Home Sport Oloff Berg takes the helm at Diamantveld High School

Oloff Berg takes the helm at Diamantveld High School

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Berg’s extensive background positions him well for his role at Diamantveld High School.

Oloff Berg, the newly appointed Head of Sports and Operations Manager at Diamantveld High School (DHS), shared his remarkable journey and outlined his ambitious vision for the school’s sports programs. Picture: Supplied

Recently, the DFA had the privilege of an exclusive interview with Oloff Berg, the newly-appointed Head of Sports and Operations Manager at Diamantveld High School (DHS).

Berg shared his remarkable journey and outlined his ambitious vision for the school’s sports programs. His extensive background in school sports, spanning nearly two decades, has equipped him with a wealth of experience, having previously served as a sports organiser, head of sport, and Under-19A rugby coach at various esteemed institutions.

“I have been involved with school sports since 2002, starting as a sports organiser at Strand High School. Over the past 12 years at Boland Landbou, I had the privilege to lead our sports office, overseeing recruitment, sponsorships, fundraising, sports tours, coaching, and the day-to-day administration of rugby, athletics, cricket, and tennis,” Berg told the DFA.

Berg’s journey to DHS was fueled by a desire for a new challenge. “After 12 years, I was looking for a new opportunity, and when I came in contact with DHS, I could see the passion and hunger the staff and parents have for success. I also needed a new challenge, and I really want to make a difference at Diamantveld,” he explained.

Following the Path of Passion

Growing up in a sports-centric household, with his father serving as the CEO of Boland Rugby for 30 years, Berg found inspiration to pursue a career in sports management and education.

“I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where sports were pretty much the number one thing we always talked about. My dad was the CEO of Boland Rugby for 30 years, and my two brothers and I spent hours every day on the rugby fields off Boland Stadium in Wellington,” Berg shared.

The influence of his father’s work and dedication shaped Berg’s aspirations. “That inspired me to follow in his footsteps as a sports administrator,” he added.

A Family Affair: Learning from Pieter Bergh

Acknowledging his brother Pieter Bergh, who is the head coach of the Windhoek Draught Griquas, Berg expressed admiration and a desire to learn from the professional rugby veteran. “For many years, Pieter has been living in Kimberley and Bloemfontein, and to be with him in the same town for a change is nice. I do learn a lot from him. He has been involved with professional rugby for many years, while I have always been involved with schoolboy rugby. I would certainly love to spend some time with him during Griquas coaching sessions and on match days if I have the chance to do so,” Berg stated.

A Vision for DHS Sports

In his role as the Operations Manager and Head of Sports at DHS, Berg outlined his primary responsibilities and goals. “My first objective is to first get to know the school, staff, and everyone’s role within the school and each department. My responsibilities include running a successful sports department where we strive to be the number one school in the Northern Cape,” he articulated.

Emphasising teamwork and collaboration, Berg envisions success for DHS as a collective effort. “Everyone needs to work in the same direction, and we must all strive to be number 1. I want us to work together as a team and do what is best for Diamantveld. If Diamantveld does well as a school, everyone will benefit, especially Kimberley and its businesses,” he added.

In addition to overseeing the school’s infrastructure, Berg highlighted the importance of retaining local talent. “It will be fantastic if we can keep the talent in and around Kimberley at Diamantveld. We have appointed excellent coaches for our rugby and netball teams, and I am very excited to see how our teams perform in 2024. We have fantastic support from parents and sponsors who want us to succeed and who are willing to put a lot of time and effort into making Diamantveld great.”

Maintaining Excellence in Sports Programmes

When questioned about the sports programmes at DHS, Berg emphasised continuity and providing the best coaching and opportunities for learners. “Now I am not going to make any big changes. It is very important that we make sure that the current sports we provide at Diamantveld give our learners the best coaching and opportunities to be the best that they can be in their specific sport. I do want us to compete and beat the schools in our current league, but then also be competitive against top schools from other provinces.”

Addressing Challenges and Adapting to Change

Anticipating challenges in his new role, Berg acknowledged the natural tension that comes with change. “I do think that with every new position at a school or any business, everyone is a bit tense about what is going to happen now and what this guy is going to do differently. Everyone is not always happy with change.”

Recognising the established routines of the staff, Berg outlined his approach to change. “A lot of the staff members have been at the school for many years and are used to doing things in a certain way. If I have to change a system that everyone has been used to for the past 20 years, that will be a challenge. If we want to be the best, we have to think ahead and adapt to current trends, systems, and structures.”

Sports and Education: A Holistic Approach

Delving into the role of sports in education at DHS, Berg underscored the profound impact sports can have on a child’s development.

“Sports are extremely important for the development of a child. You learn so much through sports. I would love to see every child participate in a summer or winter sport. Sport is where you learn social skills, make friends, learn self-discipline, and learn how to win, as well as how to accept and learn from failure.”

Berg introduced a guiding principle for the sports teams at DHS, stating, “I have a saying that I would certainly introduce to our sports teams, and that is character above talent. You can be the most talented rugby or netball player, but if you don’t treat others with respect in the hostel, in the classroom, or on the sports fields, you won’t succeed in sport or in life. Respect for our teachers, team members, and all staff; from the cleaners through to the headmaster, we must all treat each other with respect.”

Anticipating Exciting Sports Events

Looking forward to the sporting calendar, Berg expressed his excitement for upcoming events at DHS. “Obviously, as the host school of the yearly Wildeklawer Festival, it is very exciting. Diamantveld also hosted a fantastic cricket festival in September, and hopefully that festival can grow bigger and better in 2024. We also have our fixture against Affies in March, which we are very much looking forward to.”

A Vision for Kimberley’s Future

Sharing his vision for the future of sports at DHS and its impact on the Kimberley community, Berg emphasised regional dominance.

“Like I already said, I would like to see Diamantveld as the number one sports school in the Northern Cape. I don’t want to take anything away from a specific sport, but if we look at team sports, I would like Diamantveld to be the number one in rugby and netball.”

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