We are proud of David

Maties Alumni shines on the international sports stage

Any hero worth his salt must overcome a major setback in his struggle to emerge victorious. In the story of professional sports, the hero doesn’t always get what he deserves or worked for.

Maties Sport Alumni David Bedingham and David Brits both mastered their Goliaths before experiencing the sweet taste of sport on the international stage.

Bedingham always destined for high honours

David Bedingham came to Maties Cricket as a school’s cricket prodigy and the expectations for and from him were high. In December 2016 Bedders – as he is known among his teammates – was in a horrific car accident. He broke his jaw and femur. During this time, Bedingham came to the realisation that cricket is just a sport, and he should play for the enjoyment of it.

Bedingham was side-lined for more than a year and even when he returned to play, he was still limping slightly. He made his return to the cricket field in January 2018. Six years later, Bedingham realised his dream of playing for his country. His Protea debut was at Supersport Park, Centurion against India in December. A week later he played at Newlands in front of his family and friends. He has only played four tests but has already proven himself as a player who can score many more runs for South Africa. He has a Test century to his name and an average of more than 50 runs per innings.

At 29, he is older than most players when they first play for their country. However, the legendary Australian Michael Hussey, like Bedingham, first gained a lot of first-class experience before he was called up for international duty. And this is probably one of the factors that count most in Bedingham’s favour. This left-handed batsman is not a rookie.

Maties Cricket coach Ryan Bailey has come a long way with Bedingham and to say he is proud of the former Matie is a huge understatement.

“David has shown what can be achieved when you persevere. I am extremely proud of him and the journey he is walking. I’m also proud of the role the Maties Sport high performance programme played in David’s journey. He is such a brilliant example for players out there. We use him when we recruit new players for Maties Cricket. Not only to show the kind of player that plays for Maties, but also for the way in which our programme can make a difference. I still have contact with David. He is a humble and thankful person. I will always have time for David.”

Brits now a Blitzbok

In 2019, Brits came to Matieland to get his rugby career back on track. This native of East London played for the SA Schools team in 2015, came to Stellenbosch in 2016 to play for the Western Province’s u19 team. He was selected for the Junior Springboks in 2017 and together with other Matie legends Edwill van der Merwe and Duncan Saal won the national u21 title for WP.

However, Brits did not get a senior WP contract like he and most of those around him thought.  Suddenly he and his future were shrouded in uncertainty.

A Maties Rugby scholarship gave him the opportunity to breathe new life into his dreams. He won the Varsity Cup in 2019, was part of the starting team in 2020 and the Maties captain in 2021. It was shortly after the completion of the 2021 tournament that he was approached by Hawies Fourie to come and play rugby for the Free State in Bloemfontein.

Brits seized the opportunity and with his performances especially in 2023 – which included a Currie Cup medal – he caught the eye of the Springbok Sevens coaches. The 26-year-old Brits joined the Blitzboks in November in Stellenbosch and made his debut for the team in Australia in January. He follows in the footsteps of other Matie legends such as Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh and his new teammate James Murphy.

Head of Maties Rugby Drikus Hancke had a lot to do with Brits during his time at Maties. He named Brits as his captain for the 2021 Varsity Cup series. Hancke watched Brits grow as a player and person for three years.

“We are very proud of David. He certainly deserves the higher accolades. David was always the hardest worker in the team and stood out because of his commitment to the team. He was captain of the VC senior side and led the team with example. We wish him well and will always support him. He made a big impact at Maties, and we remember his time fondly at the Maroon Machine.”

— Article and photos by Eunice Visagie.