The 20th running of the SPAR Women’s Challenge in Port Elizabeth on May 4 features a new venue, Little Ladies’ race and bigger prizes, organisers announced at the launch yesterday. Although SPAR Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart remained tight-lipped about some of the details, he said the 2013 edition was shaping up to be the best yet. “Attracting runners from across the province, it has grown exponentially over the past two decades and we always put in a 110% effort to improve and innovate year on year. “We are proud to be associated with a sport that promotes healthy living, which is the focus of our brand.” The women-only event, which was held at Kings Beach until last year, has been organised by the Walmer Athletics Club since its inception in 1993. It has grown from 287 inaugural participants to more than 12 000 last year, making it the biggest road race in the Eastern Cape. “We’ve outgrown the existing venue and will be moving to Pollok Beach,” said Swart. He said further details on the new venue could be expected shortly. Aside from the 5km and 10km distances, he said this year’s event would see the introduction of the 2km Little Ladies’ Race. Aimed at girls under the age of nine, it takes place on the first day of official registration on May 1. Swart said the retailer’s recipe for success was to provide a quality event for both amateur and professional athletes. “The first 12 000 entrants will get t-shirts and goodie bags and all finishers receive commemorative medals.” He said live entertainment and lucky draw prizes would again form an integral part of the supermarket chain’s wholesome race-day offering. Swart said the race would also benefit the wider community as all proceeds would go to a reputable charity. “We also sponsor development teams’ participation.” The PE event is part of a five-race national Grand Prix series in which the country’s top female athletes compete for points, prize money and overall . . .
In the wake of another successful River Mile, SPAR Eastern Cape has committed almost a quarter of a million rand over a three-year period to assist with the clean-up of the Swartkops River. The retailer, which marked its 20th year of trading in the province and 14th as title sponsor of South Africa’s oldest open-water swim, will contribute R80 000 per annum towards clean-up operations by the Zwartkops Conservancy (ZC). According to SPAR Eastern Cape marketing director Martin Webber, the investment followed the relocation of the event from Redhouse to Sundays River due to high Escherichia coli (E. coli) levels in the water. E. coli and faecal coli forms have reportedly exceeded two million per 100ml at times, whereas the acceptable standard for recreational use is 130. “As longstanding sponsors, we need to do what we can to assist in getting the river clean, not only from an environmental perspective but also from a desire to have the River Mile returned to its rightful place,” said Webber. The event was established at Redhouse in 1924 and was previously only disrupted by the Second World War and 1974 floods. It was moved to its current venue in 2010. “As a prominent business in the Eastern Cape with our main Distribution Centre close to the Swartkops River, we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure that we look after the environment in our area.” Mike Spearpoint, chairman of the ZC, said the trust was proud of its relationship with SPAR as fundraising for environmental initiatives was challenging. He said the money would be used mainly to cover the costs of the ZC litter collection team, which included wages, boat fuel, maintenance and safety equipment. “We have a supervisor and team of three ladies who work for us. We collect the litter in bags and place them at a central point for the NMBM to remove.” Spearpoint said the ZC had collected more than 110 500 bags of litter over the past five years. Last year alone, they removed 30 . . .
Olympic marathon runner Lusapho April helped defending champions Gamble Pharmacy smash their 21km course record by more than two-and-a-half minutes in the first race of the Investec Night Relay series in Port Elizabeth on Thursday evening. Uitenhage-born April set a blistering pace of just over three minutes per kilometre on the first lap around the North End Lake to edge his five-man team towards victory and a new record time of 1 hour 4 minutes and 56 seconds. NSRC Warriors chased hard for the runner-up spot, finishing in a respectable 1 hour 10 minutes and 10 seconds, with the NMMU Young Guns just 10 seconds further back in third. The title sponsor’s Investec 3 team proved too strong for their opposition in the mixed category, coming home in a time of 1 hour 18 minutes and 27 seconds. Their nearest rivals were Ernst & Young and Aspen in second and third respectively. It was also one for the books in the walking category, with the Rawstron family team setting a record pace of 1 hour 27 minutes and 52 seconds on the 12.6km course. Race organiser Michael Zoetmulder of Zports said it was a great start to the 2013 series. “We were very privileged to have our former national marathon champion here. “Lusapho was also the first South African home at the London Olympic marathon last year. It’s great to have athletes of this calibre supporting our local events.” Zoetmulder said he expected entry figures for corporate teams to double ahead of the second race on April 4. “A lot of companies indicated that they were unable to make the March event but will be entering multiple teams for next month’s race. “Because each lap is just 4.2km, the event is achievable for even social runners and walkers.” With lucky draw prizes, live entertainment, food stalls and a beer garden adding to the festival atmosphere, he said the series provided a healthy alternative networking opportunity for businesses in the metro. The three-race series culminates . . .
Sunday March 17 – chill to the music of Ringo Madlingozi at Kirstenbosch Head off to Kirstenbosch for a concert on Sunday March 17 that will pulsate with the hot sounds of Africa when Ringo Madlingozi brings his authentic African voice to the stage. Ringo has carved out a niche for himself as an artist able to craft songs that are rooted in Africa, yet appeal to a wide mass of people. As one of the highlights of the Old Mutual Summer Sunset concerts there are few South African artists as in tune with the “rhythm of their soul” as this Gugulethu born performer. His energetic live shows have earned Ringo much acclaim and now, with a new album due for release shortly this concert at Kirstenbosch will see him performing some new and old favourites. Originally named Sindile by his parents, his mother later gave him the nickname Ringo, (after Ringo Starr) because of the drumming and singing talents which he started displaying at an early age. Today this talented artist has a string of awards and albums that have seen platinum status and the afternoon promises to be one of the best of the series. It wasn’t always like this for this vocalist, drummer, percussionist, guitarist, songwriter producer and arranger. A chance encounter with the renowned producer and head of Island Records, Chris Blackwell changed the course of Ringo’s creative life which led directly to the recording of his debut album in 1996, “Vukani.” The album marked a new direction for Ringo. Literally meaning “Wake Up” the album firmly rooted Ringo in the African pop genre, giving expression to the “ukuxhentsa” rhythms that had inspired the singer in his youth when he used to listen to “amagqirha” or traditional healers in his neighborhood and appreciate their rhythms. The addition of a contemporary sound whilst still being grounded in the tradition of the Xhosa guitar, cemented what has now become known as the “Ringo” sound.” The sound has found its expression in several other releases, . . .
Former Springbok wing turned rugby analyst Ashwin Willemse has thrown his support behind the Southern Kings following their triumph over the Western Force at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Friday. Willemse, who was the guest of honour at the SPAR Eastern Cape Charity Golf Day in Port Elizabeth last week, said he was “very content and impressed” with their dominating debut performance in the Super Rugby competition. “I think it was a wonderful confidence booster for the players and also all the fans in the Eastern Cape.” Having replaced the Lions as South Africa’s fifth franchise in the competition, he said it was only natural that the team would come under close scrutiny and be judged more severely. “It was a very challenging way that they entered Super Rugby, so the eyes of the rugby world were on them to see how they would perform. “I think they’ve answered their critics exceptionally well with the way they performed in their opening game.” Although the Western Force finished second from the bottom of the log last year, Willemse said this in no way diminished the Kings’ victory. “As a retired player, I can tell you that every side in this competition is a force to be reckoned with. “The Force is not historically the strongest team in Super Rugby but they are nonetheless very competitive and I enjoy their brand of rugby.” Referring to the golf day which raised R100 000 for the Nelson Mandela Bay Community Chest, the 31-year-old said he felt a great responsibility to assist with charitable ventures whenever he could. “In our country we have a lot of need. As individuals, there is that responsibility on all of us to assist in whatever way we can.” In his address to participants at the Humewood Golf Club, the former SA Player of the Year shared his personal experiences in escaping a life of gangsterism and violent crime through rugby. “I am the embodiment of the goodwill that is out there. By sharing my story, I show the . . .
Advertising heavyweight Alistair King will be engaging with marketers in the city about the future of marketing, brands and ethics. Watch him in action at the next Marketers Executive Forum XTalk on Tuesday, 19 February. The founding and creative partner of the King James Group, Alistair has built King James around delivering powerful creative on brands such as, Allan Gray, Santam, Kulula and Johnny Walker to name a few. Alistair is frequently ranked as the number one Creative Director by his peers on the Creative Circle. Talking about brands with heart and soul, Alistair will cover where marketing is moving, how communication is evolving and how agencies are changing. Illustrating everything he believes about the modern game of marketing, he will also show practical examples of brands that have heart and soul and why it’s so important in this day and age. “This XTalk is aimed at informing, enlightening and educating marketers in the Eastern Cape on the importance of brands for any business and really drilling to the heart and soul of that brand,” says Neil Hart, Chairman of MXF. The XTALK takes place on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 at 4pm, at the NMMU South Campus Auditorium. The cost is R250 incl. vat. To book your seat for this event, email Gabi on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Marketers Executive Forum or the next XTALK, visit www.mxforum.co.za. URL: http://www.mxforum.co.za Twitter: https://twitter.com/MXF_EC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MXFEC YouTube: Author: Gabriela Vleeschouwer from Boomtown. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. No of Images Uploaded: One To gain access to One image/s please Like, Tweet or +1 this article: [l2g] Images: Alistair King from the King James Group [/l2g] . . .
Organisers of The Herald VW Cycle Tour have urged all participants, their friends and family to support education in Nelson Mandela Bay, which hosts the oldest national classic this weekend. On Friday, February 1, cyclists will be able to donate school uniforms, shoes and stationery at race registration as part of the metro’s city-wide initiative to uplift and support children in need. “The metro has been a proud partner of The Herald VW Cycle Tour for many years,” said event coordinator Linda Harwood. “As education is a high priority for The Herald, they had no hesitation in making the cycle tour available to the Educational Task Team as a platform to promote their activities.” The task team, announced by NMB executive mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, forms part of a larger education-focused project which includes the Aids Orphans Programme, Career Guidance Exhibition and Community Fire Safety programmes. Wayile felt it necessary for the metro to work hand-in-glove with the education department to make local education a priority. He felt that education should not only be a provincial concern, but that the Bay’s public and private sectors should work with education stakeholders to improve school performance and ultimately job creation. To this end, he established the Education Task Team in October 2011. Councillors from different political parties, church leaders, NGO officials, private sector representatives and members of the District Educational Department make up the task team. They are responsible for driving donation opportunities, liaising with stakeholders and distributing donations to children in need. Beneficiaries include households headed by children, poverty-stricken families and those who have been affected by accidents. So far, more than 153 students have been provided with school uniforms. Among those are children from Malabar Primary School, who were victims of a bus accident in June last year. Other children who have benefited . . .
A new partnership between the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and the Mandela Bay Development Agency brings benefits to artists from Port Elizabeth and surrounds. Artists from Port Elizabeth and its surrounding areas are set to walk under a bigger spotlight at this year’s National Arts Festival, the result of an exciting partnership that has been brokered between the Festival and the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), an entity of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM). Central to the partnership is a strategic relationship that will offer increased visibility and capacity-building opportunities for Port Elizabeth artists participating at the Festival. The recently revamped Little Theatre at the Athenaeum will also be one of the beneficiaries of the project, which will consider ways in which Fringe productions visiting the Festival can also present their work at the small intimate venue in the Athenaeum. The partnership between the Festival and the MBDA will enable fifty musicians from the Port Elizabeth Youth Violin Project a dynamic opportunity of participating in a “Festival Encounter”. The young violinists will be scheduled for a performance at the Festival and be given the opportunity of attending other Festival concerts. They will also attend a workshop led by leading Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner Samson Diamond (2010) and other musicians. The workshops will offer guidance on playing techniques and life-skills that are essential for young people who intend to pursue a career in the music sector. In addition, at least one major arts project from Port Elizabeth will be presented on the Festival’s Main programme. Details about this production will be released when the Festival officially announces its programme in April. “With so many on-going inspiring cultural developments in the Mandela Bay, this partnership is crucial to profile the creative economies of Port Elizabeth and its surrounding areas to a captive audience . . .
Professional road team Tasol-GT will be fighting for more than just the win at The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, they will be fighting for survival. The 28th edition of the 106km Classic marks the start of the riders’ campaign to save their squad, following the announcement that headline sponsor Tasol will only fund them until the end of the current financial year. Team principal Dean Edwards said the race now had extra meaning for the team, which boasts former winner Nolan Hoffman and defending champion James Perry in the line-up, and his riders were determined to make it count. Although Tasol-GT is currently without the services of Hoffman as he prepares for the world track championships in Europe, Edwards said the recent signing of former Bonitas danger man and Amashova Durban Classic winner Johann Rabie would strengthen their attack. “We will now be looking to Rabie and David Maree as our primary go-to men. With the route change this year, the harder first half could well split up the race, which would suit these two guys. “However, in saying that, we thought it was going to be a bunch sprint last year and James rode away in the final 2km, so we will make sure we have all our bases covered.” Among the arrows in Edwards’ quiver is talented local youngster Kellan Gouveris, who made his professional debut in front of his home crowd last year. Since then, Gouveris has gone on to finish seventh at the junior world track championships and also achieved a good matric result. Edwards said he now played an integral part in the team along with fellow juniors Myles van Musschenbroek and Jevandre Pauls. “I don't think he’s quite ready to win the race just yet but then again with Kellan you never know. That's what I like about him – he is a fighter and a huge talent.” He said the eight-man Bonitas squad, which is spearheaded by sprinters Christoff van Heerden and Herman Fouche, would be the team to beat on the day. “One . . .
Multiple former winner Kevin Evans will be in a different outfit when he defends his title in The Herald VW Cycle Tour’s 80km Extreme mountain bike challenge at Addo on Saturday. Evans, who started his mountain biking career in Port Elizabeth, has joined FedGroup-Itec Connect in the wake of the much-publicised demise of his former team and will bring teammates Brandon Stewart, who won in 2011, and Bridgette Minnaar-Stewart along for the ride. “It’s very early in the season for us but it will be great preparation for the racing to come later in the season.” The Plettenberg Bay-based rider said his training was going well despite recovering from abdominal surgery in early December. “I’m about a month behind but should be back to full strength by mid-February.” He said he was looking forward to competing on the uncharted territory of the new course, after torrential downpours forced a last-minute route change last year. “It will be nice to race over some new terrain.” The four-time national marathon champion said he was expecting strong opposition from the likes of Team Blend Properties’ Charles Keey and possibly former Tour de France rider John-Lee Augustyn, who has made a return to racing following an extended injury-induced layoff. He will also be facing ex-teammate James Reid, former national road champion Darren Lill and cross-country racer Oliver Munnik. Evans will also take part in the 106km Classic road race in PE on the Sunday, which will put the 34-year-old in contention for the newly introduced Ultimate Quest category, which rewards riders with the shortest combined time across both events. Evans, who finished fifth in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour last year, said the super-category gave mountain bikers like himself and Stewart a distinct advantage over their road counterparts. “It will most certainly favour the mountain bikers, as the time gaps are always much bigger off-road than on.” Evans said he was looking forward . . .