A Year On – Rouvaun’s Making Up Lengths!

It's how we cope with the challenges that counts

You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time! Thought provoking words and an apt personal credo for popular Cape racecaller and broadcasting personality Rouvaun Smit who underwent lifesaving and lifechanging emergency surgery, exactly a year ago to the day.

The 55 year old we all know as Cape Racing’s ‘Golden Voice’ suffered a fracture of his spine in a fall at his home on 17 February 2023 in an event that was to alter his and his family’s life forever.

Always smiling – Rouvaun in his two wheeler

Rouvaun underwent surgery at the Kingsbury Hospital on 9 March 2023.

While still confined to a wheelchair, he was upbeat when chatting to the Sporting Post from his Wynberg home on Saturday.

The Smit family abode now sports ramps, railings and other adjustments to accommodate the fallout and collateral damage of a catastrophe that nobody saw coming.

While we last spent an afternoon in his company at the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas racemeeting in December, it has been some time since we saw the leaner meaner version of one of South Africa’s leading racecallers of the 21st century.

“Time certainly heals – both emotionally and physically. I have grown as a person through this challenge,” he explains as he tells us proudly that he has now reached the point where he can actually stand up using his own strength.

Making progress!

“Two months ago I needed the assistance of two people. A month ago it was one. By next month I better be getting my ‘a’ into ‘g’ and doing it on my own,” he laughs.

We asked the smiling, but clearly emotional, father of two to send a shoutout to some of the people who had made a difference in his ‘year of living dangerously’, for want of a better description of the past twelve months.

“My wife Rachelle has been my rock. My son Davin and daughter Lyndall have supported me tirelessly on a daily basis. It can’t be easy for them to have adapted to life with a person who is dependant on care after having a Dad who used to shout for a cold beer at best in the old days!” he muses as he goes on to say that he has been on the receiving end of so much kindness.

“Words really can never express my gratitude to the multitude of folk who have assisted me and my family. My therapist has also been great – professional and patient. I am very blessed. None of us ever expect something like this to happen. It’s a humbling eye-opener, and a character builder of some proportions,” he says with a stern frown.

As to his future, the internationally respected caller tells us that he is ‘coping and taking things one day at a time’.

“I will concede that I do get withdrawal symptoms not being able to do the things I enjoy. But I still believe that I have a contribution to make as I am willing to share my God-given talent with everyone. Cape Racing always remind me that the door is open – all I need to do is tell them when I’m ready to return. That is a great comfort. Thank you to everybody, again.”

Rouvaun and good mate, Shaheen ‘Sunshine’ Shaw

In closing, Rouvaun extended a word of encouragement and love to the families of two of his colleagues who have had their own medical challenges in recent times.

“Please allow me to send my best wishes to Lyle Cooper and Clyde Basel, and their respective families. I have a lot of time on my hands to think, and we can get lost in the ‘why me’ conundrum. But there is always somebody worse off and facing bigger challenges in their lives. I wish Lyle and Clyde the very best and a speedy return to their posts. Racing needs experienced good people!” he concluded.

This was one of his best calls – watch how ‘class tells’ in the final 100m!

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