The SPAR Madibaz netball team are geared up to make one final push for a spot in the Varsity Netball semifinals when they host Stellenbosch University in their last round-robin match in Port Elizabeth on Monday. To be held at the Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre at 6pm, the pressure on the home side will be intense as none of the leading teams are assured of qualifying for the playoffs at this stage. Free State University have the inside track with 26 points, followed by Stellenbosch on 24 and Madibaz on 22. North-West University and UP-Tuks, both on 21 points, are also in the running. Lana Krige, coach of the Nelson Mandela University outfit, said it was an unusual situation, particularly with Madibaz having won five of their six matches. "I'm sure it's the first time we have lost only one match and are still not sure of a place in the semis," she said. "We haven't collected quite enough bonus points and that is because a lot of the other teams have a tall shooter, so it is easier when they get the ball into the circle to score goals. "There have been some high-scoring games which resulted in those sides collecting bonus points." As a comparison, Free State and Stellenbosch have picked up six and eight bonus points respectively, while Madibaz have collected only two. Krige said she had felt from the start of the tournament that their semifinal chances could depend on the final game against Maties. "What we didn't realise is that all the final-round games would be decisive, so it's not just about us and Maties. "We will obviously be going for a win and it will be great to have the home crowd behind us because they are fantastic and give us an advantage." Nonetheless, she realised that the visiting team would be tough competitors. "I think it's going to be a really great game. Like us, they don't have a tall shooter, but, as we do, they do have a strong shooter and it should make for a fascinating contest between the teams. "Our . . .
With entries and spectators increasing year on year, The Grand Walkerville Stofskop is proving to be one of the most popular events among motorcycle enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. Held at the Walkerville Show Grounds in Johannesburg, the oval dirt track event with the pay line “In Dust we Trust”, drew large crowds on Saturday 15 September with entries booked to capacity in advance. Stofskop is all about adrenaline and taking part, with a funky, super-relaxed vibe thanks to slightly crazy competitors and their wacky riding gear and this year’s event did not disappoint. One of Saturday’s highlights included Mercia Jansen, Motul’s Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa, being one on the fastest riders in her class, the Inappropriate Road Bike class. “We had huge fun at the event on Saturday and it was wonderful to see the motorcycle community come together and enjoy themselves so much. On the whole, Motul believes in making motorcycling more accessible, and Stofskop is exactly the sort of event that creates interest in the motorsports that everyone at Motul is so committed to,” Mercia stated, commenting on the brand’s partnership with the event. Other highlights included the attendance of the Vesperados Scooter Club who arrived in their droves on Vespa scooters and put on a great display of fearless riding on the oval. Spectator favourites included the speedway sidecar exhibition ride with the two person rigs reaching speeds of 90km per hour…. with no brakes! There was a heart-stopping moment when one of the sidecars rolled mid-corner but no-one was hurt and the incident just added to the excitement of the day. “The exhibition laps allow spectators to see the speed of the sidecars up close and admire the skill of the both the rider and passenger controlling the outfit,” explained Chris Shelvey, event organiser. Speaking of the event he said, “It was great to see families, young motorcycle enthusiasts and Stofskoppers- men and women who . . .
The University of Johannesburg women's team plan to continue an impressive run of results in student competitions when they mount a challenge for the Varsity Football title this week. In July the team won the University Sport South Africa week in Port Elizabeth and they were runners-up in last year's Varsity Football tournament. Although she will not be playing when the 2018 edition starts in Potchefstroom on Thursday, UJ captain Thato Letsoso said the team were motivated to maintain their good form. Letsoso, who lives in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, is with the South African team that are competing in the Cosafa Cup in Port Elizabeth and will miss the varsity event. She said she was disappointed not to be there but backed the team to do well, saying they would be focusing on one game at a time. "I think it is important not to look too far ahead when it comes to tournaments such as this," said Letsoso. "We must just take baby steps and concentrate on each match as it happens. "If we can focus on the now, then we can worry about the play-off matches later." She added that their biggest challenge would be to handle the fatigue generated by the intense nature of the competition. The eight teams will be divided into two pools and will play three round-robin matches on Thursday and Friday. This will be followed by the cross-pool matches on Saturday. "There is a lot of action in a concentrated period so it is important to manage the players over the three days," added Letsoso. "But there is great unity in the side and our sisterhood often pulls us through. "We stick together as a team and are always ready to handle the tough situations. Also, our technical team put in a great amount of work." She said the Varsity Football tournament remained an important vehicle for the women's game. "It gives us a national platform for scouts to assess the players and provides a number of sponsorship opportunities." She felt the University of . . .
South African born and raised dressage rider, Nichola Mohr, has set the wheels in motion to fulfil her dream of riding and competing her own horse overseas with the eventual goal of riding for South Africa at the Olympic Games. Earlier this year she loaded her best friend, Callaho Winston, onto a flight to the island of Mauritius for him to wait out his mandatory quarantine before flying off to Olympic dressage rider, Tanya Seymour’s yard in Germany where him and Nichola will be based. “It has always been a dream of mine to compete internationally and in the Olympics for my country,” says Nichola. “To be able to ride alongside my idol, Charlotte Dujardin, would be a dream come true!” Nichola, whose love of horses and riding career started before she could even walk, has been seriously competing since she was 8 years old, and in the last 18years since then has competed her horses up to Grand Prix level. “My greatest riding achievement to date definitely has to be competing my off-the-track thoroughbred up to Grand Prix level,” says Nichola. Nichola has been in the Western Province team since the age of 10 and during that time has also represented South Africa. She has also been invited to train and compete at international yards in Germany, Holland, New Zealand and in the UK. Winston comes from the highly esteemed Callaho Stud, and was bought by Nichola at their annual auction in 2013. “We don't often try the horses out before the Callaho Auction, but in 2013 we went to try the horses and Winston was the only one I was interested in. We bought his brother, Fabriccio, 2 years before and we loved working with him, which made me want Winston even more,” explains Nichola. “The day of the auction arrived and I'd never been so cold before. Just before Lot no: 9 – Winston - was meant to make his way into the arena, a huge gust of wind blew through the outdoor arena and spooked the horses warming up there. Winston's rider turned him to stop, he lost his footing and . . .
Marco Joubert was pleased to be back on the winner's podium after a long struggle with injury as he successfully defended his title in the Bestmed-Makro mountain-bike race near Port Elizabeth today. The 21-year-old, who grew up in PE but now lives in Stellenbosch, defeated Jason Meaton in a sprint finish in the 70km race held at the Hopewell Conservation Estate, St Albans. Riding for Imbuko-Momsen, Joubert crossed the line in 2:51:47, with Meaton just a second behind. Grant Daly was third in 3:04:29 Collarbone injuries kept Joubert sidelined for nearly three months earlier this year and he said today's victory was a boost to his confidence. "It's been a long struggle with the shoulder injury so it feels good to be back on form and taking the win," he said. He put the hammer down from the start and managed to break away from the pack, but said some confusion over the route markings meant he had to change his strategy. "After setting a high pace and getting away early on I didn't want to get lost so I waited for Jason and Grant, who were second and third. "We rode together for a while until I managed to get away again. But then the same thing happened so I had to wait and Jason and I worked together from then. "We waited it out for the sprint and I managed to edge him in the final surge for the line." In the women's race Anriette Schoeman, of Port Elizabeth, regained the title she won two years ago, also managing to break away from her challengers early on. She crossed the line in 3:30:19 and was followed home by Michele Scowby (3:58:16) and Gene Keet (4:06:51). This was the 41-year-old's fourth mountain-bike title at the race in five years and came after she won last week's road race for the 18th time. Although the weather was better than last week's conditions when rain and wind battered the riders in the 106km road race, Schoeman said the mountain-bike event represented a tough challenge. "With all the recent rain the routes . . .
Promising South African cyclist Azulde Britz will hope to put the experience she recently gained racing in Europe to good use when she competes in the World Road Championships later this month. The 17-year-old Pretoria schoolgirl has been included in the national squad for the world event which takes place in Innsbruck, Austria, from September 23 to 27. Britz, who has a role as an ambassador for South African cycling distribution company Positive Sports Solutions, returned this week from a trip to Europe where she competed in the Watersley Junior Women's Challenge in the Netherlands. "In April I rode as a guest rider for Team Rytger [a Danish outfit]," said the Cornwall Hill College matric pupil. "We stayed in contact during the year and I was invited back to guest-ride for them in the Watersley Challenge. "I have experienced some hectic racing in Europe to say the least, but it has been totally worth it. "I have learnt so much racing with the team and also the dynamics of European racing. The girls race hard, fast and aggressively. "I am beyond lucky to have experienced all of this and to be able to race with such an incredible team." Britz, who lives in Irene, said one of the key lessons she had learnt was to have self-belief - in her ability and her training. "In addition, I realised that I can be competitive in Europe and with time and more experience anything is possible. "Having raced on the continent has helped me prepare for the world champs, not just physically, but mentally as well. "The experience will be greatly beneficial at the worlds, especially as the majority of the riders used the Watersley Challenge [over three stages] as final preparation for the event in Austria, so I have an idea what to expect." Representing South Africa for the first time, Britz said she wanted to make sure she enjoyed every moment of the experience. "My goal is to give it everything I have. I would like to apply all that I have learnt . . .
The SPAR Madibaz team enjoyed one of their most notable periods in Varsity Netball when, for the first time, they defeated both Free State University and North-West University in one season. Coach Lana Krige said she was delighted with the team's performances on Sunday and Monday as they stayed calm under pressure to beat Free State by a single point and North-West by two points. "Previously we would beat Kovsies [Free State] and then lose to Pukke [North-West], or it would be the other way round," she said. "So the big thing for me was that it happened back to back - in that sense it was really great." The tense wins have left the Nelson Mandela University outfit third on the log, but they are not yet assured of a place in the semifinals. The top four after the league phase will be decided in the final round of fixtures which will be played on September 24, due to the World University Championship which takes place in Uganda next week. After six rounds the teams are closely bunched at the top of the log, which is headed by Free State on 26 points. Stellenbosch follow with 24 points and Madibaz have 22 points. The next two teams, UP-Tuks and North-West, both have 21 points and are still in the running. The final round of fixtures will see Madibaz hosting Stellenbosch, Free State at home to North-West and UP-Tuks against University of Western Cape in Pretoria. Krige said there were a number of positive developments in the team's play which had helped them reach third on the log. "For example, Jeanie Steyn and Hlumisa Sitonga are returning to form after being out with injuries. Hlumisa has only just resumed playing in Varsity Netball and she is finding her feet while Jeanie was also out for a long time. "Furthermore on attack our timing was there and this is a result of us following a theme of trying to fix our weakest link." While they had undergone strict training regimes with a number of experts, Krige said it was their mental . . .
The ferocious construction of SKULLCANDY’s WAR RIG can be heard for miles across neighbourhoods as fierce war cries and screeching metal drilling pierce the air, the sounds echoing through the streets, scaring local bullies indoors and feral cats scuttle for cover. A sudden burst of thunderous hammering breaks nearby rocks into gravel, a reminder of what’s to come; the most brazen, kick-butt, battle-waging machine, a prodigy of Mad Max, the fierce, animalistic SKULLCANDY WAR RIG is ready to tear down Sandton Drive with all the ferocity of Imperator Furiosa in search of GLORY! With nothing but gravity and gallons of mad bravado and Red Bull, the fearless pilots, Capper and Fitzgerald, shrugged off as mere misfits by their peers, will shake down the egos of those before them, instilling fear and confusion in those still to come. “CAN YOU FEEL IT?” Come the 16th September, the posh, meek and mild must lock their doors and close the curtains as Sandton Drive will be taken over by hundreds of mad, thrill-seekers out to beat the fearsome War Rig Warriors, who, we might mention, are deeply indoctrinated in the belief that dying in battle will take them to Valhalla. If you’re brave enough to cast your eye in the direction of these four apocalypse survivors, you can’t miss the brutish War Rig engineer, Martin van Staden, EFC Champion who chases his opponents around the ring until they slip over their spilt blood; the War Rig’s breakneck mechanic, Courtnaé Paul, a steely avenger with combat and tactical skills that will beat brawn at every break of dawn; then there’s the gung-ho co-pilot, Kerim Fitzgerald, the raging, fiercely competitive KTM warrior who thrives in hostile environments, living only for today, no price is too high to pay; and finally, the Chief of Five Wives, and of all citizens in Citadel, is kamikaze pilot, Brian Capper. He is dangerous on wheels, an extreme adrenaline junkie with pure savagery and rage surging through his veins, feeding fire . . .
Former Springboks, professional coaches and provincial players, grounded in the belief that a solid knowledge of the basic elements of rugby are essential components to the development, safety and success of the future of the game, come together to share their skills and knowledge with South Africa’s future stars as part of the Investec International Rugby Academy’s bi-annual courses. Uniting their experiences and expertise, icons such as Murray Mexted, Dick Muir, John Smit, André Pretorius, Ian MacDonald, Ian McIntosh and many more, will be working closely with school players and coaches from 13 to 19 December at St Charles College as part of the Academy’s December 2018 courses. “Together we all have a great deal of specialisation and by bringing this sort of expertise together sets a certain standard. We aim to give players the right knowledge for the right start, and it’s then up to them whether they make it or not,” says former All Black Captain, Murray Mexted. Regardless of team, school or level of the game, these greats of the game hope to help young players fast-track their games by transferring an understanding of what it takes mentally, behind-the-scenes and on field to become a professional, and to grow the pool of talent available for selection. “We put players in pressure situations to learn to be able to make decisions and, also, not to be scared when they make mistakes. A platform like the Academy is a great way to enhance yourself as an individual and as a player or coach, and to be able to be taught by players who have experienced the professional game – you can’t get a better area to learn from,” says current Sharks consultant coach and former Springbok Assistant Coach, Dick Muir. Understanding that school coaching goes hand-in-hand with developing future talent, the Investec International Rugby Academy also focuses on keeping coaches up-to-date with the latest, international coaching methods to maintain the professional standard from . . .
The University of Johannesburg outfit are determined to capitalise on their good form this season after securing a home semifinal in the Varsity Football tournament last week. Despite losing their final league game to North-West University, the Orange Army finished top of the table. They ended level with University of Pretoria on points and goal difference, but were ranked first by virtue of their earlier win over Tuks. This means they have earned a home semifinal against fourth-placed Wits, which will be played at UJ's Soweto campus on Thursday. Coach Mandla Zwane said they were ready to embrace the challenge of playing for a place in the final. "If you look back at the North-West University match it was a kind of thrill-a-minute game and they managed to get an early advantage," he said. "But it has not affected the morale in our camp and we are ready to tackle the next hurdle." A sizzling goal from North-West right wing Banele Hlophe made the difference on Thursday as they became the first team to inflict defeat on UJ this season. However, the UJ players showed their form, with Tebogo Mandyu being named the FNB player of the match and Sandile Ngobese pulling off the Debonairs Real Deal Save. Zwane said they would be using those sorts of performances to continue their challenge in the competition. "We are ready to embrace what lies ahead of us but we know it will not be easy," he said of a Wits team they defeated 2-1 earlier in the tournament. "The players understand that the pressure will be on in the sudden-death situation of a semifinal, but we want to play our own game and focus on what we do well." Wits will be looking to bounce back from their final league match, when they went down 4-2 to Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and had to settle for fourth place on the log. Although UJ have set themselves the objective of winning the tournament after some near misses in recent years, Zwane said they would not get ahead of . . .