DOREEN SOLOMONS, A QUALIFIED LEGEND OF THE GAME IN EVERY RESPECT
When Doreen Solomons decided to involve herself in something, she made sure she threw her all in to it to get the best out of it for herself and the community – young girls in particular.
The Gauteng-born educator and sportswoman resolved to equip herself with all the right qualifications when she chose a career in teaching. She qualified at Rand College of Education in the early ’70s and taught at primary and high schools before becoming a lecturer at Rand College of Education where she started the first Specialisation in Physical Education course for women.
She was then appointed as Inspector of Physical Education (Girls) in 1976 in Cape Town. Solomons also completed several certificates in South Africa and abroad, obtaining diplomas and a BA degree and post-graduate qualifications in Education with Educational Psychology as a major.
During her tenure as a teacher and an academic, a desire grew to promote the building blocks in sport and dance, especially among the girls. Solomons believed girls were lost to competitive sport in big numbers when they entered high school. She understood this clearly as she herself was involved in playing hockey, softball, tennis and certain athletic events.
She was founder of the Lavinians Hockey Club in Boksburg and co-founder of the Mohicans Hockey Club in Cape Town.
She travelled extensively, both locally and overseas to broaden her field of expertise. Solomons was a member of the International Association of Physical Education And Sport For Girls And Woman, the Western Cape Movement Association and the SA Gymnastics Association. She used her involvement and participation in the structures of the organisations to plough back her expertise into developing the youth at schools and associations that she spearheaded during her active working life.
She served as the vice-president of the International Association of Physical Education and Sport when she retired from the executive in 2009. In 2009, Doreen received the Honorary Lifetime Award at the IASPEGW Congress held at the University of Stellenbosch. At Barry University in Florida in 2017, she also received an award with six other nominees for enhancing the development of physical education, sport and dance in South Africa.
She piloted a book, Be A Champion In Life, on Olympism in the school program for the Foundation of Olympic and Sport Education that she directed with five schools in the Western Cape. The findings were presented in Greece.
She started the Western Cape Movement Education Association dance program in 1982 and coached 16 teachers. She also received several sport awards for development of general gymnastics, schools gymnastics, and women in sport from NSC (WC), SAGF, and Shoprite Checkers’ Women in Sport nominee. She headed USSASA Gymnastics since its inception for the first three years.