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, . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
Carrick Wealth, together with Signature of Hope Trust and Chris Bertish, launched their #StandUp campaign a few months ago. With the campaign running until the end of April, the organisers are urging all South Africans to get involved. The main purpose of the campaign is to mobilise South Africans to stand up and be counted – and in so doing assist in changing the lives of millions of children across Africa by donating funds towards the three beneficiaries of Chris Bertish’s Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) expedition. To date, over R500 000 had already been raised via the SMS line and through direct donations, while the SUP Crossing project as a whole raised more than five million rand. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the campaign by contributing to assist at-risk kids across Africa! Chris Bertish made history in March 2017 by completing the first ever solo, unsupported transatlantic SUP Crossing. Starting off from Morocco on December 6, 2016, he traversed 4,050nm/7,500km, paddling 2 million strokes across the Atlantic Ocean for 93 days. The SUP Crossing has been hailed one of the biggest sporting feats and has defied all expectations; however, Bertish’s quest was not only limited to crossing the Atlantic. His quest also aimed to create a sustainable legacy by raising funds for three chosen charities, namely the Signature of Hope Trust, Operation Smile SA and The Lunchbox Fund. With a target of raising over 20 million rand, the goal is to make the entire project a completely self-sustainable initiative by means of an annuity fund, specifically set up and managed by the Carrick Wealth Investment Committee, to establish recurring income for the beneficiaries. Working in conjunction with the beneficiaries, funds will be released on a regular basis, balancing operational requirements with capital protection. The #StandUp campaign was created not only to assist Chris in reaching his goal, but to encourage the public to stand up and show support for these worthy . . .
England based Portsmouth University Cricket Club (PUCC) enjoyed a fruitful cricket tour in Cape Town last week. As part of their experience in the Mother City the group linked up with the Gary Kirsten Foundation (GKF) to assist needy communities along their travels. The enthusiastic group of students donated over R50 000 to the foundation to help build much needed facilities. It was a partnership which was established before they reached South Africa with the group identifying the GKF as an initiative that they wanted to get behind months ago. “It was wonderful to have the guys from Portsmouth University over. The money that they have donated will go a long way in helping to build the game among disadvantaged people in The Western Cape,” GKC Coaching Director, Ryan Van Niekerk said. He continued, “They raised the money back home through marathons, cycling, swimming long distances and other events. These guys genuinely care and want to give back.” In addition they also sent non-playing personnel to primary schools supported by the GKF like Siphamandla, Mpendulo, Chris Hani and Sivile. “The students ran clinics, helped with painting and cleaning up. It was good to see them get involved,” Van Niekerk added. Kirsten was full of praise for the students and grateful for their hearty contribution. “We’ve been so encouraged by the support from PUCC and the GKF are humbled by their efforts to raise funds and awareness. Its heart warming to see what can be achieved when we work together to serve and make positive impacts in the life of others. The students of Portsmouth University who have committed to this cause are all champions in my eyes.” Kirsten beamed. Club representative Holly Morgan said working alongside the GKF was a highly enriching experience. "We feel so fortunate to have contributed to such a deserving cause. A huge congratulations goes the GKF coaches for all of their efforts and success. I was especially overwhelmed by the standard of cricket the . . .
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa is extending its reach even further by expanding their geographical footprint to include the Northern Cape and North West regions. The organisation are calling on all sport development projects in these areas to APPPLY! For more information and to download the guidelines and application form, refer to: www.laureus.co.za/expression-of-interest Who should apply? • Sport for development organisations in the Northern Cape and North West regions. • An organisation whose clear mission is to tackle a particular social issue(s) relevant to a clearly identified group and/ or their community • An organisation that uses sport as a tool to achieve that mission in some way • A program that is unique, innovative, creative and dynamic. Project Funding Criteria • The Foundation’s funds are to be used to support and fund the actual project activities, not infrastructure. • Laureus Sport for Good projects must demonstrate how they are using sport as a conduit for bringing about a measurable social change or impact. • Each project should create measurements to track their impact on the identified social issue. • Future funding is subject to the project being evaluated annually based on the objectives set out in their original application. • The project should not be an event, they need to ideally carry out year - round activities. • The project should have NPO/PBO/NGO status or should produce proof of an application in process. • The project should be already operating between 1 and 2 years. Impact areas supported by Laureus Sport For Good Foundation: • Good Health and Wellbeing - enhancing wellbeing/encouraging healthy behaviour change • Quality Education - increased access to and completion of education • Gender Equality - promoting equality, empowerment and safety • Reduced inequalities - Reduce inequality within and among countries • Sustainable Cities and communities - Make cities inclusive, safe, . . .
Seasoned pros Waylon Woolcock and HB Kruger captured the overall title in the three-day Liberty Winelands Encounter mountain bike race at their first attempt today after setting the pace from day one. Using the same strategy as before, the BCX duo were again able to build up a lead during the first half of the 48km final stage in the Wellington area en route to winning in 1:49:34. On the day, they were followed by Versus Socks' Jurgens Uys and Nicol Carstens (1:51:07) and TIB Insurance-Momsen Valley Light's Andrew Hill and Marco Joubert (1:52:34). Woolcock and Kruger sealed the title with an overall racing time of 6:18:53, ahead of Hill and Joubert (6:28:01) and Uys and Carstens (6:30:57). Sweden's Jennie Stenerhag added the women's title to the Cape Epic crown she won last month when she and her Cape Brewing Company teammate Katie Lennard completed a comfortable overall victory in 7:38:48. Reflecting on the race, Woolcock said he felt their success had been built on the opening stage when they created a three-minute lead which they gradually increased. "We came here with a goal of winning the race and we always knew it would be important to get a gap on the opening day," he said. "Besides giving you a buffer, it also gives you a mental head start on the rest if you can show you are the strongest. "We went hard from the start on the first day on probably the toughest stage of the three, so that set up our advantage." Kruger said they began the final leg with the aim of staying near the front and avoiding mechanicals or crashes. "We managed to get a gap fairly early on and then rode at a steady tempo and it was cool to win our third stage in a row," he said. "As we both come from the region - I'm from Paarl and Waylon from Stellenbosch - it was very satisfying to win this title. It gives us a positive attitude looking ahead to our next races." Kruger said they had particularly enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the Liberty Winelands . . .