. Forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize…” What should, and does separate us from the animals, in our competitive nature, are the kindred virtues of respect and honor. Any person, gifted with athletic (or any other) talent, who does not pursue his maximum potential misses the mark.

As I review the points above, I realize that sport impacts us at every level of our being: body, mind, soul and spirit. Is it any wonder we’re so fascinated by it? For me, the world of sport is right up there beneath God, family and country. Perhaps this piece was simply an attempt to justify my own obsession – as if I needed to list reasons for feelings that come naturally. But then I think of thousands standing in line for hours to get tickets for a game that lasts 48 minutes. Or bleachers collapsing under foot-stomping fans enraged over a bad call. Or a guy jumping over a 15 foot wall to touch the star player…

Then…I know I’m not alone.


*1 Corinthians 9:24

** Philippians 3:13

Love is playing every game as if its your last - Michael Jordan

Love is playing every game as if its your last – Michael Jordan







Home Jonathan Our Sons Sports Swimming

NTS Swimming Championships and SA School Sport Championship 2014 in Review

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It has been a hectic past two weeks, with our entire household centering around all things swimming. I have not kept a day by day log of happenings. Thus this is just broad brush stoke reflections of events.

NTS Swimming Championships – 4 to 8 December 2014

A very well organised gala this year with very smooth flowing administration, this made such a difference, despite the daily load shedding! Swimmers were in excellent shape and it was good to see them enjoying the fruit of their year’s labour. Some long standing records came tumbling down, smashed by the likes of Ruan Breytenbach, and others. Well done swimmers!

Jonathan also did very well. He qualified to swim in the finals each evening for all the heats that he swam in during the day. He medaled in 8 out of 12 finals.

Simon and many other diligent parents and supporters paid their dues by offering themselves up as officials to time keep, despite the hot sun and typical Gauteng summer storms.

Sitting around a pool for what feels like hundreds of hours makes one reflect on the year of training and preparation that culminates in the pool at a championship. Pause moments like these breeds new ideas, strategies, things to twitch and good insights for the way forward. As Simon keeps reminding me – “we are in this for the long haul”.

Now it is over to the pictures to tell the rest of the story!


Jono's Coach Hendrick

Jono’s Coach Hendrick

Quiet moment of contemplation

Quiet moment of contemplation

Ready for take off

Ready for take off

Take your marks

Take your marks

Medal time!

Medal time!

Happiness is...

Happiness is…

Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished



National School Sport Championship 2014 – 10 to 15 December 2014

Firstly – congratulations to the Entire Team Gauteng who was the overall winner (there were 14 sports involved) they came in 1st in 2012, 2013 and now 2014! Sweet, sweet victory!

The games were aptly themed: “Today’s athletes, tomorrow’s legends”. Pretoria hosted 10 000 young participants from all over the country.

Team Gauteng was accommodated at the University of Pretoria (TUKS) hostels. After trying our utmost to find out what the experience was of hostel life from Jonathan and peers, two phrases were learned:

  • What happened in Madelief stays in Madelief. (Female residence at TUKS)
  • Life is much easier without moms naggings us to bath, brush teeth and go to bed by 8:00!


Below some pictures of the Swimming Side of the Championships










Smile for the Paparazzi

Smile for the Paparazzi

Supporting Team Gauteng

Supporting Team Gauteng

Hillcrest - Home of the NTS champs

Hillcrest – Home of the NTS champs

Officials at work

Officials at work

New friendships forged

New friendships forged

Faith Frank Home Jonathan Our Sons Sports Swimming

With a grateful heart

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In order to look to the future meaningfully, I need to start by looking back. Thus when I look at our past journey, the emotion that immensely overwhelms me is an absolute sense of gratefulness.

Also, being conscious of the time of year that we are in, gratefulness ties up well with the American Faith tradition of Thanksgiving that I have always loved.  A tradition originally declared by Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the civil war as he called on the American people to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

Thanksgiving so beautifully ushers in the true Spirit of Christmas, as the world prepares to celebrate with gratefulness the birth of our Saviour.

I am grateful for so many things but within the context of this Blog I will only mention a few:
I am grateful for:

  • our top of the mountain experiences, for it gave us the joy and rich reward that hard work always pays off.
  • our down in the valley experiences, for it taught us humility. It taught us that we needed to lift our heads up high despite dire circumstances, and live to fight another day. It gave us the determination to carry on and look with hope to the future.
  • our mundane, day to day experiences, for it taught us to that consistency is a powerful ingredient when mixed into the great pot of success.
  • our early start, meaning that we were blessed with the insight to expose our sons to many different types of sports and extramural activities. Then we stood back to allow them to make the final choice.
  • our pastors, mentors, coaches, role models, biological, non-biological and spiritual parents, for they gave us a sense of hope to dream big. (And they still do!).
  • our books, as they say “a good book finds you, you don’t find it”. Being the librarian that I am, I believe in the power of reading and the power of the written word.
  • our million moments of joy and fun while on this life journey, for it taught us that in all things we should seek the joy element, because accumulatively it leads to a wonderful sense of having lived in, and experienced the moment fully.
  • a sense of community, for what would life be without family, friends, coaches, teachers etc, who care and are there for us, even across borders and far away seas. It reminds me of one of our beautiful African proverbs that says “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far – go together”.
  • the sons with whom we are blessed with. To sum up how we feel about them “our cup runneth over”.
  • lastly and definitely not the least – Our Creator – “the Alpha and the Omega” – the One who makes all things possible!

In general, gratefulness for the moment that we are in should become a daily and practiced habit.  Living consciously and intentionally in the moment gives us the freedom to take off the shackles of the past and blissfully forget the worries of what the future might hold.


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About Heslop Sports

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‘Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory……..whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men;….one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past….. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”’ ’~ General Douglas MacArthur

I pray these words of the stunning poem above, not only for our two biological sons, but for all our sons and daughters of the African soil, and beyond.

With this blog we want to share and document our journey as we hope, dream, and work towards success in the arena of competitive sports and in other areas of life. We want to encourage, motivate and dream WITH YOU FOR THAT PARTICULAR THING THAT YOUR HEART IS SET ON. We want to celebrate our youth! 

My name is Cresi Heslop and I am co-writing this blog with my eldest son, Frank Heslop, aged 17.  I live in Pretoria with my husband, Simon and our youngest son Jonathan who is 11 years old. Frank lives in Durban. I asked Frank to co-write on this blog because I want to bring in the balance between parent and child perspectives, and believe his experiences in the sports arena and his personal journey up to now and ahead, will be of interest to other youngsters. We are proudly South African with a keen sense of appreciation for our Beloved Africa.

So, it does not matter whether you have just started your journey, are in the intermediate phase, or in the home stretch! We can all learn from each other. As John Donne writes “no man is an island entire of itself”, thus our journey does not happen in isolation. This Heslop family operates within our home, this home within a community, this community within a city, a city within a nation, a nation within a continent and ultimately part of the world.

This is a lifestyle blog that will covers topics that little family is passionate about. We will write for: parents – we definitely feel you J; coaches / teachers – you have a special ticket straight into heaven; our youth – keep going and remember “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”; family, friendies and supporters – you make the journey bearable and worthwhile.

We invite you to visit us regularly and watch us grow. Please subscribe to our e-mail feed to get our latest posts in your inbox.

Lastly, a special shout-out to our youth: are you fresh, young, upcoming and passionate about SOMETHING?  We would love to connect with you!

South Africans – feel free to come and say howzit@heslopsports.co.za – for the rest of the world, come on over and say hi@heslopsports.co.za



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My name is Cresi, (Cresida) Druitt- Heslop.

I have kept a personal journal past 20 years, thus taking it “public” was just a natural progression of events.

I am happily married to my wonderful husband of 21 years – Simon Heslop.  We share the same outlook on life concerning parenting, sports, motivation, positive speaking, positive thinking and dreaming big.  Most of the content of this blog stems from long and sometimes even breaking into the early hours of the morning conversations and discussions with Simon. In much of the content on this blog I am merely the “scribe”/ “messenger”.

I have been involved in educating, training, uplifting, mentoring and motivating people for more than two decades in the corporate environment. I am a Library Science, Education and English graduate and have previously worked as a teacher in public education. I currently work in a corporate environment by day and blog by night.

I love Jesus, my family, fashion (dressing well is a beautiful revenge), sports and all things red velvet. I am a library advocate, coffee advocate, quiet time advocate and like TV series. I love cooking for my family. I am proudly South African and African. I have travelled extensively in Africa and lived in the Netherlands during 2001, allowing me to experience many of the countries in Europe.

I am excited to write the little that I do know and curious to learn from you our friends and readers.  I do not merely want to report on the different sports meets that we attend, but I want to constantly stand back and ask ‘but what is the lesson here, what stands out, what is of the essence here?’  One of pillars on which this blog is built is the poem by General MacArthur, ‘Build me a son’, and we want to support and DREAM WITH YOU for your sons and daughters as they “get built”.



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I am Frank Heslop, an aspiring soccer player from South Africa. My blog is about my journey as a soccer player and what we as sportsmen will go through. I am still on this journey to meet my dreams. My intentions and hopes are that whoever reads my blogs will be inspired by my journey and realize that if I can do it they can too.

I have been playing soccer since I was about 7 years old and I have never looked back since. It started off small but as I grew older and got to know the game more, my desire to become a professional player grew. At the age of 14 I started at a soccer academy where I grew a lot as a player and in character. I am 17 years old now and have moved on to the Sharks Soccer Academy, which has been a great experience too. The journey so far has had its ups and downs but I have always tried to stay on the right path.

My aspirations are high and my dream is to be one of the best in the world, playing in the best leagues and representing my country in top competitions. I have decided to start sharing my journey before I have made my dreams come true. So hopefully as I share this journey all my dreams and aspirations can come with it and everyone reading this can follow my journey and I can inspire those who read this.

I am a born again Christian and believe GOD has great plans for my life. It might not be exactly how I plan it, but I know that it is big because I serve a Big GOD.


ABOUT JONATHAN HESLOP (aka Jono)  – by Jonathan (interviewed by Cresi)

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Who are you, how old are you?

Hi, I am Jonathan Heslop and I am only 11 years old I was born in 2003 on the 30 of August.

Tell me a little bit about your home and school life?

I live in Pretoria in a wonderful home were I have one big brother and two loving and caring parents.

I go to a school called Cornwall Hill College. I joined Cornwall Hill College this year. It was a fun and exciting year.

Tell me a little bit about your extramural activities?

I do swimming, after school I also do cross country. Those two sports are very fun for me and the cross country helps me with my swimming so that it makes my legs stronger.

Tell me about what you like to do to relax?

I like to play at my friends and swim in the swimming pool when I relax. I also like to play soccer with my friends and my brother.

Tell me who are your hero / heroes? What have you learned from them?

My hero is Roland Schoeman and I have learned from him that no matter how tough it gets never give up because although he is 33 years old he still has not stopped swimming and he still participates in galas like FINA and other championships.

What is your favourite Bible verse?

My favourite Bible verse is: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me for all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

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