Name: Jack Thonissen (34)
Region: Southern Region
Job Title: Self employed
Years in this position: 8
Company Name: Princess Sports (Pty) Ltd, SportWays SA (Pty) Ltd, The Hockey Shop (Pty) Ltd
Entry Category: Entrepreneur
Hockey and business are Jack’s major passions and he has always looked to create businesses in this space.
Initially he was the worst hockey player, not making his school’s under 16C team (there was no D team!). Over the next three years he worked super hard and with help from friends and coaches, he made his first provincial team in matric. Going on to play provincial senior men’s hockey, he was part of the first ever men’s B team to win the interprovincial A section tournament in 2014.
Jack is a born accountant. At 9 years old he got his mom to teach him how to draw up a budget. He tried to record every cent spent of his R35 pocket money, but when it didn’t balance at month end, he was distraught!
He is also a born entrepreneur. As a student, he started Jack’s Enterprises and sold thousands of shot-glasses to independent liquor stores and national chains. He spent many a late night packing shot glasses into display boxes.
While completing his training contract, he co-founded a retail sports shop, The Hockey Shop. He invested everything he had in the business and worked super hard after hours to make it work. After qualifying, he decided to go full time into self-employment.
Jack became the African distributor of the Dutch hockey brand PRINCESS and set about growing the brand against established players in the South African market. They disrupted the market, innovated, and with pure determination and hard work, PRINCESS is now one of the Top 5 brands in the South African hockey market stocking all good independent hockey/sports shops and Sportsmans Warehouse nationally. They sponsor over 100 brand ambassadors (players and coaches) nationally, thus making a meaningful contribution to the sport of hockey.
He also established SportWays SA, which is the only national hockey coaching company operating across 18 regions in South Africa. They are focused on providing coach education and the highest quality junior coaching clinics to players aged 6 to 18 years. Already in 2018 they have coached over 2 400 players with over 350 coaches. And they are not done yet!