The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 20



CONTACT SPORTS DATA GURUS
FIGHTING
FOR RHINO
Mike Wright (2014B), who is
currently juggling a mixture of
media, meme-making, journalism
and photography (see p12),
recently broke the (OD) internet
with an eye-catching fund-raising
post in support of the fight against
rhino poaching – a post that
earned him a mention on Getaway
magazine’s online portal in January.
Mike uploaded the impressive
pic (above) – which straddles
entertainment and philanthropy
– to Instagram, pledging to donate
one rand for every like it received.
Well, the post received just over
11,800 likes, even catching the
attention of former Wallaby rugbyfunnyman Nick “The Honey Badger”
Cummins (see below). At the time
of publication, Mike had managed
to raise R9,000 of the R11,800
target. Anyone who would like to
contribute to his efforts can find
the details on the ODU website.
18 | THE OLD DIOCESAN
Featured in both The Economist
and Forbes in November last
year, Sportable is changing
contact sports such as rugby and
American football by “creating
new broadcasting efficiencies,
automating officiation decisions
and unlocking new opportunities
for fan engagement”. Sportable has
developed technologies to measure
everything that players experience
on the field in real time, including
heart rate, body position, and the
force of tackles and scrums. In
addition, Sportable’s partnership
with Gilbert has resulted in the
world’s first “smart” rugby ball,
which allows real-time 3D tracking.
With three ODs – CEO Dugald
Macdonald (2005S), CTO Pete
Husemeyer (2005S) and
commercial/operations director
Michael Cockburn (2006F) – at its
core, Sportable aims to become
the Hawk-Eye of contact sports.
Using the available data streams to
enable instant officiation decisions
will help reduce referee workload,
improve decision-making and
increase playtime. The company
is currently working on projects
with broadcasting heavies Sky,
BT Sport and ITV, as well as with
numerous international teams and
Premiership rugby clubs. This year,
Sportable will produce a tracked
American football and smart body
armour as it moves into the US
contact-sports market. The idea
for Sportable originated while Pete
was working at NASA and Dugald
was in private equity – they saw
a gap in the contact-sports data
market, which was conspicuously
lacking in technology to enrich the
fan experience when compared to
Formula 1, cricket, tennis and golf.
Read more at www.sportable.com.
FROM LEFT: Pete Husemeyer, Dugald
Macdonald and Michael Cockburn.
HAVING THE PRESIDENT’S EAR
In September 2019, BizNews and Fin24 carried the announcement of Cyril
Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council. One name in particular
will be familiar to ODs: that of Haroon Bhorat (1986G), professor of economics
and the director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of
Cape Town. Haroon has already done extensive work for several South African
government departments – notably the Department of Labour, the Presidency
and the National Treasury – and has served as an adviser to two past Ministers
of Finance. As part of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, he is set to
facilitate the implementation of economic policies that will spur inclusive growth
in South Africa. See the profile of Haroon by Richard Poplak on p17 of Issue 1.





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