Financial giant Nedbank has confirmed a three-year sponsorship deal with the world’s largest mountain bike stage race, the Nedbank sani2c, which rolls through southern KwaZulu-Natal from May 14. According to Nedbank Group sponsorship head Andy Scott, the three-day race, presented by Nedbank Private Wealth, was a natural fit for the bank and benefited communities all along its 251km route from Underberg to Scottburgh. “Like sani2c, Nedbank has a longstanding commitment to sport development and making a positive contribution to the communities in which it operates. “The event complements the bank’s current involvement in cycling and we are delighted to take the reins from BoE, who sponsored a superb event in 2012.” Scott said BoE Private Clients had been rebranded as Nedbank Private Wealth in October last year. “Our involvement this year reaffirms Nedbank’s reputation as South Africa’s green and caring bank. “The eco-friendly nature of the race, supported by the tree-planting programme, lends itself to the protection and preservation of the fauna and flora along the route. In addition, he said the financial backing made available to schools and local community organisations that work on the event are further touchpoints for the title sponsor. For the 4 500 riders participating in the Trail, Race and Adventure components, the sponsorship makes world-first initiatives like the new 360Life bridge possible. The floating bridge, one of several innovative water crossings on the route, sees participants riding their bicycles over the Scottburgh lagoon and a few hundred metres into the Indian Ocean before hitting the finish line on the main beach. The bank has also made free life and disability cover available to all participants for the duration of the event. Organiser Glen Haw said the race was honoured to be associated with the financial group. “Officially, this is Nedbank’s first year as title sponsor but, in reality, the organisation . . .
Acting as a conservancy for the re-establishment of many threatened indigenous species, Zimbali Coastal Resort is a vista of natural beauty, ecological richness and biological diversity, providing refuge to a variety of local flora and fauna, including over 220 species of birds. Within this sub-tropical paradise, cocooned within the serene confines of a coastal forest reserve, you will find the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and a beautiful baby Crowned Eagle nesting under the abundant forest canopy. The baby eagle was recently spotted performing madly near her nest, high up in a tree, in the vicinity of the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. With her head down and eyes fixed to the ground for quite some time, she suddenly swooped down grabbing what was part of a dead monkey with her talons and hopping just a few metres away to eat it. It became apparent that the baby Crowned Eagle was searching the thick undergrowth below for her meal, which she had dropped from her nest. Surprisingly, the baby eagle tolerated her human spectators, allowing magnificent close-up views and pictures for those lucky enough to witness one of nature’s most spectacular birds of prey. The Crowned Eagle, also known as the African Crowned Eagle, is a very large, powerful, crested bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, it is restricted to suitable habitats in the eastern areas. Often considered Africa's most powerful and ferocious eagle, the Crowned Eagle preys mostly on monkeys and other small forest mammals such as duikers (weighing up to 30kg). Boasting a wingspan of up to 1.81m, a female Crowned Eagle can weigh as much as 15% more than her male counterpart, at approximately 4.7kg compared to 4.1kg. Now at six months of age (as at end of March 2013) and almost the size of a fully-fledged adult Zimbali Estate Management Association (ZEMA), having partnered with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal to film the development stages of the bird, will continue to monitor her whereabouts via . . .
Casual Day, South Africa’s most-loved fundraising initiative for persons with disabilities, raised a record amount of R22.2 million in 2012, beating the previous year’s tally by more than R2 million. The final audited amount was recently announced at a roadshow function at the Jaipur Palace in Durban to honour Casual Day’s top performers in KZN. The Association for People with Disabilities (APD) KwaZulu Natal, was named the top performing participating APD in the country, raising donations for over 26 000 stickers. APD KZN Director Sheryl Naidoo received the accolade, thanking all participants for their hard work. Tongaat Hulett received a special award for their support of the APD’s Casual Day campaign. “This is really an incredible achievement,” said Project Leader Celeste Vinassa after the function. “Funds are raised R10 at a time and a tremendous effort goes in, throughout the year, to do fundraising in this way. Not only do the beneficiaries have the immediate benefit of the money they raise, but their donations also help other organisations for person with disabilities all over the country. Our fundraising model is a collective effort that shows that if everyone does something small, it has a huge impact.” APD KZN was one of 300 energetic and dedicated organisations whose fundraisers have brought in over R170 million over the past 18 years. Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities (NCPPDSA), an NPO mandated to improve education, inclusivity, accessibility and social integration for persons with disabilities. The funds are the lifeblood of its national beneficiaries - Epilepsy SA, SA Federation for Mental Health, Deaf Federation SA, SA National Council for the Blind and Disabled People South Africa, each of which participate in raising funds from sticker donations, and sales of caps and shirts. Mac Mia, treasurer of NCPPDSA, explained that fans should take note of exciting changes at . . .
Early childhood development organisation The Unlimited Child recently took the opportunity to really spoil the caregivers from the crèches involved in their programme by hosting a festive Christmas party. The non-profit organisation provides equipment and training to boost early childhood development at over 310 crèches in the Valley of a 1000 Hills in KwaZulu-Natal. According to CEO Cassy Healey, the event, which was held at the City Hill Church in Waterfall was the perfect opportunity to show these hardworking women how much their efforts are appreciated. “These ladies put in an incredible amount of effort and make a huge emotional investment in these children to ensure that they will reach their full potential. They worked tirelessly throughout the year and we felt it was very important to acknowledge their contribution to the future of our country. One hundred top caregivers were nominated by their colleagues and fellow teachers for their exceptional performance, passion and commitment and were invited to join in our festive celebration,” mentions Healey. About 130 guests, including caregivers and generous project supporters joined the celebrations and award ceremony. Guests were greeted on the red carpet by CEO Healey, while local artists Nipho and Nomfundo Mthembu provided live entertainment. Each guest received a certificate recognising their involvement with the project and honouring their commitment to the cause of The Unlimited Child. Guests then sat down for a sumptuous lunch with performances by local musicians, while spot prizes and Nivea gift packs were handed out. “These caregivers are truly the heart of our organisation and are often from the poorest of our communities, so it was especially gratifying to be able to spoil them and show them our heart-felt appreciation. These amazing women are an inspiration to us on a daily basis and without them, many children would never reach their full potential,” says Healey. URL: . . .
Media Release The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin Date: 11 November 2012 Subject: Unathi finishes her first canoe marathon at The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin. Please click on the links to download high resolution images. http://www.raydevries.co.za/images/OzzieGladwinD43.jpg http://www.raydevries.co.za/images/OzzieGladwinD44.jpg Deep Caption: Radio personality and South African Idols judge, Unathi Msengana successfully completed her debut canoe marathon at The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin at Albert Falls just outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. "I loved every minute of it! The camaraderie amongst the paddlers is amazing, and I'm looking forward to competing in the Dusi next year" said Msengana. Released by Ray de Vries of Ray de Vries Communications. For more information kindly contact: Carole Johnstone: Cell: 083 229 8374 Email: email@example.com More Info: http://www.raydevries.co.za Author: Gerard Griessel from Ray de Vries Communications. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. No of Images Uploaded: None To gain access to None image/s please Like, Tweet or +1 this article: [l2g] Images: Radio personality and South African Idols judge, Unathi Msengana successfully completed her debut canoe marathon at The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin at Albert Falls just outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. Photographer: Supplied [/l2g] . . .
The celebrity line-up for The Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon next year has received another boost with media personality and award-winning performer Unathi Msengana announcing her participation. Unathi has become a household name as host of the Metro FM morning drivetime show and more recently as a judge on the Idols talent competition. She will be joining media personalities such as 5fm sports presenter Sias du Plessis and TV and radio presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen in tackling the greatest canoe marathon in Africa. Du Plessis will head up The Unlimited Charity Batch to raise awareness for The Unlimited Child, an early childhood intervention initiative and one of the official event charities. “I love a challenge and am always ready to tackle something new. I also have a really competitive streak, so I could not resist when Sias approached me to join this initiative. I am very committed to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and this should add a new dimension to my exercise regime as I’ve never paddled before. The running will definitely be an extreme endurance test as I’ve had operations to both my knees, but I’ll be training hard over the next couple of months to make sure that I can complete 10 kilometres of portage, which means carrying the canoe on land. In addition, I’m also doing a lot of rowing and super circuit at the gym to build up my strength and cardio fitness,” mentions Unathi. During the run-up to The Unlimited Dusi in February 2013, she will be participating in a number of canoeing races and has already been receiving guidance from previous Dusi winner Thulani Mbanjwa, who is aiming for a top three finish in next year’s event. Unathi will be in extremely capable hands as she will be paddling with 11-time world champion surf skier Oscar Chalupsky, who has guided well-known personalities such as Bafana coach Clive Barker, soccer star Doctor Khumalo and former Miss South Africa Peggy Sue Khumalo down the river for this amazing . . .
KZN Athletics president, Sello Mokoena announced today that the federation will be hosting a special coaching symposium on the 8th and 9th of December 2012 in a drive to help develop coaching in each of the province’s districts. According to Mokoena, the symposium was organized when KZN Sport & Recreation MEC, Ms Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha urged provincial athletics federations to produce results as return on public investment allocated to provincial federations each year. “Ms. Sibhidla-Saphetha has expressed the need for provincial federations to play a larger role in development at grass root, as well as with elite athletes; athletes that could potentially go to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. KZN Athletics plans to develop at least ten Olympians from Kwazulu-Natal alone, and this coaching symposium will set the wheels in motion for us” said Mokoena. The symposium, sponsored by the DSR, will provide a platform for KZN Athletics officials and coaches from around KZN to come up with a solid coaching structure, as well as a coaching and training plan for those athletes. “Athletics South Africa has negotiated a structured IAAF levels 1 & 2 coaching programme to be offered in South Africa in 2013, while we would like to take advantage of this opportunity, we believe out there in the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal lies athletics germ-stones waiting to be discovered, developed and nurtured to become the best in the world, it is for this reason that we felt a coaching development programme that will include all 11 districts should be the starting point. We believe that the successful development of talented athletes rests with their coaches’ ability to train them correctly and look after their health, fitness and welfare over a significant period of time. We would like to develop a solid four year plan, and if we stick to it, we are sure to identify the province’s most talented athletes and help them develop into Olympic athletes” said . . .
Media Release Date: 1 November 2012 Subject: Kia KZN Expedition “One of the best” Four-time expedition winner, Andrew Hill is set to defend his title for the fourth consecutive year when he takes on The Kia KZN Expedition, presented by OUTsurance. Hill has won the event three times out of the last three races. The full time mountain biker said that he is very excited about the race and is looking forward to defending his title in one of KZN’s toughest mountain bike races, and will be racing in the colours of TIB Insurance Brokers. “This race is particularly tough when you compare it to other local races, the length is one factor one needs to consider, and the route itself can be underestimated when you look at the overall climbing” said Hill. The Expedition draws hundreds of participants each year, with a 40km trail for less experienced riders, and the full 80KM for serious competitors. “This year the last big climb with 20km to go has been removed, and this makes the racers upfront a bit nervous because of fewer attacking options, and it is sure to add to the challenge. The short kicker climbs in the valley around the dam will also “burn matches” if you push too hard.” The KZN expedition takes riders through breath-taking scenery around the Valley of 1000 Hills, and is popular with riders who enjoy being out in nature. “Riding through the valley is something really special; it really feels as if you are far away from any big city and in the middle of the bush. The trails are spectacular and rugged and have a different feel to the normal mountain bike trails you find elsewhere. The race is definitely one of the best” said Hill. When asked about what impact the race has on the Valley, Hill said that the Valley could only benefit from races such as the KZN Expedition. “I would like to believe any form of exposure and participant access to the valley is good. As long as we can foster the positive attitude a race such as this can offer, we . . .
Andrew Hill and Waylon Woolcock took one back for TIB-RE:CM as some of the top teams battled illness and mechanical problems on day two of the FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike race near Winterton in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. The pair beat newly announced FedGroup-Itec Connect team-mates Brandon Stewart and Neil MacDonald in a thrilling finale to claim the 61km stage by a single second in 2:49:11. Former Sharks rugby player Jeremy Thompson, riding alongside David Leiman in the colours of Thule, crossed the line in 2:56:04 to take third on the day. Stewart and MacDonald’s second place sees them retain their leaders’ jerseys and they are now 19 seconds ahead of the stage two winners. Thompson and Leiman cemented third overall. With two big climbs and a water crossing looming, the top professional teams started conservatively as they infiltrated Spioenkop Game Reserve. A lead group of five teams formed at the head of affairs and were all still together when they reached the unique speedboat crossing of Spioenkop Dam after 33km. On the other side, the first big climb saw Stewart and MacDonald take control and they were closely followed by Woolcock and Hill. But, as a stomach bug began to take its toll on the latter, the overall leaders drew clear and by the time they reached the base of Spioenkop they were two minutes up the road. “Neil and Brandon were ahead of us going over the summit (at the final water point),” said Woolcock. “But then they must have had technical problems because we caught them on the descent, which wouldn’t have happened on a good day.” Stewart confirmed that they had lost valuable time when he was forced to stop and attend to chain problems on the way down. Woolcock and Hill grabbed the opportunity with both hands and were able to close the gap in the technical section near the bottom and from there the two teams rolled to the end as one. “Coming into the finish, I just told Andrew to go because I knew we . . .
Undeterred by a last-minute course change, defending champion Brandon Stewart and ad hoc partner Neil MacDonald cleaned up on a muddy first day of the FedGroup Berg & Bush on Friday. The RE:CM-FedGroup Itec Connect pair finished in 2:41:20 on an abbreviated 74km course after torrential rains the night before had forced an impromptu route change. They beat nearest rivals Waylon Woolcock and Andrew Hill, of RE:CM-TIB, by 20 seconds after the latter were mired down with mechanical problems on the final stretch of single track. FRIB’s Jarred van Zuydam and Rick Diesel crossed the line in 2:51:30 to round out the podium. Organiser Gary Green said he had been forced to abandon the first 40km of the famed route, which started near Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State and traditionally includes a spectacular drop down the escarpment into KwaZulu-Natal. The changes, which saw almost 90% of the stage take place on safer district roads, played to the strengths of the two lead teams, which featured former roadies Woolcock and MacDonald. Soon after the start, Woolcock and Hill were first to put the hammer down, catching most of their opponents slightly off-guard. They were joined by Stewart, from Hilton in KZN, and MacDonald, who lives in Randburg, and the two teams soon started stretching their lead over the chasing pack. “Waylon really made it hard and we were quite taken aback,” said Stewart. “I think he wanted to show Neil (his regular partner) what he’s got in the tank.” According to the 31-year-old, the two teams stayed clear for the rest of the day. “We shared the work and rolled together most of the way. “There was no point trying to force the issue on those roads because there were no sections where you could get away or try to make it really hard.” Stewart said they knew it would all come down to the technical sections near the finish at Emseni Camp, which is situated in the shadow of Spioenkop just outside Winterton in the Central . . .