Author Archives: Ian Kilbride

The Spirit Foundation by Ian Kilbride

Looking back

I was born in Warrington in 1962 and moved to South Africa in 1990. I arrived here having driven for seven months from London but fell in love with the country and the people and decided to stay.

In 1994, I decided I wanted to do something as a memory to my sister Louise, who passed away at only 19 years old. I also wanted to give something back to South Africa, which I felt had been very kind to me. I therefore approached Tessa Smit who I knew was retiring as a school principal and asked her to help me form what is now the Spirit Foundation. When we started we even assisted pre-schoolers and over the years have slowly evolved to the point where we decided to focus entirely on high school scholars.

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Warwick is sponsoring ‘The Little Optimist’ and Greg Bertish on their special journey from False Bay to Langebaan. All the proceeds are for the benefit of The Children’s Hospital Trust, for the new Red Cross Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

Greg’s message: ‘I want to use an Opi as a Vehicle to promote positive thinking, belief and overcoming obstacles in life. This tiny little Children’s dinghy that should not even be classified as a Yacht (due to its shape, size and proportions) has a huge heart. This ‘bath tub’ boat has become one of the most recognizable, nostalgic, and most sailed kids dingy’s in the world, with many of the big name sailors, having started in an Optimist. It believes it can and it will be a big yacht, and that it can conquer the oceans and the seas no matter what they say. I want to inspire kids, by harnessing the Opis ‘Heart’ and spirit, to show the world what we can achieve with positive thought, desire, belief and incredible optimism.’

The Aim: ‘To save children’s lives by inspiring them to get better, to teach them a skill, to create a passion and to raise funds and awareness for the CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TRUST and the new Red Cross Hospital ICU.
We wish Greg all the best on his journey and Warwick is proud to be associated with such a heart-warming project.


TLO Horz Blue


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Ian Kilbride

Warwick Wealth Bowls South Africa Masters 2016

Warwick Wealth is celebrating its 15th year of support for bowls in South Africa. At a recent event in Johannesburg Ian Kilbride spoke about the long standing relationship enjoyed between Warwick Wealth and the sport of bowls, this was broadcast during the South African Masters which was held over the weekend of 12th – 14th February.

In January 2016, Warwick announced a new deal which maintained the superb level of sponsorship at a national level but also introduced the best club support ever offered during the longstanding relationship. This deal is being rolled out in all bowls clubs by the four full-time Lifestyle Network Managers who work from their Warwick offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. In addition to the ongoing national sponsorship of Bowls South Africa and the sponsorship of clubs with Warwick clients as members, Warwick also announced its new Platinum Client deal for all bowlers who are investment clients of Warwick.

The long standing relationship between Warwick Wealth and Bowls in South Africa is secure for many years to come.


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Ian Kilbride, Everton TV, Everton in the Community and the Spirit Foundation

On a recent trip to Liverpool, Ian Kilbride, CEO and Chairman of Warwick Wealth and Chairman of the Spirit Foundation, visited Goodison Park, Everton in the Community (EitC) as well as the Everton Free School. Everton in the Community has done some excellent work in looking after the elderly, sick and also those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Warwick Wealth has attempted to assist them through the purchase of tickets to Everton games which have been utilised by very deserving cases. Ian met with Carena Duffy who is one of numerous people who have made EitC such an amazing success, in addition he met with Richard Cronin the principle of the Everton Free School. The Everton Free School basically assists youngsters who have had troubled childhoods and struggled to stay within the usual school system, fabulous success has been had in assisting these young people to conclude some kind of education and thus go on to other forms of tertiary education or simply find themselves a job and a regular position in society. Ian Kilbride and Richard Cronin have agreed to find a suitable project that Warwick Wealth can sponsor at the Everton Free School on an ongoing basis.


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SuperSport and Lords Taverners

The South African chapter of the Lords Taverners were successfully launched in Cape Town recently and SuperSport were there to cover the event and interview several of the key players involved, Michael Parkinson (President UK), Ian Kilbride (Chairman SA) and David Ralph (CEO SA).

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Spirit Foundation 2015

The Spirit Foundation enjoyed yet another superb year as it celebrated its 21st anniversary as South Africa’s longest running and largest independently run educational foundation, dedicated as it is to Grade 8-12 scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Never seeking to pursue purely academic excellence, but rather looking to create solid, decent, honest and hard working young South Africans, the Spirit Foundation was delighted with the excellent MATRIC results achieved by all of its Grade 12 scholars. Ian Kilbride, founder and chairman said, “Every single year the Spirit scholars inspire and motivate me. They are capable of delivering results that demonstrate the healthy and exciting future South Africa can, and will, enjoy. They are a shining light that defies the dark negativism that often pervades South Africa. I applaud them all and know that every year, under our incredible staff, the results and the positive energy will continue to grow and inspire others, well done everyone from the scholars to the scholar facilitators, from the trustees to our amazing donors, you are a great team.”

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The Launch of Lords Taverners South Africa

On an idyllic balmy evening in Cape Town next door to the famous Newlands cricket ground, close to 400 South African and British philanthropic cricket lovers joined together at Kelvin Grove to launch Lords Taverners South Africa and at the same time celebrate a great friend of the sport. It was always going to be a wonderful and emotional event as it was an occasion on which the much loved and remarkable Robin ‘Jackers’ Jackman was honoured by his friends, family and numerous admirers, for a life spent immersed in cricket, playing it, commentating on it and simply loving it!

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Spirit Foundation 2015!

2015 saw the 21st anniversary of the Spirit Foundation, proudly founded by Ian Kilbride and Tessa Smit back in April 1994. This newsletter marked the change of name from Kids Foundation to Spirit Foundation. Of all entities he has ever started and built Kilbride is proudest of the Spirit Foundation. The Spirit Foundation was started in memory of Ian Kilbride’s sister Louise Kilbride who passed away in 1984, aged only 19. The launch year 1994, would have marked Louise’s 30th birthday, now the Spirit Foundation lives on and Ian Kilbride is committed to see it celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2019 and its 50th birthday in 2044. Asked about the Spirit Foundation recently reaching its 21st birthday, Kilbride stated, “My beautiful sister Louise may have never sadly reached this celebratory age, but she lives on in the hearts of all the Kilbride family and she is also remembered every day through the suburb work of Spirit Foundation.


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Ian Kilbride

Alec Hogg Interviews Ian Kilbride on BizNews. “First Appleton now Warwick”

I’m with Ian Kilbride, the man who started Warwick. Ian, you’re from the UK – how did you get to South Africa?
I was working, Alec, in 1990 in Manchester for a stockbroker called Henry Cooke Lumsden. I became slightly obsessed with elephants. I thought they were going to become extinct. I took seven months off, joined a bunch of guys from London on a 30-year-old Bedford army truck. We left in January 1990, and 22 countries later, in July 1990 – I arrived in Cape Town.

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The Long Game

In 1990, Ian Kilbride climbed into a 30-year old Bedford truck, and along with a few friends, set off from London for Cape Town. 20 Countries and seven months in, having lost a few passengers to homesickness along the way, Kilbride was the last man standing, and travelled the last part of the journey from Zimbabwe to Johannesburg by bus. A rowdy month of partying in Rocky Street and Hillbrow behind him, he caught the old “milk” plane to Cape Town and hasn’t looked back since.

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