The Great Zuurberg Trail Run, the latest addition to the South African trail running calendar, has announced a name sponsor, NFB Private Wealth Management (NFB). NFB is a part of the AltX listed NVest Financial Holdings (NVE) group of companies and has a 32-year track record in providing clients with independent financial advice, and a broad suite of products. Talking about the new partnership, NFB Private Wealth CEO, Mike Estment says: “We believe in endurance and durability, as well as customer care and dedication, so a strong alignment between the two brands exists. In addition to shared values, there are an increasing number of people expanding the attention they pay to financial security, to securing the future of our environment and taking care of themselves, and we want to be part of that investment too. An event like the NFB Great Zuurberg Trail Run forges friendships and assists in upliftment through example and financial investment and we want to be part of that journey (pun intended).” Siska van der Bijl, managing director of Hayterdale Trails, the organiser of the NFB Great Zuurberg Trail Run adds: “The NFB Great Zuurberg Trail Run is set to be one of the most exclusive on the calendar, and we’re delighted to have NFB on board from day one. “As race organisers, we want to have a positive impact on the environment and have our runners leave only footprints, and to play a role in the transformation of sport and assist in the development of previously disadvantaged athletes.” The first ever NFB Great Zuurberg Trail Run begins on June 1st, and sees competitors race 60km over three days in the Addo/Zuurberg region. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Former University of Johannesburg star Aphiwe Dyantyi is ready to embrace the challenge and to further his rugby career after being chosen for the Springbok squad at the weekend. The lightning Lions wing was named by new South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus in an enlarged Bok squad of 43, which will do duty in the June internationals against United States and England. Born in East London, the 23-year-old, who matriculated at Dale College in King William's Town in 2011, said it was "a massive opportunity" and that he was fully focused on making the most of it. When he joined UJ as a first-year in 2012, the furthest thing from the young student's mind was a full-time rugby career after his game seemed to have stalled at Dale. "I played in all the age-group A teams at Dale and also U13 Craven Week," he said. "But when I got to the open division, I was a year younger than the rest - for example, I was 15 in Grade 10 and 16 in Grade 11. "It was hard for me to crack it and it didn't help that I was small at the time. "But the worst thing for me is that I was not backed by anyone and given the opportunity to show what I could do. "After being used to playing for the A teams, I never got any further and it was something I had to take and to learn from." The outcome was that when he attended UJ in 2012, he had switched his focus to his academic course and only became involved in rugby again when his residence mates persuaded him to help out in the varsity's koshuis league. "I did play a few times, but it was purely for fun," recalled Dyantyi. "But the next thing, UJ asked me if I didn't want to focus more on the game and to try out for the U19s." He said there were a number of key personnel who guided him in his decisions, among them UJ U19 coach Mac Masina and first-team mentor Werner Janse van Rensburg. "The management at UJ was very good, but it still took me a while to warm to the idea. "Eventually I was offered a sports bursary and . . .
Polocrosse fans are in for a weekend of thrilling equestrian action as some of South Africa’s and the world’s highest ranked players are gearing up for the third Land Rover Durban High Goal Polocrosse Tournament, which will take place at the Durban Shongweni Club between the 22nd and 24th June. Running each day between 9am and 4pm, the event will showcase the talents of some of the country’s best polocrosse players. There will be four matches daily, two ladies and two men’s, where world-class equestrian’s displays can be expected from national, as well as international players. Sam Heynes, a member of the Shongweni Polocrosse Committee explained the tournament process; “The High Goal Tournament has eight teams, four men’s and four ladies, which will compete for the top spot. Each team consists of six highly ranked players, each of whom is given a handicap.” Heynes added that the handicap indicated his or her skills level, ranging between 0 (beginner) to 10 (highest ranking). She said that in a high goal competition, the team’s total combined handicap must average at 45 for men and 26 for ladies. Similar to last year’s event, the 2018 edition will feature Wild Card players in both the men’s and ladies categories, who will be auctioned off to the highest bidding team at a special black-tie gala dinner on 20th June. The Wild Card feature creates an aura of surprise, as teams can only be finalised on the eve of the competition. This year’s wildcards are all of South Africa’s top-ranked players, who will be representing the country in next year’s World Cup in Queensland, Australia. Brent Von Benecke, chairman of the Shongweni Polocrosse Club and event organiser said, “This is a premier event on the South African polocrosse calendar, featuring players of international ranking. Spectators are guaranteed an outstanding weekend filled with nail-biting sporting action.” Von Benecke highlighted that each team will feature a Wild Card who is a top-ranked South . . .
If you aren’t already planning to be at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from 29 June - 8 July, here are a few ‘tasters’ to entice you to book your holiday now and join us for “the best 10 days of winter”. Flavourful foodie fun Among the more than 100 activities arranged over the 10-day period, a first this year is the “Flavours of Knysna Tour”, a culinary journey to some of the best restaurants in and around Knysna. Taking place on 4 July, you’ll plan your own route using our hop-on-hop-off shuttles to visit some of the best eateries in the area and experience delicious tasters and signature dishes. An exciting competition will also run on the night, where you can cast your vote for your favourite restaurants in various categories. Tickets can be purchased online via Webtickets or at the Money Counter at Pick n Pay stores in Knysna and George. Make sure you don’t miss – space is limited! Date: Wednesday, 4 July 2018 Old favourites, new venues The Knysna Wine Festival may be an institution, but this year’s location on Thesen Island will be a first. Experience the best of South Africa’s wine farms on 2 and 3 July. Tickets cost R150 and including a tasting glass, available at Webtickets. Loerie Park will this year play host to various kiddies’ entertainment options and sporting events such as the Athletics SWD, Oyster Festival rugby, soccer and netball tournaments. The Comedy Festival is always an entertainment highlight and will take place at Mitchell’s Brewery. Don’t miss the chance to see some of SA’s top comedians and other well-known comedy personalities in action. Sport-specific In an exciting development this year, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour has confirmed that the 115km road race, along with the 80km and 50km mountain bike races will be seeding qualifying events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour. An e-bike event was introduced last year and will again be on offer, in the form of the 30km Electric Bike MTB race. The Momentum . . .
Organisers of next weekend's Liberty Waterberg Encounter are fully focused on providing the entrants with a race to remember in the heart of the South African bushveld. The three-day mountain bike event at Bela Bela in Limpopo, presented by STANLIB, takes place from June 8 to 10, capitalising on a period when there are not that many races on the South African calendar. The Waterberg is the third leg of the Encounter series, which includes the TransCape and the Winelands, held earlier this year. Now it is the turn of those based in the northern provinces to experience a luxurious offering, with a typical bushveld outing on the bike and five-star accommodation available at Elements Private Golf Reserve and Sondela Nature Reserve. ASG Events acting chief executive Fritz Pienaar emphasised that this was a perfect opportunity for a wide range of cyclists to compete in a top-quality stage mountain-bike race. "There is an element of luxury in the overall package and it provides a great opportunity for riders of all levels to get the feel of a stage race," he said. "It is the perfect platform for those in the corporate world to do some team-building or to entertain clients. "The three days provide a chance for everyone to mingle in a relaxed environment while enjoying top-class accommodation with heated blankets, good food and a great vibe." In addition, Pienaar said the distances of each leg, which overall cover 162km, were manageable, even for those who might not be that experienced. "Events like the Winelands and the Waterberg are great opportunities for first-time riders to experience what a stage race is like. "The distances are not too hectic - around 60km a day - and they will ride on some of the most amazing trails in the area." As was the case last year, the event will have two race villages, with stopovers at Sondela and Elements Golf Estate. This has made the whole event a bit more compact and Pienaar said they felt they could . . .
David Masterson was named the player of the year when the Madibaz Cricket Club annual awards function was held at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth last week. The talented young batsman had an outstanding season for the club, scoring consistently throughout the summer. This resulted in him reaching an aggregate of 547 runs at an average of 68.37 during the season, culminating in him being chosen for the Warriors Academy team. Madibaz Sport Cricket manager Sipho Sibande said Masterson contributed to the club off the field as well. "He serves on the club executive committee as vice-chairman," he said. "Thanks to his batting he played an instrumental part in ensuring that Madibaz reached the final of the University Sport South Africa tournament in October last year. "He was also part of the Varsity Cricket squad, where Madibaz finished fifth." Masterson said he knew there were areas in which he could improve his game. "I feel that I did not have a good Varsity Cricket week, although I think I did receive some good balls and was unlucky at times," he said. "However, I need to work on the short ball when facing quicker bowling. "I have already changed something from then to now, which feels as if it is helping me a lot." Mieke de Ridder was named the ladies' player of the season after being the leading run-scorer for the team. "Her contributions to the team saw the club reach the final of the NMB Women's T20 Mayoral Cup, where they lost against Old Grey," said Sibande. "She has brought in some experience and energy that have galvanized the ladies' team." Fast bowler Solomzi Nqweni received the prestigious chairman's award for his contributions to the club both on and off the field. "He has always conducted himself in a professional and exemplary manner," said Sibande. "His man-of-the-match performances at the USSA tournament and Varsity Cricket week are an indication of his dedication and commitment to the . . .
The University of Johannesburg squash team are hard at work preparing for the University Sport South Africa tournament in July, where they are eager to maintain a remarkable run of success. Last year, the UJ squad won the team title for the sixth time in a row and with the nucleus of that squad available again this year they should be a tough team to beat when the tournament takes place in Port Elizabeth. Third-year student Kyle Maree, who has been one of the mainstays of the side, said their preparations were well on track for the tournament, having started in January. "The team initially focused mostly on track work, doing 400m sprints, but also adding some court work with drills and conditioned games," he said. "When we draw closer to a big tournament we focus on short-burst exercises to build on the speed you need for the game." He said he knew, despite their success, that they would face some tough challenges in the event as a number of varsities had attracted good, young players. "But we will just be focused on producing our best for UJ at USSA and hopefully that will be enough to get us over the line." Maree added that they had maintained good continuity from last year's squad, including 2017 individual champions Blessing Muhwati and Alexa Pienaar. "We have lost Ian Sturgeon, who was the men's No 4, as he has graduated but Calvin Spencer will now take his place. "In the women's squad last year Ana Chemaly was injured, but has fortunately made a comeback and that will be a boost for the team." Maree felt their preparations for the tournament would reduce the pressure and they would focus only on doing their best. "I do believe that if we play our best and keep our nerves at bay then we will be in the mix to win again. "Everyone has been really supportive and proud of what we have achieved. Winning again will be a bonus." The UJ star, who was named the university's student-athlete of the year in 2016 for his sporting and . . .
Cyclists who have just completed the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain-bike race will have a chance to book their places in next year's event from today. Preferential bookings for this year's entries will be open for all packages - platinum, gold, silver and bronze - and will be valid at a discounted rate until June 30. Race owner and managing director of Hayterdale Trails Siska van der Bijl said the decision to open entries so soon was to give those who had enjoyed the event an opportunity not to miss out next year. "As much as some riders might want to hold back, you get a lot of people who are keen and want to commit themselves to next year's race, and this is a chance to do that," she said. "Some of them like to make early preparations and the idea is for them to hopefully book sooner rather than later when the event is still fresh in their minds." With the race sold out this year, Van der Bijl said there was clearly a case of "supply and demand" and if riders delayed their decision it was likely to result in them not getting an entry. "We are allowing participants of the 2018 event up to the end of June to enter, and the entry fee is slightly reduced, so there is a financial incentive. "If they do not book and pay for their spots before June 30 then they will be liable for the 2019 rates. "This is open for all packages and it will be a case of first come, first served." Van der Bijl said the entries would open to the general public from July 1, "with a slight increase which is in line with inflation". She added that the race organisers were evaluating the possibility of increasing the number of entries next year. "We had a sold-out scenario this year so there is a demand and we want to see if we can open up a few extra entries for 2019." For entry information, go to www.greatzuurbergtrek.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
York High won their third title in a row when they defeated close rivals Outeniqua High in the South Western Districts final of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in George on Saturday. The defending champions won 2-0 in a repeat of last year's title decider and they have again earned the right to represent the region in the provincial finals to be played on August 11. These take place at Woodridge, just outside Port Elizabeth, and will see the five regional winners playing off to decide the year's overall winners. The other qualifiers are Kingswood (PE Inland), Alexander Road (PE Coastal), Hudson Park (East London Coastal) and Kingsridge (East London Inland). Despite winning the title the previous two years, York coach Erica Combrink said before the tournament they knew there would be plenty of pressure on them. With the games in this competition being played on a shortened format over 20 minutes, matches are contested at a high intensity. Combrink said their strategy would be to try to score goals early in the match to transfer the pressure to their opponents. Event organiser Peter Wilson said it had been another thrilling day of schoolgirls hockey, with as much excitement off the field as on it. "The vibe at York High was outstanding, even from 7.30 in the morning," he said. "These schools really embrace this competition with everything they have and that's really good to see." He added that the hockey was of a high standard, with plenty of competition throughout the day. "The thing with the shortened format of 20 minutes a match is that the whole competition is unpredictable because anyone can win. "It's a bit like sevens rugby and if you can score a goal early on, then you are in the driving seat." SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said they were thrilled with the support the tournament received from the South Western Districts schools. "From an organisational point of view this was one . . .
Following their consistent success on the field, Nelson Mandela University could not be better placed to help evolve football within the Nelson Mandela Metro. Its football club, aptly named Madibaz FC, has developed an unrivalled platform to grow a diverse student player base academically and socially that creates value for society through the sport. The students demonstrated this once again with an incredible track record in the SAB NMB Regional League, having clinched the title last weekend. Club president Glenton de Kock said "football within Nelson Mandela Metro is now at a fascinating and critical stage of development". "With the growth of clubs in the semi-professional leagues (SAB and ABC Motsepe), the most obvious missing representation is in the National First Division," said De Kock. "As Madibaz Football Club, we see unprecedented growth opportunities in both the development of football as an industry within the entertainment and service sector of our metro, as well as its inspirational role in bringing people of all ages together with a shared passion." He added that Madibaz FC had long been dedicated to creating opportunities that facilitate positive developments in football. "With its unique socio-economic business model and distinct successes, Madibaz Sport drives a systematic approach to building a platform for football knowledge, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit the university and the city's football industry on multiple levels," said De Kock. "We hope our recent success will act as a catalyst for more investment, creating a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of football to the regional and national football family." Winning the NMB SAB regional league back to back must be seen in the context of the overall Madibaz Football strategic plan that is directed at changing the public and institutional perception around university football, said Sport Manager Mark . . .