In the wake of their bruising encounter with FNB UJ, FNB Madibaz have announced a number of enforced changes to the side that will face FNB UCT on Monday night. The Port Elizabeth-based team held the rampant University of Johannesburg at bay to take a hard-fought 21-15 win in their first away game of the FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International, in Johannesburg. "After a tough match against UJ, we have had to manage the players' training schedule for the week carefully," said head coach David Maidza. Maidza said team management had been tasked with reshuffling the line-up after a number of players suffered body blows in this week's clash. First on the injury list is tighthead prop Dexter Fahey, whose knee ligaments injury will see him replaced by Simon Kerrod. Marzuq Maarman comes onto the bench to cover for the props. Right lock Cameron Lindsay will be out of action due to an ankle injury, with utility forward Louis Fourie taking his place against Ikeys. Right flanker Marcel Groenewald gets a well-deserved break, as Wade Elliot starts for him at number seven. New additions Matthew Tweedle and Andre Barnard join the replacements at number 18 and 19 respectively. "After the UJ game, there were definitely a number of sore bodies but the spirits are at high levels," said Maidza. "The training sessions have been productive and we are hoping to keep improving week in, week out." The FNB Madibaz will be looking to continue their unbeaten streak on their home ground at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. They are currently second in the overall standings behind log leaders NWU-Pukke. Visit www.sport.nmmu.ac.za or find Madibaz4U on Facebook and Twitter. FNB Madibaz: 15 Donovan Marais, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Wade Elliot, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Louis Fourie, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 . . .
Defending champion Christopher Reid will be the one to beat when more than 800 swimmers take to the water for the 90th SPAR River Mile feature races at Canonville on Sunday afternoon. Reid will be looking to deliver a strong performance in Africa's oldest open-water swim as he vies for a spot in the national team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July. The 18-year-old has just returned from Australia where he represented South Africa in the pool alongside Chad le Clos during the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series earlier this month. "He's certainly doing exceptionally well," said River Mile organiser Michael Zoetmulder of Zports Event Management. Zoetmulder said Reid would however face tough competition from two-time champion Byron Lockett. Lockett, who won the race in 2007 and 2008, will be aiming to make a comeback in this year's event. "He's back in the water and training and certainly has a chance of pulling it off," said Zoetmulder. "He's only 22 but has a lot of experience and could certainly come through. We don't want to write him off." In the ladies' mile, Kirsten Marriott is the odds-on favourite to win after dominating the Ocean Racing Series over the 1km distance this season. This week, she finished just outside the top 10 in the 5km swim at the national aquatic championships at Midmar Dam near Pietermaritzburg. All eyes will be on the 17-year-old contender, as Olympian Jessica Roux is taking a break from competitive swimming and will not be back to defend her title. Paralympic gold medallist Kevin Paul will have a fifth consecutive win in his sights when he plunges in for the disabled mile. The Jones brothers - Wayne, Jason and Daniel - are also expected to sweep the podium once again in the wetsuit race. Zoetmulder said a special highlight of this year's weekend festival would be the Kings Across the River race. Nine EP Kings rugby players - including Michael Killian, Paul Schoolman and Shakes Soyizwapi - . . .
Bestmed continues to expand its footprint in South African cycling through its sponsorship of eight races on the national calendar and the Bestmed-ASG women's team. This year the medical scheme has added the new Bestmed Powerade Sun City road cycle challenge to its existing line-up, which includes both road and mountain bike races in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Eastern and Western Cape. Race organiser Wynand de Villiers said Bestmed was the first corporate entity to see the value in a year-round blanket event sponsorship across all disciplines and in most provinces in South Africa. "They have crept into the hearts of cyclists by helping to resurrect events like the Jock Cycle Classique and Tour de Boland, which are co-presented by ASG. "Their sponsorship of these events in particular shows that they truly support the sport and that it's not just a brand-awareness exercise." De Villiers said the four-day Bestmed Tour de Boland, which starts in Stellenbosch on March 4, was one of the country's few international road tours and aimed to develop world-class African cyclists. "This year's race will feature a fantastic international line-up with multiple world champion Christoph Sauser heading up a strong Songo.info invitational team." De Villiers said all of the top local pro teams had confirmed their attendance and that the field would also be open to amateurs across various gender and age categories. According to Bestmed's head of sponsorship Sasja la Grange, the growth of mass participation events in cycling had presented the scheme with an increasing number of opportunities to get more involved in the sport. "So we could seriously look into expanding our sponsorship strategy." La Grange said sponsoring sporting events was a natural extension of Bestmed's business and that these provided a platform for encouraging people to build sustainable, health conscious lifestyles. "Bestmed is in a position to see first-hand how lifestyle is . . .
FNB Madibaz held a dominant FNB UJ at bay to claim a nail-biting 21-15 win in their first away game of this year's FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International, in Johannesburg on Monday evening. Triumphant head coach David Maidza praised his side for their solid defensive work in the face of a relentless onslaught by the home team. "The boys really stepped up. That was one of the best performances from a team perspective that I've ever been involved in in my coaching career." He said the forwards had done well to stem the mauls, while the backs had stopped any plays that went wide. "Defensively we just stumped them. We shut them out for long periods and, with the amount of ball possession they had, I felt they could have put more points on the board." Despite having very little possession, Maidza's men managed to hold back the orange tide at the University of Johannesburg stadium. "We had to defend for three-quarters of the game and I think we had about 30 per cent possession. But the little that we had we utilised effectively." The Port Elizabeth side led 8-5 going into the break, whereafter a try by FNB Madibaz and a converted try by FNB UJ saw them lock horns once again at 13 all. After a brief scuffle on the field, both sides were down to 14 men. Then a penalty by the home team saw them go two points ahead. "It was always going to be that kind of game because of the forward friction," said Maidza. "They played everything upfront and tried to outmuscle us but our forwards definitely stood up to them." The match went down to the wire with a successful maul by the visitors in the final moments. "We got a penalty with a minute to go, kicked it out and drove forward again, setting up for Chris Cloete to drive over and win the game." Although he was happy with the result, Maidza said playing defensively for most of the 80 minutes was far from ideal. "What was also not good was our error rate - I think we handed over . . .
Professional services provider PwC has expanded its investment in the sport of mountain biking by taking up the title sponsorship of the Great Zuurberg Trek in the Eastern Cape. The firm - which provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services - is the first of the so-called Big Four firms to sponsor a high-profile stage race. According to partner in charge of the Port Elizabeth office Andrea Puggia, the event provides an ideal opportunity to expand PwC's footprint in the province. "We are very pleased to be the title sponsor of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek and look forward to building relationships with our clients - and prospective clients - on the trails of the Eastern Cape." The three-day race takes place from May 30 to June 1 and traverses the picturesque Sundays River Valley, Addo Elephant National Park and the national cross-country course at Hayterdale Trails. "The province offers some wonderful cycling routes and venues and we're very pleased to be able to support mountain biking in the region," said Puggia. The firm also sponsors the PwC Cycle Park in Johannesburg and hosts two annual corporate mountain bike challenges for clients in Gauteng and the Western Cape. With two of its regional offices in PE and East London, Puggia said PwC was looking to the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek as an additional means of building long-term relationships with its Eastern Cape target market. "The current agreement is for 2014 with the option to renew for a three-year period. Brand building happens over time and we believe we will start to see returns on our investment within three years." Race organiser Brad Jackson of Mountain Events said he was thrilled at the commitment shown by PwC and believed that they could develop the event into one of the best stage races on the national calendar. "We have no doubt that we have a winning formula, including some of the best mountain biking terrain in South Africa and a fantastic host venue, all . . .
Former East London resident Conrad Viljoen will return for another crack at reclaiming his title in the Daily Dispatch SPAR Cycle Tour on February 16. Multiple winner Viljoen, who finished second last year, will lead a six-man Bestmed-NMMU team in the 100km road race through his old hometown. Among a number of local riders, the 29-year-old said he expected strong competition from the likes of former national U23 champion and 2012 winner Clinton Barrow. Buffalo Flats-born defending champion Jevandre Pauls will miss the tour due to racing commitments for pro team Bonitas. Now based in Port Elizabeth, Viljoen said his university team always made it a priority to support local Eastern Cape events. "For me personally, the motivation levels are always higher racing in East London." The ex Port Rex Technical High School learner said the race route was very challenging and suited him as a climber. "The route contains two major climbs in the first half of the race that really splits the field, usually leading to a select group upfront." He said while the first 50km were predominantly uphill, the second half of the race was much flatter and faster. "There's a climb about eight kilometres from the finish, which is really the last chance to get away for the climbers. "The wind also plays a big role as the route is mostly on the N2, which exposes the riders." Viljoen said he did not anticipate a bunch sprint to the finish but said it could come down to a final selection of five or so riders. "I would really like to see our team on the top step of the podium as we have a couple of riders in form that will give us some options on the road." Viljoen is currently in top form after winning the 30-39 years age category with a solo breakaway at The Herald VW Cycle Tour in PE earlier this month. On Sunday, he competed against the country's best to take the runner-up spot in the 30-34 age group at the national road championships in Durban. The . . .
With the red tide bloom having decayed in most parts of Algoa Bay, swimmers in this weekend's SPAR River Mile Festival will have no reason to fear any lingering effects on the Sundays River. According to estuarine ecology expert Professor Janine Adams of NMMU, the large-scale bloom of Lingulodinium polyedrum had been present in both the Sundays River estuary mouth and the Swartkops River, which is traditionally the home of the race. In the Sundays River, Adams said the red tide had been localised below the N2 bridge and that swimming above the bridge at Cannonville, where the race takes place, would be safe. However, she said the bloom had largely died off and that the water should be safe for recreational use during South Africa's oldest open-water swimming event. "A red tide is a dense population of microalgal cells or phytoplankton," said Adams. "When cold, nutrient-rich water is stirred up by currents, these microalgae use the nutrients to multiply rapidly. The presence of the large mass of cells gives the water its red appearance, hence the term red tide." She said the bloom usually entered an estuary mouth with the high tide and appeared to leave on the low tide but the movement was often unpredictable due to the dynamic nature of the coast and prevailing wind conditions. "Some of our researchers will be sampling the Sundays and Swartkops estuaries to get a clearer picture of the effects of the red tide. "There may be a possibility of a future recurrence of this microalgae in these estuaries because of the availability of high nutrient concentrations." Originally identified by red tide expert Dr Tommy Bornman as the more toxic Protoceratium reticulatum, the morphologically similar L. polyedrum produces less harmful vessotoxins. Bornman said the dominant species in Algoa Bay did not appear to be harmful to humans and toxicity tests of mussel and oyster meat indicated no toxins. "It's still considered a harmful algal bloom . . .
After a hiatus of more than a year, former Olympic sprinter Sergio Mullins made a stellar comeback at the EPA Track and Field League meeting at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. He faced stiff competition from a crop of younger up-and-coming stars in the 100m, but the 33-year-old managed to assert himself in a commendable early season time of 10.92. Madibaz team-mate Lonwabo Majermen (22) was second in 10.96 with Jade Schutte (18) completing the podium in 11.09. All three however fell short of the proposed qualifying time for this year's SA Track and Field Championships, which is set at 10.75. Absa NMMU Athletics manager Nellis Bothma said the times were slightly slower than usual due to unfavourable wind conditions. The event, the first hosted by the Madibaz Athletics Club this year, further served as trials for the Ussa national student championships and Varsity Athletics team. It was also an official qualifying event for the Nelson Mandela Bay athletics squad set to compete at the senior and junior national track and field champs in April. Madibaz athletes dominated the event with Ischke Senekal standing head and shoulders above the rest in the field disciplines. She broke the Eastern Province record in both the women's discus and shot put and improved on her personal best in the former. No other athlete could come close to her 52.54m heave in the discus and the distance was well within the national qualifying standard of 43m. In the shot put, Senekal also secured a convincing victory with a qualifying throw of 13.97m. She beat former Brandwag High School pupil Kara Willemse (19), who managed 10.98m, and Amanda Antony who set a best distance of 7.37m. The men's high jump was a further highlight with Madibaz athlete Garth Ellis clearing 2.10m. "Although not an EP record, we have not had any athletes achieve this height in a very long time," said Bothma. "The supporters were on the edge of their seats throughout his . . .
The FNB Madibaz will be without the services of vice-captain Jarryd Buys for their second-round FNB Varsity Cup clash against FNB UJ in Johannesburg on Monday evening. Buys will sit the game out due to a niggling groin injury and will be replaced by Donovan Marais at fullback. Right wing Ayabulela Dlepu takes Marais' spot on the bench, with winger Tythan Adams moving into Dlepu's position from the left. New addition Yamkela Ngam joins the team at left wing, while Simon Kerrod comes into the side in place of replacement prop Enoch Mnyaka. The Port Elizabeth-based team have made only minimal changes to the 23-man squad that defeated FNB Maties 45-29 in their opening encounter of the tournament. Head coach David Maidza was cautiously optimistic following the maiden win but said his side needed to work on certain aspects of their game after relinquishing control in the second half. Maidza said this week's training sessions at the NMMU Stadium had gone well ahead of their first away match. "The spirits are still high and the boys know that we do have a huge task to tackle on Monday." He noted that FNB UJ were known for their strong forward pack, which his side would have to work hard to neutralise. Visit www.sport.nmmu.ac.za or find Madibaz4U on Facebook and Twitter. FNB Madibaz: 15 Donovan Marais, 14 Tythan Adams, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Andile Jho, 11 Yamkela Ngam, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Daniel Acker, 8 Timothy Agaba, 7 Marcel Groenewald, 6 Christopher Cloete, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain). Replacements: 16 Greg Bauer, 17 Nicolas Roebech, 18 Louis Fourie, 19 Wade Elliot, 20 Ivan Ludick, 21 Stefanus Booysen, 22 Ayabula Dlepu, 23 Simon Kerrod Author: Coetzee Gouws from Full Stop Communications. No of Images Uploaded: One More Info link: http://sport.nmmu.ac.za Twitter: https://twitter.com/fullstop Facebook: Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please . . .
Madibaz Athletics Club will host the first meeting of the year for the EPA Track and Field League at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Starting at 8am, the South Campus in Summerstrand will see a full programme of events for competitors of all ages, from scholars to senior athletes. According to Absa NMMU Athletics manager Nellis Bothma, competition will be fierce as athletes go further and faster to earn their places in top-flight competitions. The meet will serve as the trials for the USSA national student championships as well as the Varsity Athletics team. It will also act as a qualifying event for the Nelson Mandela Bay Athletics squad to compete in the senior and junior SA Track and Field Championships in April. The university will be the venue for the opening leg of the Varsity Athletics series on March 21, while the USSA champs take place in Pretoria on April 25 and 26. Bothma said athletes could compete either in their school or club colours but could not represent both in the local competition. Electronic timing will be available for all sprinters. All athletes must have a licence to participate and temporary licences will be available at a cost of R30. Registration fees are R20 and entries close half an hour before the start of each event. Entrance is free. Author: Coetzee Gouws from Full Stop Communications. No of Images Uploaded: One More Info link: http://www.sport.nmmu.ac.za Twitter: https://twitter.com/fullstop Facebook: Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact: Full Stop Communications. You can also use the embed code provided. Madibaz Athletics Club will host the first EPA Track and Field League meeting of the year at the NMMU Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Here NMMU sprinter Tasquane Hufkie powers ahead of team-mate Mandi Maritz last season. Photo: Supplied Submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .