CRUSADERS SPORT :
THE SPORTING SECTION OF THE OLD STITHIAN ASSOCIATION (“OSA”)
The “oldest” Club linked to the OSA on the St Stithians College Campus was “the Stithians’ Fly Fishers” which was established in 1971 by Ken Reid and Christopher Williams (Alumnus 1971).
The OSA “Cloggers”, a Veterans Football Team, was also established in 2002 by Christopher Williams. The Cloggers played in the Social Veterans Football League with their ‘Home Games’ taking place at St Stithians College.
CRASADERS FOOTBALL CLUB : THE BEGINNING
In 2004, Gary Elmes (Alumnus 1984) and St Stithians Parent, entered into discussions with the then OSA Chairman Craig Warriner (Alumnus 1982) and St Stithians College Parent, with the view of setting up an official OSA Football Club which would participate in the South African Football Association (SAFA) competitive league structures. The Club would cater for ‘Little League’ (i.e. Under 5 through to Under 11 Age Groups), ‘Junior League’ (i.e. Under 12 through to Under 19 Age Groups), ‘Senior League’ (i.e. Men and Ladies Under 20 upwards), and ‘Veterans League’ (i.e. Men >35 year-olds).
Agreement was obtained from the OSA which facilitated the required approvals from St Stithians College, and as they say “the rest is history”.
Gary Elmes, with Bruno Fernandes and Fernando da Silva (St Stithians Parents) and Christopher Williams, the Crusaders Football Club Founders, then set out to fund the required Floodlights, Goalposts and other Footballing Equipment required in order to operate a successful club. This was achieved early in 2005 when the Club became “officially established”. At that time Gary, Bruno, Fernando (“Fuzz”) and Chris had all been involved with existing (other) football clubs across Johannesburg.
The Club would be an affiliate of the Old Stithian Association. The “red cross” which is reflected in the Stithian Badge is carried through to the Crusaders Club badge to show unity with the ideals and principles of both the College and the Old Stithian Association. The “cross” also formed the basis for the name “crusaders”. The Club Colours would also be those of the St Stithians College (i.e. Red, Blue and White).
The Club officially commenced training in April 2005 and quickly grew in numbers which at its peak had 685 players, through the support and participation from St Stithians College parents and pupils. The relationship between the Club and St Stithians College became a very important and strong one.
CRUSADERS SPORTING CODES
Through the success of the Crusaders Football Club, enquiries began to come through for other “Sporting Codes” to be offered by the OSA under its “Crusaders” Brand.
The Crusaders Water Polo Club was established in 2009 by Stuart McIver (Alumnus 2000) and Bruno Fernandes, which would operate in the “Summer Months” to balance the “Football Winter Months”.
This was followed by the establishment of the Crusaders Diving Club in 2010 and the Crusaders Hockey Club in 2011, with the other sporting codes following thereafter.
CURRENT SPORTING CODES OFFERED
The Following Crusaders Clubs currently exist :
- Rugby (juniors)
- Water Polo