The second edition of the popular Valley Concert will include a pop-up SPAR Valley Market, which replaces the usual monthly artisanal market, when it takes place on March 11 at Hopewell Conservation Estate, Port Elizabeth. The market, which will be hosted in the beautiful Sentry venue, will have loads to offer, including numerous food and drink stalls (perhaps even a few food trucks) and the popular kids' fun village with jumping castles. "We will have some of our usual exhibitors like Wanna spoon?, Han-Made ice cream, La Familia nachos, Hash Rosti's by The Taste Bud Company, Frederick & Son burgers and many more," said Elaine Watson, founder of the non-profit organisation Love Story. Visitors will also be able to enjoy refreshments at the Castle Lite beer garden, gin bar and the Meridian Wine and Champagne Garden. Headline acts include Monark, a five-piece pop band from Gauteng, and Afro-fusion band Freshlyground, who are standing in for Connell Cruise. "This will be Freshlyground's first time back in PE in six years. They are also just about to release a new album," said events manager Tracy Degoumois. Singer and guitarist Devon van Driel will kick off festivities, followed by Centrestage performer Wayne Kallis and Bird and Bear (Marc Anthony Music). "It's great for us to support a host of exceptional local talent in our line-up," said Degoumois. "We are also very excited to provide a fun family day out. The estate is truly unique. It is a beautiful setting and the perfect backdrop to this event." This year's edition is special due to its jam-packed entertainment line-up, as well as the Valley Market staging their only March market. "This is a wonderful show of support and a truly special team to work with. All proceeds go to Love Story, which do such amazing work in our community," concluded Degoumois. Tickets can be bought through Masterpass, which is as easy as downloading the app, and www.quicket.co.za. This app can also be . . .
The 2018 season for the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team kicked off with the devastating news that star rider, Brett Swanepoel, had crashed at a cross country event earlier this month. The severe extent of his injuries meant that the multi-disciplined athlete would be side-lined for a large majority of what looked to be his most promising season yet. The heavy atmosphere hanging over the Husqvarna camp has finally lifted, however, as the hope of a new rider arrives - and just in time for the start of the National Cross Country season. Meet Taki Bogiages, the man who has answered the call to step in for Swanepoel and stand tall for the PEPSON PLASTICS HUSQVARNA RACING team. The Pretoria based rider, who races with the #222 number plate, admits to looking up to Swanepoel as a role model for many years, who ironically races with the #111 number plate: “He’s been one of the idols in my riding career since the 2013 Roof of Africa, and I’ve been privileged enough to race against him in the OR3 class in the National Cross Country series. We’ve often seen each other over the past few years, and always have a good laugh before and after a race,” he said. To add the irony of the story, it was Bogiages who witnessed Swanepoel’s devastating accident. Instead of grabbing the opportunity to potentially win the race, Bogiages got off his bike to support his friend. Describing the event he said: “Brett was in the lead, and I suddenly saw his bike go tumbling out of the corner of my eye. When I got to him, I saw the severity of the crash and immediately called for help. I tried to keep him calm and control the bleeding.” Just over a week later, Bogiages got the call from Husqvarna asking for his full commitment to both the OR2 class of the National Cross Country season and E2 class of the National Enduro season. Husqvarna South Africa's brand manager Fred Fensham comments, "With our current OR1 champ and E2 Enduro hopeful out it has been a scramble . . .
Scott Bouverie guns for E2 glory. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za After blitzing past the world’s top hard enduro riders for a Roof of Africa podium, bringing home three National Enduro titles, and defending their overall National Cross Country crown for the second consecutive time – it’s safe to say that the Brother Leader Tread KTM team had an exceptional year of riding in 2017. The start of a new season dawns this month, and the unrelenting hunt for championship titles is about to begin again. The rider line up has been confirmed, and fans are rallying up as the 2018 Brother Leader Tread KTM squad prepares to take on one of their biggest seasons yet. Scott Bouverie will lead the way for his team in the National Enduro series. After fighting tooth and nail for the E1 championship last year, a new coveted title has caught his eye. The rider has made the move to the E2 class this year on a KTM 300 EXC TPI: “I wanted to win the E1 last year and I did it, and now I plan to do the same in E2. I'm excited - I've raced this class before, and really enjoyed the bike!” he said. Bouverie will also be doing selected races abroad this year. Having conquered Erzberg Rodeo in 2017, the rider will attempt to finish with a solid overall position this year. He will also be competing in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea To Sky. A determined Dwayne Kleynhans races for the E1 Championship. Photo: www.zcmc.co.za Brother Leader Tread KTM teammate, Dwayne Kleynhans, narrowly fell short of E1 glory when Bouverie beat him to the top step of the podium in 2017. With a laser focus on taking the championship this time around, Kleynhans will once again compete in the E1 class on his KTM 250 EXC-F. “My mindset is to do one thing, and one thing only – win the 2018 National E1 title. I really believe in my abilities and work ethic and don't see why it's not possible,” said Kleynhans. He will also compete in Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull Sea to Sky, and comments . . .
With the Varsity Cup playing an important role in the development of young players, FNB Madibaz rugby manager Theresa le Roux said they were committed to investing in young talent. Although Madibaz are experiencing a lean run in the competition, Le Roux said they had plans in place to bolster their resources with promising schoolboy players. "Our coaches of the Young Guns will attend various school competitions throughout the year. "It's difficult to compete out there as all the universities are looking for young talent. "But we have a good relationship with EP Rugby and we will be working together to try to ensure we can draw some young talent to our university and province." This season Madibaz have suffered a disappointing run of four straight losses, being hampered by a string of injuries among senior players. They lost to NWU-Pukke at Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday and face a tough away challenge against University of Johannesburg in their next match. Acknowledging their situation, Le Roux said an optimistic mood remained in the camp and they were determined to fight all the way. "The squad are not going to throw in the towel and we will maintain a positive approach as we look ahead," she said. "I believe if we can get a win and at least two bonus points from our last four matches, we will be safe from relegation." Madibaz are second from last on the log with three points, one ahead of University of Pretoria, who have also lost all four of their matches. Bloem team Central University of Technology are just two points ahead of Madibaz. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
With a one-second flashback burning in his mind, Myles van Musschenbroek is fired up to make a statement when the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope gets under way in Paarl on Monday. South Africa's premier stage road race, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, will take riders through a total of 491km in and around the Western Cape town from Monday to Friday. The defending champion is Kent Main, but there can have been few stage races of this nature decided in such dramatic fashion than last year's finish at the Taal Monument just outside Paarl. On the final stage, Main trailed leader Van Musschenbroek by 51 seconds but in stunning fashion he managed to make up the deficit to hand a one-second loss to his devastated rival. Almost a year later, the memory still lingers for Van Musschenbroek and he feels there is unfinished business ahead of him next week. "That one second has been a bit of a thorn in the side for a year," the 25-year-old ProTouch rider from Johannesburg said. "It's something that I have thought about for the whole year and definitely something I would like to try to make right in my own head." Having said that, Van Musschenbroek acknowledged that he caught some lucky breaks last year, with stage four being cancelled because of high winds "which played in my favour". Nonetheless, he said still had to work hard to head the general classification going into the last day. This time he is looking forward to better team support. "Our preparations are all on track and there is a lot more depth in our team this year," he said of the outfit which includes last weekend's Bestmed Berge en Dale champion Reynard Butler. "We have more than one option this time and a few cards to play which we will discuss as the race goes on. Everyone's on a good level and we definitely want to go for the win this year." He said they had been focused on working as a team, discussing tactics going into each race and having learnt a lot about each . . .
The cream of Africa's young cycling talent will be on show when South Africa's premier stage road race, the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope, unfolds in and around Paarl from Monday to Friday. Presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, the week will see the World Cycling Centre Africa team striving to demonstrate their skills in the 491km event. Comprising U23 riders, the six-man outfit comes from a squad of cyclists chosen after the recent African Continental Road Championships in Rwanda to spend a year at World Cycling Centre Africa, which is now based in Paarl. Started in 2005 under former South African Olympian JP van Zyl, the centre was the first satellite venue to be created following the establishment of the World Cycling Centre headquarters in Switzerland. "We are the development arm of the international cycling body [UCI] and select the best young riders in Africa to undergo specialist training at the centre," said Van Zyl. "The riders come from all over the continent and this year we have promising talent from Ethiopia, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Mali and Burkina Faso." He added that the cyclists were following a programme aimed at developing them to a level where they would be competing at the 2020 Olympics and on the World Tour in two years' time. Under the guidance of team coach and manager Peter-Lee Jeffries, Van Zyl said the riders had all raced at a top level before and he felt they would be a competitive outfit in the Tour of Good Hope. "They are seriously talented young riders who have all experienced tours of a similar nature to this one. "I believe they will be up there with the best teams, capable of challenging outfits such as Dimension Data Continental and BCX. "Having said that, the Tour of Good Hope is a really hard tour, so it will be interesting to see how they perform, especially on the hills." He added that they had a well-rounded team comprising sprinters and climbers and would be hoping "to win a stage . . .
KWAZULU-NATAL, DURBAN - Ten-time World Marathon Champion and paddling legend, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team SA/Euro Steel), has been inducted into the World Paddle Awards (WPA) Academy at their awards ceremony held in Silkeborg, Denmark on the 24 February 2018. The World Paddle Awards, held annually in Europe, celebrates the remarkable men and women from the world of paddle sports along with their achievements throughout the previous calendar year. The awards recognise the diversity of people and organisations in the paddling community and honour the hard work they put into the sport. McGregor, twice a previous winner of the Sportsman of the Year award (2014, 2015), was again one of three finalists nominated to win the 2017 Sportsman of the Year award, recognition of the year's most outstanding male athlete in any paddle sport, which was ultimately won by Peter Kauzer (Slovenia), a three-time Olympian and canoe slalom champion. Despite losing to Kauzer for the Sportsman Award, McGregor was overwhelmed to have received the ultimate recognition for his achievements when he was inducted into the WPA Academy, an association of the greatest living sporting legends and figureheads in paddling and also received the illustrious Academy Award. The Academy Award, given to an outstanding athlete, is not awarded each year but can be awarded to one of the 2017 nominees at the discretion of the WPA Academy. The stars of this year’s awards included: • Academy Award - Hank McGregor (South Africa) • Foundation Award - Dennis Newton (Great Britain) • Junior of the Year - Barbora Dimovova (Czech Republic) • Lifetime Achievement Award - Finn Larsen (Denmark) • Media Professional of the Year - Nina Jelenc (Slovenia) • Sportsman of the Year - Peter Kauzer (Slovenia) • Sportswoman of the Year - Jessica Fox (Australia) CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The stress associated with modern life can take a toll on one’s health and wellbeing if it is not adequately managed, but taking time out to play a round of golf or work out one’s frustrations in the gym often feels like a luxury one cannot afford. “While a certain amount of stress can be healthy and stimulating, we know that sustained excessive stress can potentially lead to burnout. A little relaxation time spent doing something you enjoy, preferably incorporating physical activity, can greatly assist in counteracting the effects of daily stress to improve one’s state of mind, work performance and sense of wellbeing,” says Denelle Morais, Product Development Manager for the innovative Zurreal wellbeing and rewards programme. “Interestingly, leisure activities that are somewhat challenging often feel more fulfilling and provide a sense of achievement. There is an old joke about how the game of golf was named, ‘all the other four-letter words were already taken’, which illustrates how tough the game can be, yet we see how enormously popular golf is among business executives. “We understand that rewards programmes should not contribute to stress through the imposition of complex points structures and unobtainable tiers of benefits, and we have therefore designed our programme in such a way as to maximise every opportunity to support wellbeing, and one important aspect of this is stress relief. “This is why our rewards programme has been crafted to foster opportunities for personal growth and relaxation, and reward people for taking part in the stress-busting activities they enjoy. It is becoming an increasingly popular option, particularly for small to medium enterprises, as a staff incentive and cost-effective opportunity for teambuilding,” Morais points out. According to Morais, there are no complicated points systems or moving goal posts for the achievement of the meaningful cash-back rewards that the programme offers for taking part in various . . .
The SPAR Madibaz Netball Club will host a record number of teams in their annual opening of the season event at the Vodacom Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre in Port Elizabeth this weekend. Besides the Nelson Mandela Bay clubs, netball manager Melinda Goosen said teams from George, Grahamstown and East London would be participating in the SPAR Madibaz tournament at the south campus on Friday and Saturday. "We operate on a first-come first-served basis and are sitting on another record entry, with a total of 68 teams having entered," she said. "We are delighted that the tournament is proving so popular, but it does create some logistical challenges as we have only four courts available, two indoor and two outdoor." Goosen said last year they had started on the Friday for the first time to accommodate all the teams, "but we are now again full to capacity". The main objective of the tournament, she added, was to provide coaches and clubs with a chance to assess their players ahead of the upcoming season. "It's always been the tournament which kicks off the season on a competitive note. "We follow the same format as the Nelson Mandela Bay leagues, allowing for different levels of play, from the A section down to the D section, including a men's division." She said it was a good starting point for the Madibaz teams as they prepared for the season, with a total of 11 varsity teams taking part in the tournament. "The action starts on Friday at 4pm and runs until 9pm and then there is a full day on Saturday from 7am to 6pm." Besides the tournament, Madibaz coaches and leading players are involved in a number of two-day clinics being held at schools around the Eastern Cape. Goosen said the aim was to spread the sport of netball to where "it may be lacking a bit and thanks to the financial support from SPAR, our loyal sponsors, the club is able to do just that". "It's all about uplifting the skill levels of the players as well as the coaches," . . .
Years of dedication to the sport have all been worth it for University of Johannesburg hockey star Gareth Heyns following his selection this month for the Commonwealth Games. Although he has a number of national caps under his belt, the 26-year-old central defender is over the moon at being included in the national squad for the Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April. "I really didn't think it was something that would happen, so when I found out I was going it was one of the happiest moments of my life," said Heyns, who is in his masters year of a marketing degree at UJ. "It has made all the hard work, long days and nights of training and difficult times worth it. "I have played [for SA] before but I always thought that if I could compete on a stage like this it would be the ultimate reward. It's been one of my major goals." The UJ star is, however, under no illusions about the task which lies ahead. South Africa are ranked 15 in the world and he said they had a big challenge facing them. "But we have a lot to prove and a lot that we can achieve as a squad. "We have a group of guys pushing for chances all the time and it keeps everyone on their toes, training to be the best we can. This creates the best environment we could ask for." He said most teams had been playing a series of matches to prepare for the Games, but South Africa did not have the same opportunities. "We have our challenges where we unfortunately aren't in the same position, but everyone is training hard to be in the best shape possible for this tournament. "We are also trying to build towards something bigger for aspiring national hockey players, so it would be nice to set a platform for the guys coming through where they can carry on competing on this stage." He said their strength lay in having a good mix of experience and youth. "The guys that have been there before are always willing to help and provide knowledge where possible so that the rest of us . . .