JSC chairman impresses internationally – again

Eugene (Pottie) Potgieter of the JSC and some of the other skydivers who took part in the event with Botswana's president, Mr Ian Khama.

The Johannesburg Skydiving Club (JSC) in Carletonville is currently assisting one of our neighbouring countries
to develop skydiving as a tourist sport.
Earlier this year, the Botswana government asked Eugene (Pottie) Potgieter, the chairman and long-time Carletonville resident who now resides in Fochville, to organise a skydiving event for an annual adventure festival at the Makgadikgadi Pan. This salt pan, situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana, is one of the largest salt flats in the world, making it ideal for such events. This year’s festival, which also features sports like
horse, mountain bike and quad bike riding, took place from 9 to 12 August.
‘It was a huge honour to be called to participate. It took a huge amount of correspondence and networking. Unfortunately, my one weak point is that I cannot say no to a challenge,’ Potgieter told the Herald.
He called in an old friend, the renowned Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld of the USA and, together, they brought in a group of
skydivers to build a large formation jump especially for the event. This was no easy feat as the skydivers had to be
called in from 12 countries, South Africa, the USA, Namibia, Japan, Hungary, Germany, England, Australia, Brazil,
Singapore, the Netherlands and the host country, Botswana.
In the end, the group managed to build an 18-way formation after jumping out of two aeroplanes specially supplied
by the Botswana government. Not only did the event have the overseas skydivers in awe, there was also not a single
injury due to skydiving reported during the course of the event.
‘The event was particularly special for the overseas skydivers as there was game close to the runway and one could
view the unusual landscape of the Makgadikgadi Pan as you descended, Potgieter says.
In addition to creating such a spectacular show that the Botswana government has already asked Potgieter to organise next year’s event as well, this international collaboration also brought some extra benefits for the JSC and Carletonville.
All the participants from Botswana and others who are being trained to develop the sport in Botswana are all
being schooled at the JSC in Carletonville.

‘Our event is part of the Botswana government’s plan to develop tandem skydiving, in particular, as a tourism activity in the country. I am using the collaboration to realise my dream of bringing big way formation skydiving to
Africa as it is something not many South Africans will get the privilege of experiencing’, says Potgieter. He has taken part in various world record-breaking big way skydives in the USA.

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