Stories from the glory days of South African rugby and a look ahead at the 2015 Rugby World Cup contributed to the theme of leaving a lasting legacy for Madibaz rugby during the Bok Banter fundraiser at NMMU on Thursday night. A host of former Springbok skippers, World Cup winners and stalwarts from days gone by came together at their alma mater in support of plans to build a rugby clubhouse near the north-western edge of the Madibaz Stadium. Close to 600 guests attended the event at the Vodacom NMMU Indoor Sports Centre, which served as a fundraiser for the proposed R3.2-million clubhouse. "Legacies are hard to leave behind, but we hope to create a home for Madibaz rugby. A place where players from the past, present and future can come together to support their team," said former Springbok scrumhalf Garth Wright. An auction of signed rugby memorabilia kick-started the fundraising effort and contributed R28 000 to the clubhouse construction. Wright was joined on stage by, among others, former Bok flanker and NMMU sports manager Bernard Petersen and recent international rugby hall of fame inductee Danie Gerber. They were followed by Bok skippers Hannes Marais and Andre Vos, and 1995 World Cup winners Hennie le Roux, Hannes Strydom and Garry Pagel, who were joined by 2007 winning team manager Zola Yeye. Television presenter Gavin Cowley, a rugby legend himself, played master of ceremonies and got the Springboks to share their knowledge and insights with the guests. Looking at the current state of rugby in South Africa former Bok centre Eben Olivier shared his concerns about a Springbok structure focusing more on size than skill, and the possible "over-coaching" of professional players. "In some cases, bad coaching is worse than no coaching at all. I think a lot of the guys receive too much coaching and not enough freedom to express themselves on the field." Old Bok forward Schalk Burger snr echoed this by saying rugby is a "socio-cultural . . .
The SPAR NMMU Madibaz netball team are aiming to get their 2015 Varsity Netball campaign off to a good start when they take on Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town in a double-header on Sunday and Monday. The team from Port Elizabeth will face hosts Maties at the Coetzenburg Indoor Centre in Sunday afternoon's opening match and Ikeys at the same venue the following evening. The Madibaz will be one of eight competing universities that also include defending champions University of the Free State (Kovsies), University of Pretoria (Tuks), Vaal University of Technology (VUT), North-West University (Pukke) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ). According to netball manager Theresa le Roux, this year's Madibaz team has a good mix of youth and experience, with five new players joining the side. "With no teams in the A section in the local Eastern Province league it was quite challenging to get game time but otherwise our preparations have been going well," said Le Roux. She said the Madibaz were aiming to move up the rankings after finishing fifth last year. They took sixth spot overall at the University Sport South Africa tournament earlier this season. Le Roux said the Madibaz's focus for this year's Varsity Netball campaign was to give the younger players the opportunity to play at a high level of competition. She said their strong senior defenders would anchor the team this year. "Nobu Phuza and Hlumisa Sithonga have been playing top netball at the moment. Nobu was just included in the South Africa senior netball squad," she said. Mione Marais will lead the side with Arne Rust as her vice-captain for the tournament. "Our first game against Maties will be a tough one because Stellenbosch is a strong side," said Le Roux. "But we had a good game against them at the USSAs, only losing by seven points, so we are looking forward to the rematch." She added that current USSA champions Tuks would be the team to . . .
Former UJ rugby captain Rudy Paige is ready to don the green and gold and fill big shoes at scrumhalf when he travels to England with the Springbok squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup later this month. "I am very excited about the opportunity that I have been given to represent my country at the world's biggest rugby showpiece. I cannot wait to pull that Springbok jersey over my head," said the 26-year-old. "Coming through the ranks at UJ, then with the Lions and the Bulls, has prepared me for the challenges ahead. "I have worked with some great coaches who have helped me develop my skills to the point where I can represent my country." UJ rugby club manager Jimmy Potgieter said the university was thrilled with Paige's selection and that he had always stood out as an exceptional player and skipper. "He came to us with a contract from the Lions rugby union and right from the start he established himself as a great leader, both on and off the field. "He was always willing to put in the work and do more than what was expected of him," said Potgieter. According to Potgieter, what made Paige stand out was his exceptional kicking game from behind the ruck and his quick service to the backline. Given the chance, he could play a pivotal role between the Springbok forwards and backline come game time. Riversdale-born Paige played youth rugby for the SWD Eagles before coming to Johannesburg where he made the Golden Lions Craven Week team in 2007 and represented the SA School side that same year. Over the next few years he went on to represent the Lions in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup while also captaining the UJ Varsity Cup team, before moving to the Bulls in 2012 where he still wears the number nine jersey for their Super Rugby side. But his greatest accolade is without doubt his selection for the Springbok squad earlier this year and, although he is still to be capped, he is ready to be thrown into the deep end. He is one of three . . .
Rugby fans have been known to go to great lengths to show their support for the Bokke – including adding Springbok horns to the bonnet of their cars, painting their houses green and gold and of course donning Springbok gear at the office every time a match is played. But if you are willing to shell out a bit of cash, you could be the proud owner of the ultimate supporter gear. Superfan and 3D designer Lance Eggersglusz made the headlines when he debuted his Iron Buck suit at the Springboks vs Wales match at uMgeni Park in June last year. The suit, modelled after Iron Man’s iconic Iron Patriot armour, was painstakingly constructed over the course of a month using compressed foam similar to the materials used in yoga mats. “I had done a bit of research on software that makes paper flat and used the contours to shape the Iron Patriot character's exoskeleton which I had a drawing of,” says Eggersglusz. “I then used the cut out of the drawing and glued it onto bits of compressed foam I had bought from a local company. I then shaped the foam, painted it, and bit by bit it began to take shape.” Unlike Iron Man’s suit, the Iron Buck’s eyes light up in gold and features a brightly lit-up Springbok logo. Not surprisingly, the suit was a huge hit with both fans and the Bokke themselves. "It was amazing, I was wondering what the reaction would be and was stunned by the fans. It took my family over an hour to get to our seats, because of the number of selfies fans took with me. Don't let me get started on trying to get to the toilet at half time. Even once the game was over, we had to wait for a long time to get out of the stadium!” Jannie du Plessis, Zane Kirchner, Elton Jantjies, JP Pieterson and other Boks have signed the suit, which is now for sale on Gumtree. Eggersglusz hasn’t put a price to the item, but welcomes offers. Claire Cobbledick, Head of Gumtree Marketing, says that the suit is definitely an one-in-a-million item, but she wouldn’t be surprised if . . .
The Madibaz ended their 2015 Varsity Football campaign with a bang when they beat log leaders the University of the Western Cape at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday night. The team from NMMU claimed a 2-1 victory over UWC to notch up their first win of the tournament and move up one position to finish seventh overall. They also handed the Western Cape side their first defeat of the competition in the process. “We’re obviously very happy because we wanted to end on a high note,” said Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison. The visitors went on the attack from the start, but the Madibaz fought back with striker Cloudius Sagandira opening the scoring in the 20th minute. The home side doubled their lead less than two minutes later when Achuma Klaas broke through UWC’s defence off an accurate cross from captain Athini Bisha to secure a well-executed goal. Thulani Mkosi took one back for the visitors in the 32nd minute but the Madibaz managed to hold on to their lead going into half-time. Content to defend their lead in the second half, the PE-based team held UWC at bay until the final whistle. “We had nothing to lose so we played with a lot of freedom, which comes with a lot of risk, but it paid off,” said Harrison. After playing five consecutive away games, he said it had been a thrill for the team to play before their home fans for the last two fixtures. Harrison said that going around the country they could see how the support the teams received helped to spur the players on and give them that extra push to perform. “The same was evident with the crowd behind us. The boys put up a fantastic show and they executed well, which paid off because we came away with the victory.” According to him, the tournament had been a learning curve for a largely inexperienced team and that this year’s competition had been about developing the future of Madibaz football. “We have a lot of young, new players in the squad this year but the . . .
A reinvigorated Madibaz squad delivered a positive, attacking game that saw them accomplish a 1-1 draw against Walter Sisulu University in their first home game of the Varsity Football tournament in Port Elizabeth on Thursday night. The Eastern Cape derby clash gave the team from NMMU their first goal of the season, after six rounds, courtesy of Simamkele Thobi. But it was too late for the home side who remain bottom of the log after a goalless opening draw and four losses on the trot. “It’s a huge relief to finally have points on the board. A win would have been much sweeter but we’ll take the draw,” said Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison. “I’m proud of the boys. They really wanted to give the home fans a win, so they’re disappointed about that, but they really played their hearts out.” After a sluggish start, which saw WSU’s Mkhuseli Mfeketho score off a back-heel pass from Lutho Scotch in the 17th minute, the Madibaz regrouped and took the game to the opposition but were unable to finish with the required accuracy. “We created so many opportunities but converting them into goals has been our problem throughout the competition,” admitted Harrison. However, his substitution of Chuma Mapuma for Sachin Jackson at left wing had immediate results when Mapuma gave the cross to Thobi who put the ball in the back of the net in the 61st minute. “Chuma is a very exciting young player with a bright future ahead of him if he keeps his feet on the ground. Last night’s performance showed what he’s capable of.” Harrison said it was when the Madibaz stopped giving away possession and controlling the game in the second half that things came together. “We had a chance again in the last minute of the game but their keeper made a brilliant save.” Madibaz centre midfielder Karabo Motlhabi, who missed four games due to a persistent ankle injury, was awarded the FNB Man of the Match prize for his efforts. “He’s inspiring – things happen on the field . . .
This stunning trail run was started in 2011 by trail running enthusiasts Jane and Dallas Barnardo of the event company Free Spirit Adventures The 5th annual Sunshine Coast Trail Tun will be held on 6 September 2015 and includes two distances: an 8km and a 21km trail, both offering runners the opportunity to run on beautiful private farmland, and for the 21km runners, the chance to get across the dunes and down to the sea. The run will be held on Springmount Farm, just past Nanaga. There will be live entertainment, stalls, and a short kiddies trail run, as well as refreshments on sale. This is a family event, so bring the kids! We'll even look after them for a nominal fee. Eastern Cape Livestock and Mohair SA are the valued sponsors who enable us to present this unique event. All 21k finishers will receive a pair of Mohair socks, while 8km runners will get a medal. Children also get a goodie bag at the end of their run. The beneficiary of this event is the Sunshine Coast Charity Trust. This group of dedicated farmers and their wives are involved in a number of local community projects to help children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS and it is a privilege to support them. All those interested can enter online at www.trailadventures.co.za Please contact Sheena O'Keeffe for more information on 072 293 4974 or firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Sheena O'Keeffe from Free Spirit Adventures. More Info link: http://www.trailadventures.co.za/sunshinecoast.htm Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreeSpiritAdventuresEvents Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact Free Spirit Adventures. SCTR YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2aTOYnk2MU CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The University of Johannesburg's two-time national table tennis champion Danisha Patel will be looking to turn the tables on her opponents when she represents South Africa at the African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, next month. Patel is one of four table tennis players and 14 UJ representatives selected for the prestigious continental games, which take place from September 4. "This will be my first African Games," she said. "I've heard that it is one of the biggest tournaments in Africa, with many different sporting codes, and I'm excited to be representing SA once again." The 22-year-old Lenasia resident is no stranger to international competition, having participated in the World Student Games in Russia in 2013 and the ITTF Africa Senior Championships in Egypt in January. She successfully defended her national singles title this year and also scooped the silver medal in the mixed doubles category alongside fellow UJ student Chetan Nathoo. Patel said her goal for the tournament would be to watch and learn from the other international players and gain experience. "Our table tennis ladies' team is one of the best I've seen and we hope to make it as far as possible." She said their strongest rivals would be Egypt, who counted current African champion Dina Meshref among their stars. "She's an amazing player who is also left-handed like me and is awesome to watch." Other teams to watch would be Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria, said Patel. "The international standard is very difficult to compete with as players are well trained with professional coaches." The biokinetics honours student said she trained three times a week, with league matches on Wednesday evenings. "On the weekends I focus on physical fitness and during the holidays I play as much as I can." Now in her final year of studies, Patel said it was important for her to balance her academic commitments and training schedule. Her dedication to the sport has been constant . . .
Madibaz football fans will finally get a glimpse of their team this week when NMMU hosts Walter Sisulu University for the first home game of the 2015 Varsity Football tournament on Thursday night. After five rounds on the road, the Madibaz will be hoping for the first win of the campaign on their home pitch. "The boys can't wait to play in front of their home fans and give them the desired result," said Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison. "I am certain they are going to go all out to give them something to cheer about." Harrison said the players had been hard at work for the WSU game and that preparations had been going well. "We have to give ourselves a strong chance because it's our first home game and we really want to impress our supporters," he added. The teams look set to be well matched, with the team from Mthatha ranked seventh out of the eight participating institutions – just one spot above their Eastern Cape counterparts. "They are a strong team and in the past have shown that they can score goals, so to beat them we going to have to prevent that," said Harrison. He said the NMMU players understood that they needed to put in additional effort at this point in the tournament if they were to take one back and beat WSU. "They are an attacking team so I expect them to play an open game. This means they can score goals but also leak them and we will have to take advantage of that," he said. Harrison said Simamkele Thobi would return to partner Cloudius Sagandira as twin strikers at the head of the attack, while Achuma Klaas and Sachin Jackson on the wings would give the Madibaz the necessary impetus to get round the WSU defence. "I feel with sufficient supply of passes to the strikers they can find the net for us." Captain and defensive midfielder Athini Bisha moves to strengthen the backline after defender Diego van Rooyen was red-carded in the previous game against TUT. Harrison said the support of home fans would play . . .
Jeep Team’s OCR athletes, Thomas van Tonder and Dominique D'Oliveira, have been selected to represent South Africa at the OCR World Championships, which take place in Ohio, United States, from 17 – 18 October 2015. The announcement was made on Saturday, 22 August, after Race#6 of the Jeep Warrior Series at Hobby Park, Krugersdorp. At the event, Van Tonder claimed his third Black Ops Elite win, in 1:14.36, ahead of second-placed Claude Eksteen (1:15.35), with Greg Avierinos (1:18.46) in third. Eksteen and Avierinos have also been selected for the SA team. Jeep Team’s Jay Jay Deysel finished seventh, while Joshua Masudi, the newest member of the team and competing in his first Black Ops Elite race, managed a top 20 finish. Said Van Tonder after the race and SA team announcement, “It’s an epic day – I’ve won my third Jeep Warrior Race and been selected for the SA team! I was fortunate to take today’s win.The race was hard but a lot of fun. Now the intense training begins ahead of the world champs.” In the Black Ops Elite Women’s race, D'Oliveira was unable to make podium, finishing 4th in 1:43.21 behind Trish Bahlmann (1st in 1:33.07), Hanneké Dannhauser (2nd in 1:33.38) and Carina Marx (3rd in 1:37.25). Said D'Oliveira, “In all the Jeep Warrior races I've completed since 2013, today was the first time I did not make it onto the podium. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not disappointed (what competitive athlete doesn’t want a podium finish?), but I'm not going to make any excuses. I'm honestly happy with my race today - I raced within my best capability – and am honoured to have been selected to represent South Africa. Congratulations to the Black Ops Elite athletes – you are all amazing an inspiring! The competition gets tougher at each race yet the camaraderie out on the course is still so awesome. The Warrior Race is great because each race has its own unique challenges and forces each and every one of us to work on our weaknesses to become . . .