THIS weekend sees the fourth leg of the Quattro ROAG Series for mountain bikers and trail runners, and it represents a watershed for the popular KZN-based series which offers the biggest prizemoney of any mountain biking series in the country. With competitors needing to compete in six of the nine events to qualify as a series finisher, any rider who has not already taken part in one of the first three events needs to compete in the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge and Trail Run on Sunday to have any chance of qualifying for the R25 000 first prize. The Compendium Hill 2 Hill which took place over Easter saw two new leaders emerge in the mountain biking series. Leeroy Emslie’s fourth place in the tough 100km marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Shongweni allowed him to take over the series lead in the men’s category. His 202 point from three events put him a meagre 22 points ahead of Stuart Marais, who missed the Hill 2 Hill due to other racing commitments in Gauteng. In the women’s division, young Christie-Leigh Hearder’s consistent finishes has allowed her to open up a sizable gap in the standings. Her 246 points are a 60 points more than second-placed veteran Natalie Bergstrom. In the trail running log, Mark Mackenzie grew his lead and goes into the fourth event with a 57-point gap over David Mercer, despite finding the pace tough at the Hill 2 Hill trail run where he finished 12th. In the women’s trail running, Wendy Mills and Alison Wasserfall have opened up a huge lead over the chasing bunch with Mills in pole position on 260-points with Wasserfall 44 points back. The 60km Husqvarna Classic is one of the most popular one day mountain bike events and the race organiser’s emphasis on superb trails means it is rare for a rider to not drive back from the event with a smile on his or her face. The event was also one of the first mountain bike races in the province to realise that a trail running event was a good addition to the day’s outdoor . . .
The Madibaz Mountain Bike XCO Series made a flying start at the NMMU campus in George this weekend, with the organisers receiving double the number of entries compared to last year's corresponding event. The cross country mountain bike race was the first of four events in the series, with the remaining legs set to take place on June 10, August 27 and October 29. Presented by Old Mutual Private Wealth Management, the series aims to provide exposure to cross country racing for riders in the Eden region and race director Jan Venter said the opening race was an overwhelming success. "The majority of the riders were from the Eden area, but there were also entrants from Ladismith, Oudtshoorn and Cape Town," he said. "In total, across the various categories, we had 120 riders which is a 100 per cent increase from last year." He added that the feedback from participants had been positive and it had been an excellent start in the promotion of cross country racing in the region. "I must say the large number of riders was unexpected but welcome," said Venter. "There were an incredible number of young riders with lots of talent in the nippers and sprogs categories. "I have no doubt it is an indication that cross country and mountain bike racing have a great future in Eden." He added that there had been a strong level of competition in the age categories, saying "they left it all out on the track". Venter said one element they would reconsider for the next leg would be to split the nippers and sprogs categories "to make for easier riding for the youngsters". In terms of the course, he said they were happy with what had been created. "We will probably make a few minor changes to make it even better. And, of course, the next event will have a different race route with new technical surprises." Sport manager at the George campus, Hugo Loubser, said the series, which was also supported by Ridelife George, Giant South Africa and Tippeton, was open to everyone. "Besides . . .
The past year was one that Madibaz football captain Cloudius Sagandira took full control of as he shone both on and off the field. Earlier this month, he led the Madibaz football team to victory in the Safa-Nelson Mandela Bay SAB League while graduating cum laude with a master's degree in chemistry. Under his guidance, Madibaz dominated the SAB League to such an extent this season that they secured the title with four matches remaining. Currently in the first year of his PhD degree, Sagandira said his love of the game started at the age of nine when his father gave him his first pair of boots - a black pair of Nike Tiempos. "I scored in my very first match wearing those boots, but I unfortunately missed a penalty kick in the final of the same tournament and we lost," he said. "It's a day I'll never forget." Growing up in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, Sagandira played football throughout his school career but said his academics had always taken preference. In 2011 he left his home town to pursue his academics in South Africa, where he continued to excel in both his sport and studies. After the Varsity Football final in 2013, the striker was made an offer by a professional club, but, with guidance from family and his coach Mark Tommy, he made the decision to turn it down. Tommy, now the Madibaz football manager, was one of many offering his support when the 26-year-old graduated earlier this month. "My family and friends celebrated with me, along with my football family: Mark Tommy, my coach Wayne Iveson and Jayde Howitz." Sagandira gave thanks to those who had been present and said each of them had inspired him in their own way. When it comes to balancing his interests, he said the biggest source of inspiration came from former Madibaz football captain Kurt Duff. "I used to worry that I wouldn't be able to balance football and academics but when I saw him doing well in his studies and sport, I was convinced that I could do the same. "He was a great example to us all, . . .
AFRICAN MINDS: Bamuturaki Musinguzi an Ugandan journalist and cultural economist (left), Butholezwe Nyathi, Programmes Manager at Amagugu International Heritage Centre (AIHC) in Zimbabwe (centre) and Florence Majachani, from the Nhimbe Trust (Right) are part of the African speakers on the line up for the South African Cultural Observatory’s National Conference on May 24 and 25 at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg. Picture: SA Cultural Observatory. African insights to feature strongly at creative economy conference APRIL 26, 2017: THE African experience of growing, maintaining and developing a strong cultural and creative economy will be a main focal point at the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) conference this May. The conference coincides with Africa Day celebrations on May 25. “There is no doubt creativity and human ingenuity is going to drive the fourth industrial revolution. As a young continent – 65% of the population of Africa is under 35 – there is ample opportunity to train and develop the youth to maximize their contribution to local economies. “The creative and cultural industries offer a viable career path in the face of automation; it is also an integral part of the future we want to imagine is possible on the African continent,” said Njabulo Sithebe, SACO Deputy Director of Research. The conference, which takes place at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg on May 24 and 25, seeks to showcase African thinking, insights, best practices and case studies to build a solid understanding of how the broader African creative economy is developing. “We have a varied mix of respected African academics, consultants and practitioners who are primed to share their experiences at the conference,” he added. Topping the list is Florence Majachani, from the Nhimbe Trust and an Independent Research Consultant from Zimbabwe. Majachani, is a specialist in cultural governance, advocacy, cultural rights, and citizenship and creative industries. She has over ten . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, KZN, 26 APRIL 2017 – Sunday, 23 April 2017, saw Jeep Team OCR Athletes, Thomas van Tonder, Carina Marx, and Jay Jay Deysel take on Race #3 of the Toyota Warrior Series, powered by Reebok, at Van Gaalen Cheese Farm in the North West. Over the weekend of the 22 and 23 April, South Africa’s largest obstacle course race series attracted almost 2000 competitors eager to face the challenge of the world-class Toyota Warrior obstacle courses have become famous for. For Jeep Team’s athletes, the racing started with the Black Ops Elite race, the toughest of them all, featuring some 30 obstacles over a 17km trail, designed to challenge endurance, strength and agility. 2016’s SA OCR Men’s Champion, Thomas “BeastMode” van Tonder, claimed his 11th Warrior win in a super-fast time of 01:26:29. Second place went to Greg Avierinos in 01:27:12, and rounding off the podium was Louis Smit, who finished in 01:29:03. Fellow Jeep Team athlete, Jay Jay Deysel, crossed the line in 8th place in a time of 01:41:42. Says van Tonder, “I am so blessed to be taking home my 11th Warrior Race win. Well done to everyone as this was one tough race.” Van Tonder‘s winning performance earned him R10 000 prize money and a Warrior-branded Toyota RAV4 to drive around until the next warrior race. Jeep Team OCR athlete and 2016 SA OCR top 3 female champion, Carina Marx, finished 3rd overall in the Women’s Black Ops Elite race in 2:23:22. Sabrina Daolio took the win in 1:53:15, with Trish Bahlmann in second place in 1:59:03. The Jeep Team SA teammates then took on the Reebok Team Sprint race - a short, high-intensive course spanning 400m with 10 obstacles. Marx, Van Tonder and Deysel finished in second place behind race-winners Team Nevarest. Third place in the sprint race went to the team from #BeSnapped. Results – Black Ops Elite Men 1. Thomas van Tonder 01:26:29 2. Greg Avierinos 01:27:12 3. Louis Smit 01:29:03 Women 1. Sabrina Daolio 01:53:15 2. Trish . . .
Cape Town, 26 April 2017: Oudtshoorn, the Klein Karoo town known for (among other things), ostrich riding and the Cango Caves, is set to enjoy a new-look hotel when the well-known Protea Hotel by Marriott® Oudtshoorn Riempie Estate undergoes refurbishment. The new owners, who acquired the property in October last year, felt that it was time for the property, with its country feel, to be revitalised. According to the owner, Barend Smit, “This is a big project, since the entire property will be refurbished. In addition to a redesigned front façade, the work involves the renovation of all the rooms, and each will have a brand-new bathroom, new flooring and fresh furnishings. “While we have decided to refresh the property, we are conscious of the need to retain the features that give this hotel its charm, so the refurbishment takes this into account,” Smit explains. To minimise the impact of the building on guests, the hotel will remain open and the work will be carried out between 9am and 4pm during weekdays only. The plan is for the project to be carried out in phases, and certain sections of the property will be closed during particular phases of the work. Work commences on Monday, 24 April. “We have no doubt that the hotel will be even more attractive to tourists and business travellers alike, and that we will continue to enhance the appeal of the region,” concludes Smit. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
One of South Africa's most experienced cyclists, Waylon Woolcock, has set his sights on overall victory in the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race next month. The Stellenbosch professional, who won last weekend's Liberty Winelands Encounter alongside BCX teammate HB Kruger, said he was excited about targeting the Eastern Cape race based at the Zuurberg Mountain Village for the first time from May 26. "The Eastern Cape is one of the areas where I have not mountain biked a lot, although I'm reasonably familiar with the type of terrain," the 34-year-old said in reference to the route that takes in portions of the Addo Elephant National Park. "I have ridden a lot in the Karoo near Oudtshoorn so I have experienced the types of trails we will face." Woolcock said he competed in a host of events around the country and was used to adapting to different conditions and terrain and that Zuurberg, just outside Port Elizabeth, would be no different. Although he said he and Kruger would aim for the top spot on the podium, he acknowledged there would be plenty of competition. "It is always a goal to win an event we enter, but you are definitely seeing more professional teams competing in these types of races. "As a professional doing it for a living we have to try to give back to our sponsors so the greater the exposure we get, the better it is for everyone. "We choose events which suit us and our sponsors, and I think the GZT will be a really good one." Although Woolcock and Kruger swept aside their competition at the Winelands Encounter, he acknowledged one could never be sure of the outcome in mountain bike racing. "I think the GZT will be a really interesting test because there are a couple of good teams in the mix." He said one never knew who might end up on the start list, but felt defending champion Andrew Hill and new teammate Marco Joubert (TIB Insurance-Momsen), as well as TransCape champions Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker (ASG-Ellsworth), . . .
Founded in 2001, Jeep Team South Africa is the most consistent, longest-running Sports, Wellness and Lifestyle Team in South Africa. With around 300 athletes moving through the team over the past 16 years, Jeep Team SA provides a highly educational, support and motivational platform for athletes to grow, develop and mature into national and International stars. International and National paddling star and coach, Barry Lewin, is the longest-standing member of the team, and is an important compass to all new athletes to the team. With Jeep Team at the helm, international sports events have presented significant opportunities for rising South African athletes to compete on a global stage. These opportunities have proven that local athletes are able to hold their own in the international sporting arena. However, without structures such as Jeep team SA, this newfound success is often curtailed by a lack of effective guidance and management. Lewin, who joined the team in 2004, now has several local and international titles to his name. Some of his more notable achievements include winning the Liffey Descent in Ireland on his first attempt in 2007, as well as breaking the 25-year-old K1 record a year later at Australia’s Avon Descent. Says Lewin, “In 2004, I was a student at Varsity College eager to take my sport to the next level. I wanted to race against the best in the world, and in as many places as the sport would take me. With the support of Jeep Team South Africa, I got opportunities to race, firstly, around South Africa, and, in time, around the world, testing myself against some of the best paddlers on the planet. My first breakthrough came in 2005, winning the grading race in Cape Town as the first person to break an hour on the course in a new record time. I also finished 3rd at the Fish River Canoe Marathon in the same year.” Since joining the team some 13 years ago, Lewin has developed a profound understanding of Jeep Team’s culture, and plays an active . . .
Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL) is pleased to announce the 10th anniversary of its Good Business Journey (GBJ), a flagship South African sustainability programme that was launched in 2007 by Simon Susman, now Chairman of WHL, as a commitment by Woolworths to make a difference to people, communities and the environment. The GBJ was a first of its kind in South African retail whereby sustainability became a strategic platform for the business with specific public targets. Over the last ten years the GBJ has set new standards across its eight focus areas of transformation, social development, health and wellness, ethical sourcing, sustainable farming, waste, water and energy. Last year, the company updated its GBJ goals through to 2020 including embedding the programme into the Group’s Australian businesses which now account for over forty per cent of turnover. Ian Moir, Chief Executive of WHL said, “When we launched the GBJ in 2007 we didn’t really know exactly where it would lead, but we did know it was the right thing to do and that it would be a journey. It was the type of innovative thinking that has been important to Woolworths since it was founded 85 years ago, and it was a way for us to bring together all the different social and environmental initiatives we were already busy with, under one flagship programme. These are initiatives that matter most to us and everyone our business touches, and the GBJ was our plan to make an even bigger difference.” “We’ve learned a lot along the way and we continue to learn from both our successes and mistakes. The issues behind the GBJ have, if anything, become even more important than they were ten years ago. Our goal now is to be the most sustainable retailer in the southern hemisphere and we have built a strong business case around sustainability.” Justin Smith, Head of Sustainability at Woolworths said: “This is an important celebration which allows us to remind ourselves that business is no longer about profit . . .
Offlimit Communication, aptly recoined as OLC, has enjoyed well over a decade breaking barriers and submerging consumers in first of its kind unforgettable experiences as one of Africa's most renowned BTL/ experiential agencies. OLC has now moved into its’ own space in Sandton, in a brand newly built office that is exclusively owned by the agency. The creative space (housed in Impala Office Park), was built from scratch and deliberately designed to inspire the creative clan of team OLC. Change and keeping on the innovative pulse has always been a priority for the agency, so in addition to a world class website makeover, the company is undergoes this milestone move to new premises in line with its many exciting changes. “We are thrilled to have built and have ownership of a space that is perfectly tailored to the needs and ethos of OLC- that being optimized creativity, productivity and kick-ass execution. It will definetly re-enforce our established leading position in our own space but most importantly keeping our OLC familly spirit high. The eco-friendly office park and this new office was deliberately designed and fitted to optimize the lifestyle centric approach the agency prides itself in. To be frank, we owe our amazing team this new slick space,” commented Jerome Cohen, MD at OLC. In the last 2 years OLC has doubled its’ revenue and attracted in house talents of industry specialists and game changers. This exponential growth of the agency can be attributed to their ground-breaking horizontal approach, resulting in a massive increase in their client base. If the bigger space is anything to go by, 2017 will be their most successful year yet! "It’s been a crazy time, but we have always managed to keep the balance. We believe in working hard, but true to our ethos of “living in the next”, we have invested and continue to shift the paradigm of optimizing potential in our carefully designed space. Yoga and Meditation will now be part of our weekly routine, so . . .