A record 67 teams descended on the annual SPAR Madibaz Netball Tournament at NMMU's South Campus this past weekend, with the hosts triumphing in four sections. Madibaz teams won the A, A reserve, B and C sections, while Despatch took the honours in the D category. Phoenix won the men's tournament. Madibaz netball manager Melinda Goosen said the event, which was added to the calendar in 2005, had shown tremendous growth over the years. According to her, the organisers were forced to add an additional day for the first time this year to accommodate the field. "Previously, the tournament always took place on a Saturday but, due to the increase in the number of teams, we decided that it would be beneficial to include an additional day." Despite adding extra sessions on the Friday afternoon and evening, she said they were still forced to decline applications of several teams due to limited courts and time slots. Goosen attributed much of the tournament's success to its timing. "It takes place at the beginning of the season, which means it allows coaches an opportunity to test their teams before the official season gets under way." She said the tournament was aimed at clubs and schools from the larger Eastern Cape area. "We accommodate all sections and levels of play and having schools take part offers another avenue for the growth of the tournament." This year's edition included schools from Nelson Mandela Bay and the Grahamstown area. "We only market it to the greater Eastern Cape region and the fact that we have had such a great response, especially this year, shows how important it is to have such an event," said Goosen. "With SPAR as our partners, we have been lucky to create a tournament in which clubs want to participate." Goosen said the event was not only important for the university, but for the region as a whole. "It is an obligation we have to our fellow clubs." She said their focus would now be to get even more teams . . .
The popular FALKE Trail Run Series presented by Dirtopia will once again offer keen outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful trails in the Stellenbosch Winelands. The 2017 FALKE Tail Run Series sets off on Saturday, 18 March with the Harvest Run at the historic Le Bonheur, which means happiness. Dating back to the 1790's hand sorting the grapes has remained a tradition and a trade mark. Enjoy this rare opportunity to be part of the harvest time in the winelands. The single track route offers awesome views and run through the forest just above the cellar. Pre-entries close on Thursday, 16 March at a cost of R90 for the 5km, R110 for the 9km and R135 for the 14km and can be done online at www.dirtopia.co.za . Late entries will be taken on event day, if available with additional late entry fees applicable. Registration is from 07h00 with the first race setting off at 08h00. Also diarise Sunday, 7 May for the second FALKE Trail run of the season and experience the splendour of autumn while running at the picturesque Peter Falke Wines. Nestled against the majestic slopes of the Helderberg mountains, the farm offers the perfect canvas for nature to paint its autumn colours and for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a trail run in the winelands before winter settles in. Dating back to the 18th century, the traditional gabled Cape Dutch buildings of the wine estate belie a contrasting modernity within. The stately old homestead is partnered by a "boutique" winery, contemporary wine tasting room, gift shop and luxurious outdoor lounge. The rolling lawn is the perfect spot to relax with friends and family after the trail run. Don your running shoes and make the most of the beautiful winter days in the winelands and enter the FALKE Winter Trail Run at Warwick Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch on Sunday, 9 July. Appropriately dubbed the wine adventure run as Warwick not only offers magnificent trails and views, but the hospitality at a . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, KZN, 14 MARCH 2017–This past weekend (11 – 12 March), saw Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlparkplay host to Race #2 of the Toyota Warrior Race, powered by Reebok. The return of the Warrior Race to the heart of the Vaal Triangle attracted over 4000 obstacle course racerslooking to tackle the infamous Warrior Race known for its well-built obstacles and multiple race formats. The Jeep Team athletes performed at optimum throughout the weekend, starting with the Ladies Reebok Sprint and the Team Reebok Sprint - a new, short,high-intensive course spanning 400m with 10 obstacles, a great warm up for the elite Jeep Team athletes. Jeep Team athlete and Top 3 2016 SA OCR Champion, Carina Marx,finished 2nd in Ladies Reebok Sprinton the Saturday, and in the Mixed Team, she raced with Jeep Team SA mates, Thomas van Tonder and Joshua Masudi, finishing 2nd overall. Says Marx,“The Reebok Sprint racing was a first for me. It was a great warm up but also lots of fun. Just had to make sure I didn’t pick up an injury prior to the Black Ops Elite race.Racing with my team mates was good fun, and we picked up 2nd place against some tough competition.” On Sunday saw the tough,world-OCR-benchmark race, Black Ops Elite, featuringsome 30 obstacles over 17km, designed to challenge South Africa’s top OCR athletes in thirty different ways fromendurance, strength and agility, to upper body strength, and carrying and dragging heavy objects for set distances. Jeep Team OCR athleteand 2016 SA OCR Men’s Champion, Thomas van Tonder, finished 2ndin the Black Ops Elite race in 01:30:08, behind eventual winner, Claude Eksteen in 01:29:02, withLouis Smitrounding off the podium in 01:30:43. Says Van Tonder:“I’m super proud of our SA Jeep Team after some solid racing. I’m happy to have finished second in the Black Ops Elite after a rookie mistake. I was so focused on chasing “the Flash” Claude Eksteen,that I got to the end of BreakingPoint and never rang the bell. . . .
Next month's Garden Route 300 will be "more compact" to offer an even purer mountain biking experience in the Knysna forest from April 28 to 30. The three-stage race, which also occupies a new slot on the calendar, will comprise a feature event over a total of 200km as well as a Lite version of 170km. Race director Patric Mosterd, of Garden Route Events, said by shortening the two races they were able to cut out portions that did not necessarily add value to any of them. "By doing this, we are left with only the good stuff as we pursue a truly pure mountain biking experience." Mosterd said the GR300, as it is known these days, would still remain a genuine test. "Just because it comprises fewer kilometres, does not mean it is any less of a challenge," he said. "Basically it is a case of fewer kilos but more quality and I can assure you that the riders will be pleased to see the finish line each day." He said the more compact stages do however shorten time spent in the saddle, making it more accessible to participants who would have been on the edge of their ability previously. The idea, he said, was that the shorter days would be an additional incentive for prospective participants to try out the Garden Route event for the first time. "We really want to share this gem of a riding area with as many people as possible." With the event initially taking place at the height of summer as a precursor to races like the Cape Epic, Mosterd said there was a feeling that the original distances were just too far for its current slot - especially being in a mountainous area. "We think the event is now doable for a broader spectrum of riders instead of just a select few. We hope many more can now enjoy the experience with us." He said the stage distances of the feature event would be 75km, 50km and 75km. Mosterd said the Lite version, which was introduced three years ago as an alternative to the main race, would also have a facelift. "The . . .
This year’s South Coast Bike Fest #SCBF2017 is the ultimate destination for every biker, offering high energy sports’ action, phenomenal musical acts and some of the region’s most exquisite countryside rides and entertaining parades. “We are really excited to welcome visitors to this magnificent part of South Africa which has so much to offer,” said Justin Mackrory, CEO of UGU South Coast Tourism, sponsors of the event. “In addition to the beautiful beaches, the South Coast boasts impressive landscape characterised by hills, valleys, idyllic water features and natural coastal vegetation. It is the perfect setting for some amazing bike rides, all of which can be carefully navigated using maps provided.” Bikers will have the perfect opportunity during the #SCBF2017 – taking place at Margate from 27 to 30 April – to explore the local rides. There are endless routes along the coastal road as well as rides through the countryside, allowing bikers to experience roads less travelled amid arresting natural beauty. Only 9km inland of Shelly Beach, on the Izotsha-Paddock Road, bikers can visit Nyandezulu which is encompassed by sprawling green hills and breathtaking valleys. Visitors will enjoy authentic Zulu hospitality while discovering local arts and crafts, sampling the local brew at a tavern or even stopping in to see a traditional healer. Crossing the Ntantana Mountain is one of the South Coast’s hidden gems - the 80m high Nyandezulu Waterfall which makes for spectacular photographs. Continue along the winding scenic route to a Shembe Church atop the holy uMdlungwana Mountain where lunch can be enjoyed along the riverbank. Take a ride to the nearby coastal town of Port Edward which offers visitors fantastic aquatic entertainment at its beaches, enticing estuary and the Wild Waves Water Park. This coastal gem is also home to the Red Desert which, at 200 metres wide, has been named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest desert. The . . .
GetSavvi Health firmly believes in the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. That’s why we’re very proud to sponsor two extraordinary gentlemen who will this year tick off something on their bucket list by taking part in the Absa Cape Epic. GetSavvi Health firmly believes in the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. That’s why we’re very proud to sponsor two extraordinary gentlemen who will this year tick off something on their bucket list by taking part in the Absa Cape Epic. The Absa Cape Epic takes place from 19 to 26 March and is an eight-day mountain bike race. The race, which is not for the faint-hearted, stretches over more than 800km across the beautiful landscapes of the Western Cape and includes about 15 000m of climbing over some of the most magnificent passes in South Africa. GetSavvi Health sponsored Ashley Kulsen and Donny Petersen to assist in their admirable feat. Both racers are taking part to raise awareness and funds for the House Andrew Murray (HAM) organisation and the amazing work they do to help orphaned kids in the Boland region. We caught up with both racers to learn more about how they prepared for the Absa Cape Epic, how they stay focussed, and why they chose to create awareness for the HAM organisation. 1. Why did you enter the Absa Cape Epic? As avid cyclists, it has always been a dream of ours to one day participate in the Absa Cape Epic – after all, it’s the ultimate bucket list item for any mountain biker. We’ve talked about it for the last three years but never imagined our first race would be this soon. We were fortunate enough to be offered a voluntary enter after another team had to withdraw from the race. 2. Why did you choose to support the House Andrew Murray organisation? When the opportunity to enter arose we thought it a perfect opportunity to give back to the community and decided to dedicate our first race to a charitable organisation. As we’re both from the Boland area, we chose . . .
Absa will be celebrating and recognising the spirit of teamwork and perseverance at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Over the week of the race Absa will be challenging all participants to rally those around them to conquer the world’s toughest mountain bike race. On each day of the race, one team embodying human spirit in overcoming the challenges posed to them will be recognised and rewarded. An Absa appointed judging panel will select a daily #ConquerAsOne moment with the winners receiving a #ConquerAsOne race jersey to wear proudly during the next day’s stage. Like the riders, Absa and the Cape Epic are partners that have found common ground in mountain biking and a relationship that is strengthened by unfailing commitment, passion and dedication. Together they have crossed many finish lines side by side, Conquering as One. Adam Brooke, Sponsorship Manager at Absa, said: “The Absa Cape Epic cannot be successfully completed through an individualistic approach. For this reason, we are urging all involved in the race to come together, support each other and #ConquerAsOne. Over the race week, we are excited to recognize rider partnerships that conquered the daily race stages together in the face of adversity. The task will not be an easy one as anyone who conquers the Absa Cape Epic deserves to be celebrated. We have seen many astounding moments of bravery and perseverance over the years and are excited to see what 2017 has in store.” There have been a number of outstanding moments of pure and sheer determination to conquer one of the most exhilarating, life-changing mountain-bike stage races in the world. Last year’s #ConquerAsOne moment was won by brothers, Sean and Adam Greve. With 8km to go on Stage 4, Adam took a serious fall and tore his shoulder ligaments, preventing him from peddling to the finish. Their bond as brothers gave them the motivation to go on, not only to complete the stage but more importantly the Absa Cape Epic. Another outstanding . . .
The FNB NMMU-Madibaz Young Guns rugby team will have a spring in their step when they travel to Cape Town on Sunday for their Varsity Cup showdown with UCT on Monday. After losing their opening game to Maties, the Madibaz hit back with a 39-34 win against the Cape Town outfit in Port Elizabeth on Monday. They crossed for five tries to pick up a bonus point and coach Zane Bosch said they would be looking for a repeat performance in the return game. "We were very happy with our showing, scoring five tries to UCT's four," he said. "After looking at the logs following the game, we are the best second-placed team in the three pools." The pool winners will qualify for the competition semifinals, along with the team with the best record among the section runners-up. Bosch said it was essential, therefore, they registered a second win over UCT, with a bonus point. The Cape Town side have yet to win a game, having also lost twice to Maties. He added that their team had been disrupted before this week's UCT clash because tighthead prop Daniel Voight had fallen ill in the warm-up and was unable to play. "This meant we had to use two loosehead props, which badly disrupted our scrumming. From that we conceded a penalty try after a scrum close to our line. "We also had a penalty try ruled against us after collapsing a driving maul, but generally speaking our performance was much improved." The Madibaz coach said they had battled to find their rhythm in their first match against Maties because of their late start to the season. However, he added he was satisfied with the team's effort against UCT and he felt that another full haul on Monday would give them a good chance of making the play-offs. Bosch said they had named the same squad for the return match against UCT. "But this time Daniel Voight will be there to take his place in the starting line-up," he said. Madibaz, who will fly to Cape Town on Sunday, will finish off their pool matches . . .
RoadCover's Kent Main ticked a significant item off his bucket list when he was crowned Bestmed Tour of Good Hope champion in a sensational finale at the Taal Monument near Paarl today. In one of the tightest finishes to any road tour in South Africa, Main powered his way up the steep climb to make up a 51-second deficit on Pro Touch's overnight leader Myles van Musschenbroek to snatch the title by a single second. It was an agonising outcome for the 24-year-old Van Musschenbroek, made more excruciating by a wait of about 15 minutes before the timekeepers were able to confirm the final standings. Main ultimately clocked an overall time of 8:31:22 over four stages after the penultimate stage was cancelled due to extreme winds yesterday. His teammate Eddie van Heerden completed the podium in 8:32:22. After forcing his way into overall contention with a fourth-place finish in Tuesday's individual time-trial, Van Musschenbroek put in a desperate effort to protect his lead up the final climb, but Main's power on the hills ultimately made the difference. Stage honours went to Dimension Data's defending champion Stefan de Bod after he also won Tuesday's Buffet Olives time-trial, followed by teammate Joseph Areruya. Main took third place on the day. Afterwards the 21-year-old Main, from Linden in Johannesburg, said he felt the first major victory of his career was a result of a more structured programme he implemented last year. "With the help of my brother I set up a plan halfway through last year aimed at training for this tour, but I always knew it would be hard to win. "I have often said to my mates this is one of my favourite races and one I always wanted to win. Now that it's happened, I'm really happy and it will boost my career going forward." He paid tribute to his Johannesburg rival, who fought all the way to protect his overnight lead. "Myles was able to manage everything that came his way today and his team looked after him really . . .
University of Johannesburg rugby coach Werner Janse van Rensburg is not getting carried away by his team's results despite an impressive turnaround in the Varsity Cup. After losing the first two matches, UJ have put themselves back into contention for the play-offs with three wins on the trot. Their most recent result saw them hold off a strong challenge from NMMU-Madibaz, with wing Aphiwe Dyanti earning the Player That Rocks award. They will be aiming to continue that form against UCT in Cape Town on Monday, but Janse van Rensburg said they knew there were no guarantees. "It's very simple to keep our feet on the ground because the history of this competition has shown that any team can win on any given Monday," the UJ mentor said. "So our wins in the last three weeks will mean nothing to UCT in their preparations as they will believe that they can win. "As it is an away game nothing but our best will be good enough to get us over the line. Ikeys have ample fighting spirit and Monday will be no different." Janse van Rensburg added they would not be looking too far ahead in the competition. "For instance, our focus now is just to be as good as we can in our next training session in preparation for the match." He said the victories they had achieved after their slow start had instilled a sense of self-belief in the squad. "We have been growing as a team and had some luck, but ultimately we have executed our skills more accurately and been more consistent. "The momentum we have gained has helped because confidence in the system is slowly spreading to everyone in the team." The UJ coach said he had adopted a sense of realism in his coaching philosophy, understanding that you could not win all the time. "The first reality is that you will lose at some stage," he said. "It has not been a case of doubting, but rather understanding where we are as a new team and trying to learn from our mistakes. "The quicker this happened the . . .