Who better than Willie Jooste to head up the Outdoor Pursuits Programme at York High School. Born in Vanderbijlpark he matriculated at Potch Gymnasium achieving colours for rugby, swimming, leadership and academics. In addition he also achieved his provincial colours for swimming. Following school he did his National Service at 1 Parachute Battalion in Bloemfontein before attempting an Engineering Degree at the University of Pretoria in between playing TUKS U/20 Rugby and 2nd XI Cricket. He decided to quit varsity at the end of the rugby season and spent the next four years in the Special Forces of the then SADF. Apart from combat experience he also acquired a skill set that included : skydiving, survival, mountaineering, first aid, advanced driving, boat handling and a few other bits and pieces. He eventually concluded his service with the rank of Major.
While that was all happening he completed his B Compt Degree through Unisa and ended up in George as a result of his keen interest in Hobie Cat sailing. Between jobs he met the founder Headmaster of York High School, Mr Ron Dugmore, who offered him at the age of 28 a job as the Accounting Teacher.
The next 30 years can fill a book or two, but in a nutshell :
- He completed his Higher Diploma in Education while teaching
- Involved in all 30 “Matric Challenges” since 1985
- Taught a Matric Accounting class every year since 1985
- Coached a rugby side for 30 consecutive seasons
- Established swimming as a sport and is involved in every Inter House Gala since its inception
- Been involved in 20 canoe excursions with learners (Breede x 5, Orange x 15)
- Climbed “Toverkop” on 5 occasions with pupils and every kid summited
- Major sports tours include : Rugby to Namibia, rugby to Mpumalanga, rugby to
- England and Wales in 1994, Independent Schools Hockey Festival in 2013 and a plethora of shorter tours and derby’s
- Currently Deputy Headmaster with portfolios : Finance, Grounds and Amenities and Outdoor Pursuits.
Some personal milestones :
- Competed in 2 Hobie Nationals
- Paddled Fish River Canoe marathon 10 times
- Represented Southern Cape at 5 Waveski Nationals
- Completed 3 Iron Man triathlons
- Completed National Diploma : Nature Conservation
- Qualified as an APA River Guide and Trip Leader
- Qualified as a Single Pitch and Abseil Supervisor
- Qualified as a Yacht Deck Hand
- Paddled the Zambezi numerous times
- Passionate about his mountain bike and fly fishing rod
- In spite of all the above still married to his lovely and most understanding wife, Nicolette and is the proudest father ever of two stunning girls
Finally : His last medical has confirmed – his blood is BLUE!