In 1982 she was asked to help out for six months... and now, 34 years later, Rennie Rose-Innes's six months of helping out have come to an end.
At the end of the year the legendary Rose-Innes will call an end to her more than three decades at what is now known as the Department of Sport Science. She was initially responsible for dance and the original PE program. Currently, she is in charge of tennis and hockey at the department.
"Right from the start I worked with people who were pioneers in their respective fields. They were way ahead of their time," Rose-Innes said of her first years at the department.
She was asked by Professor Edith Katzenellenbogen to join the team when Prof Katzie was acting head of the department.
Rose-Innes herself played hockey for South Africa. Since her high school days she captained every hockey team she played in. At school, she participated in tennis, hockey, netball and swimming but she focused on hockey and tennis at university. She represented Maties on the hockey field for nearly two decades – 1970 to 1987.
Rennie met her husband Cari in their first year. Together they played for Maties and Western Province. In 1976 they were captains of the respective WP teams. Rennie played for the national team in 1978 and then again in 1984 until
1986 as captain. Cari was selected as captain for the first South African
indoor hockey team.
The legendary Maties hockey player Eric Rose-Innes is Rennie and Cari's son. He also played for South Africa and went to the Athens and Beijing Olympics. Their daughter Justine, played provincial tennis and hockey and also studied Sport Science. Rennie still plays league tennis and as a professional tennis coach she coaches at Rhenish, Somerset College, Paarl Vallei. She also gives private lessons.
As with her sport she cannot stop talking about her years with the department. "This is a special place. It's the people. We work so closely together – staff and students. People who work here are people who seize opportunities with both hands and are hard workers. There is a passion for the students and their overall development."
With a gleam in the eye she adds: "We have lots of fun. Whether you can dance or not... dance you must. And whether you can swim or not ... swim you must! Here you learn to push through."