The Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club, in conjunction with Eastern Province Athletics, will present a much-needed series of coaching courses at Daniel Pienaar Technical High School in Uitenhage next month. Running from January 10 to 12, the series for coaches and athletes will consist of courses in three categories, to be held simultaneously. One will be a clinic over all three days, aimed at coaches and athletes. In additional programmes, two courses will be presented for those who aspire to become qualified coaches under Athletics South Africa. Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said there was a strong demand for courses such as these in the Eastern Cape. The last one in the region was held in 2010. "There is a huge need for students and teachers to be given a chance to attend courses such as these," he said. "In past years, they have had to attend clinics in other provinces, but now they have a chance to improve their knowledge of coaching in their own region." Bothma added that the Madibaz Athletics Club were working with EP Athletics to provide the opportunity for coaches to learn the latest techniques, which they could then apply to athletes at their institutions and schools. "The course is open to anyone in South Africa and the main aim is to provide knowledge for coaches with the long-term view of improving our athletes across the board." The clinic would provide 70 per cent practical knowledge and 30 per cent theoretical information, he said. "Coaches who are not keen to do the ASA courses can attend this clinic and athletes can enter individually or come with other athletes or their coaches." He emphasised that the clinic was different to the coaching courses on offer. Those who plan to attend will have to choose one of the categories - the coaching clinic or either the ASA Level 1 or ASA Level 2 coaches' course. "The Level 1 course is for coaches and athletes who wish to obtain a coaching certificate from ASA. It is . . .
The country’s top lifeguards, lifesavers and all-round athletes will be making some serious waves at this year’s Red Bull Beach Patrol contest taking place at Durban’s North Beach on Sunday, 10 December. These athletes will be pushed to their limits as they compete against Durban’s best lifeguards in a series of swim, paddleboard and surfski disciplines, with only the toughest pushing through the qualifiers to the final round. Westville’s Luke Nisbet (32) will be defending his title this year, having also placed in the top three of the inaugural Red Bull Beach Patrol in 2015. Nisbet is on top form, finishing fifth in this year’s Pete Marlin Surfski Race and is currently battling it out in the Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series. “I’ve been racing so I think the surfski leg will be my strongest for Red Bull Beach Patrol,” said Nisbet, a Suncoast Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club member. “It’s such a good test of endurance because it’s a bit longer than the usual ironman. I also really enjoy how it incorporates the piers and finishes off with the run.” Nisbet will certainly have to performing at the top of his game if he’s going to beat out La Lucia’s Wade Krieger (35) again. The Durban Surf Lifesaving Club member came second in the 2016 main race as well as the three qualifying races leading up to it. Krieger is also a three-time South African Ironman champion, three-time surf-swim champion, two-time Midmar Mile age group champion and a South African Board Champion. For the past decade, Krieger has been in Australia racing against the best ironman competitors in the world. Verulam’s Mthembeni Mkhize (32), from uMhlanga Rocks Surf Lifesaving Club, missed out on last year’s race because he was working so he’s keen to prove himself at the 2017 edition. “This year I’m looking to going as hard as I can. I’m hoping to complete all the events to the best of my ability. For training I’m running at the moment and doing a lot of cardio. I’m focusing on the . . .
Determination to dig deep when it mattered most drove the University of Johannesburg to their first Varsity Sevens rugby title in Durban at the weekend. Despite losing three and drawing one of their nine pool games, the UJ team fought back to power past North-West University and the University of Free State in the playoff games on Sunday. After finishing fourth on the overall log after two days of action, UJ defeated NWU-Pukke 19-5 in the semifinals and Kovsies 32-5 in the final. This came after they had lost 22-0 to Pukke in their opening match, followed by a 19-19 draw with Kovsies in another pool clash. Coach Patrick Ross-Allen said later the turning point had come when they assessed their situation at the start of the second day. "At that stage, we were eighth on the log. I don't think many people rated our chances of making the playoffs." "We spoke about the situation and the guys started to work as a team, putting in great commitment and effort in each match. "This tournament is not easy because you play 11 matches in three days. But our players showed what they were made of. I am so proud of their efforts." UJ's results in the pool phase included a crucial 15-12 win over arch-rivals University of Pretoria. The score meant the teams ended level on the log, with the same points difference. "Because we beat them we qualified for the top four, so that was a very important win," said Ross-Allen. "I always felt we could do something special in this tournament and when we heard we were in the semis, it strengthened the belief in the squad. "They guys not only believed in themselves, they believed in the players next to them as well as in the structures we had put in place." He added that the team had peaked at the right time and also used the power play to perfection. The power-play rules in Varsity Sevens allow each team to nominate a minute in which any tries scored are worth 10 points. "When we took our power play in the . . .
One of South Africa's top mountain bike stage races, the TransCape, has received a major boost with the news that Liberty will be the title sponsor from 2018. This is another breakthrough for the seven-stage race, which recently received UCI status and takes cyclists on a 614km challenge from Knysna to La Couronne Wine Farm in Franschhoek this February. Liberty's chief marketing officer, Sydney Mbhele, said they were delighted to be associated with the race. "It takes preparation, endurance, dedication and team work to remain competitive in this sport," he said. "Our purpose of enabling financial freedom is enshrined on the same principles. "The journey to financial freedom is a long-term one. We have been operating for 60 years and our partnerships with our clients remain at the heart of what we do." As a result of the title sponsorship, the TransCape will become the third leg of the Liberty Encounter Series. Under the ASG Events banner, the three-day Winelands and Waterberg Encounters have become firm favourites on the South African racing calendar. The Transcape, with its picturesque route across the Western Cape, will now be known as the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter, with STANLIB and Volvo as the presenting sponsors. ASG Events chief Wynand de Villiers said they felt the TransCape was a perfect fit for the Encounter series and that it added an exciting dimension. "We have an amazing relationship with Liberty on the Winelands and Waterberg Encounters and we have been chatting about adding a third event for some time. "With the emergence of TransCape and the way it has fast-tracked since 2015, we felt this was the way to go instead of trying to create a brand-new event. "Our relationship with Liberty is a big factor as any event is greatly dependent on the way the organisers and sponsors work together." De Villiers stressed that the partnership elevated the Encounter Series to what they had set out to do a few years ago - . . .
Ushaka’s beachfront was brought alive on Thursday as Steers painted the beach purple with flaming hot summer action paying Respek to the athletes who will be competing in this years’ Varsity Sports tournament. The games will be taking place at Kingspark Stadium in Durban where universities from across the country will be competing for top honours in the Varsity 7’s and Varsity Beach Volleyball tournaments taking place from the 1st to the 3rd of December. Steers is a passionate supporter of sporting excellence having been a sponsor for the past five years. To kick off the ultimate sporting weekend the brand painted the beach purple by treating beachgoers to an experience that included fun-filled rugby and beach volleyball activities. The beach was covered with purple towels, chairs, umbrellas and many more that consumers could enjoy complimentary. Beach balls, Frisbees and Steers Flip Flops were handed out as prizes. The flip flops had Steers imprints that spread the brand as far as the flip flops walked. To bring the brand to the beach, a Pop-up Steers was created where beach goers could order their meals without leaving the beach and have it delivered straight to them. This was done through the Steers online ordering app. “We are proud to be part of this amazing initiative of Varsity Sports and will continue to drive awareness of the importance of an active lifestyle through sport. Beachgoers engaged in an interactive experience that saw teams compete to win some awesome giveaways and pay respect to the sportsmen and women who will be competing this weekend.” says Steers Marketing Executive Adolf Fourie. Steers thrives in celebrating great sportsmen and passionate supporters. “The Varsity Rugby 7s and Varsity Beach Volleyball tournaments are an incredible platform for talented young players who want to enter the professional league to showcase their talents and we wish these future sporting stars of tomorrow all the best for the weekend’s games” Fourie . . .
WESTERN AUSTRALIA, PERTH - Following his silver medal win at the 2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships, coming second to Australia’s Cory “Chill” Hill, South Africa’s multiple World Paddling Champion, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team/Euro Steel/Gara Racing Paddles), took to the oceans of Western Australia for the final World Surfski Series race, the Perth Doctor on Sunday 26th November 2017. The Doctor, the world’s premier and biggest ocean downwind paddling race, covers some 27km from Rottnest Island (aka Rotto), offshore from Perth, to Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club on the mainland. Race Day, presented with strong southerly winds, created tricky conditions to test the best of the 392 competitors. McGregor, the 2016 winner, was once again up against long-time rival, Cory “Chill” Hill, and still stinging a little from the previous weekend’s loss against Hill, where he was interviewed saying “first is everything, second is nothing,” raced at an average pace of 3:28 min/km, neck-and-neck, battling it out from the start, inseparable until the final dash for the beach. McGregor fell off the pace and had to settle for second, just 17 seconds behind Hill. Rounding off the podium in 3rd was American paddler, Austin Kieffer. In the women’s race, New Zealand paddler Rachel Clarke took top honours in a time of 01:55:47, with South Africans, Kyeta Purchase and Hayley Nixon, finishing in second and third, respectively. Results Men 1. Cory Hill (AUS) 01:33:20 2. Hank McGregor (RSA) 01:33:37 3. Austin Kieffer (USA) 01:35:37 Women 1. Rachel Clarke (NZL) 01:55:47 2. Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 01:57:10 3. Hayley Nixon (RSA) 01:57:27 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The FNB Madibaz players have worked extra hard to improve on their impressive recent showing when the new-look team challenge for the Varsity Sevens title in Durban from Friday to Sunday. When they played in the University Sport South Africa tournament in September, the Nelson Mandela University team finished in third place, comfortably securing their berth in this weekend's event, which comprises the top 10 USSA teams. Coach Beän van Eeden said the Madibaz wanted to build on that performance even though they had lost as many as seven players from the squad since the earlier event. "It is a bit of a blow losing so many players, but we now have a number of young guys in the squad and a great vibe has developed," he said. "They are extremely motivated to do well, something you could sense during our preparations. They never missed a training session. "Even during exams, they were committed to attending practices. This has led to them creating a strong team bond." Van Eeden added that the players were enjoying their rugby and were ready to "give it a go". "In sevens anything can happen, so we feel we can be competitive. We are aiming for, at least, a place in the semifinals." The coach outlined their extensive preparations, saying they were far better prepared than in previous years. "We used to train for four weeks and then get together for a few days before the tournament," he said. "This year we gave the guys a bit of a breather after the September tournament, but we have been preparing for seven weeks since then." While they had done much conditioning work in the gym, he said the local tournament in which they played against other Nelson Mandela Bay clubs over the past two weekends could prove crucial to their title chances. "This was a massive boost to our preparations because there is real value in playing proper sevens matches, rather than the simulated conditions during training. "We set up a tournament involving clubs . . .
A 14km stretch of district road leading to the top of a plateau could be the tipping point when cyclists tackle the Bestmed Wild Coast Sun MTB Classic near Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal next weekend. This is the opinion of the route director, Ian Wilson, who said their overall objective was to ensure that riders of all levels enjoy a memorable mountain-biking outing on December 9. Starting at the Wild Coast Sun hotel, the 40km and 20km routes cover spectacular areas of coastal wilderness, providing delightful views and trails that border the region's huge gorges. Durban-based Wilson, who has been building trails in the province for more than a decade, said the 14km district-road section could be the critical stretch in deciding the winners. "This section takes the riders to the top of the plateau (Mzamba Gorge) and that is where the race can be won. Those who climb well and can hold on for a long burn will do well." Wilson said their main objective in setting up the 40km and 20km routes was "no foot down". "I try to build routes that everyone can ride. I like to think of the back riders and make it enjoyable for them. "If they can ride it and enjoy it, the front pack can race it hard and everyone is a winner." He said they had built trails going up to and along Mzamba Gorge, which provided spectacular views. "The route also includes fast-flowing single-track, and the participants will ride through rural villages where they will come across extremely friendly people." Referring to the 870m elevation on the 40km route, Wilson agreed there was some stiff climbing to challenge the riders. "But there is also plenty of recovery time," he added. "The climbs are followed by flowing downhill sections so it is not a constant grind." He felt the race was something really special because of its surroundings. "There are not many places so close to a town where you can ride in such unspoilt scenery." He added that they had removed the 3km . . .
JOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG - This past weekend, 25th and 26th November 2017, Riversands Farm in Gauteng, played host to the season finale, Warrior Race 8, of the popular obstacle course racing (OCR) series, Toyota Warrior, powered by Reebok. The series is well known for attracting thousands of OCR enthusiasts to challenge their physical and mental limits on world-class obstacles. Jeep Team’s Top OCR athlete, Thomas van Tonder, took centre stage alongside now top-ranked, Claude Eksteen, for the hotly-contested 2017 Black Ops Elite men’s title and series title. The two athletes raced neck-and-neck throughout the series, with the title decider coming down to the wire in the final race. Van Tonder, hoping for a consecutive series win, gave it his all in the all or nothing race – a shorter, faster and flatter 15km race than the norm for the season finale. The lead changed numerous times throughout with Van Tonder proving stronger on the obstacles while Eksteen performed better on the run. The toughest obstacle in the race and final of the 30 obstacles, Breaking Point, proved to be the title decider. Van Tonder and Eksteen matched each other right to the final bell. Van Tonder dropped off the obstacle just behind Eksteen, and crossed the line claiming a well-fought silver medal in a time of 01:26:05. Third place went to the ever-improving, Trevor Lagerway. Fellow Jeep Team athletes, Jay Jay Deysel and Joshua Masudi, finished 4th and 50th respectively in the Black Ops Elite Race. Deysel had the race of his life in the series final as he has steadily improved and kept form, something he has struggled with in the past. With Van Tonder and Deysel in the Top 4 in the country, kudos goes to Jeep Team SA owner, Max Cluer. Jeep Team SA also competed in and claimed a bronze medal in the Reebok Team Sprint Race, an short, intense 400m 10-obstacle race for teams of 3 – two men and one woman. For Warrior 8, the Sprint Race was incorporated into the Black Ops Elite . . .
University of Johannesburg stalwart CJ Jordaan is aiming for a memorable end to his rugby career at the institution when the Varsity Sevens tournament takes place in Durban, starting on Friday. The 25-year-old, in his final year of a road transport management course, will bring the curtain down on his involvement with UJ rugby after representing the university at sevens as well as in the 15-man format in the last five years. Jordaan will be playing in Scotland next year, but right now his attention is fully focused on competing in his fourth Varsity Sevens tournament, an event he describes as having "an amazing vibe". "I am extremely excited and motivated to finish my career at UJ on a high note," said Jordaan, who grew up in Queenstown but now lives in Melville in Johannesburg. "We have had great preparation with a really good bunch of players and good people. It's time now to go out and produce the goods." A fullback in 15-man rugby, Jordaan operates as first receiver in sevens, so he will be at the forefront of UJ's title bid in what coach Patrick Ross-Allen has called the "toughest sevens tournament in the world". Jordaan backed the coach's view as the team prepared for a hectic opening two days of the tournament. The third day will be taken up by the playoff matches. "Playing nine pool games in two days is no joke," said Jordaan, who was christened Carlisle but is known by almost everyone as CJ. "Sometimes the breaks between games are only an hour long. You need to be mentally tough. "Every game will be challenging, so it's about taking each day and each game step by step and trying to grow in confidence as a team." Jordaan said he had always enjoyed competing in the Varsity Sevens. "The atmosphere around the field is fantastic and I encourage people to come to watch and have a good time." He would always look back on his first Varsity Sevens tournament, which was held in Camps Bay, Cape Town, with fondness. "We did not . . .