PIETERMARITZBURG, KWAZULU-NATAL, 16 MAY 2016 - Jowetts Cycles, based in Pietermaritzburg, is celebrating its 84th year in the cycling trade this year. It is South Africa’s oldest and arguably the most well-known cycling shop in KwaZulu-Natal. How does the oldest cycle brand celebrate this auspicious occasion? By adding one of the oldest bicycle brands to its stable - LAPIERRE bikes. Founded in 1946 by Gaston Lapierre, and passed down over three generations, Lapierre combines innovation, aesthetics, attention to detail, and its experience with pro riders, to offer the most efficient and beautiful bikes to cycling enthusiasts everywhere. Based out of Dijon, France, the headquarters remain the centre for development and testing. A team of engineers are dedicated to the research and innovation for every frame that is developed and actively engage in bike tests with Lapierre’s pro riders. Jowetts Cycles is proud to add a small range of LAPIERRE BIKES to its existing stable of world class brands, SCOTT, MERIDA, SILVERBACK and TITAN bikes. Owners, Wally and Ingrid Flint, and their dedicated staff, have a reputation in the industry for always going the extra mile, which has seen them do some amazing extra-mile feats for customers in desperate times. These include, but are not limited to, opening the shop at 2am (and countless other different hours) for customers to get parts, bikes, bits and pieces; for the past 10 years travelling 4000km to Cape Town and back with about 100 bikes in tow for customers riding the Argus; and putting up a large, well-stocked mobile shop at many races around the country in good and bad weather over the past umpteen years, to ensure cyclists can ride their races safely, plus much more. The well-stocked cycle shop has seen many famous, and not so famous cyclists, from around the world, but Jowetts Cycles is most loyal to its large customer base in Pietermaritzburg and KZN, priding itself on its ability to provide world-class . . .
SANDTON, JOHANNESBURG, 11 MAY 2016 - Today, 11th of May 2016, Comrades Marathon major sponsor, Nedbank, hosted their elite Nedbank Club runners from around the country at Nedbank’s Head Office in Johannesburg for an official Nedbank Running Club media launch and Comrades marathon send-off. This is the first time that Nedbank has hosted its top Comrades Marathon gold medal contenders in the same place at the same time prior to this major race. This momentous occasion allowed media the rare opportunity to interview these elite athletes prior to the Comrades Marathon. The send-off began at 7am with a 5km fun run/walk around the Nedbank Head Office in Sandton, involving Nedbank Running Club elite runners, their coaches and managers, plus Nedbank staff and executive management, and the media. This was followed by a Nedbank-sponsored breakfast during which Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown, gave a heartfelt speech wishing all runners good luck for their 2016 Comrades Marathon endeavour. Pro runners flown up for this event included Nedbank Running Club’s Claude Moshiywa, who was the first South African winner of the Comrades Marathon’s ‘Up Run’ in 21 years when he claimed victory at the 88th marathon in 2013. Moshiywa placed 3rd at the 2011 marathon and 7th at the 2015 marathon. Also present was Charne Bosman (4th Women – 2016 Two Oceans Marathon, 5th Women – 2015 Two Oceans Marathon, 2nd Women 2015 Comrades Marathon); Ludwick Mamabolo (6th – 2016 Two Oceans Marathon, 2nd - 2014 Comrades Marathon, 4th – 2013 Comrades Marathon); Siphiwe Ndlela (10th – 2016 Two Oceans Marathon, 17th – 2015 Comrades Marathon); Eric Ngubane (19th in 2009 Comrades Marathon), and Renier Grobler (18th in 2015 Comrades Marathon) - will also be at the event. “This rare but fantastic official media launch and CEO send-off, for and by the Nedbank Running Club, was aimed at giving elite Nedbank-sponsored athletes, Nedbank employees, and the media, the rare opportunity to interact in a fun and . . .
GAUTENG, PRETORIA - 10th MAY 2016 - On Sunday, 8th May, Jeep Team’s OCR athletes – Thomas van Tonder, Jay Jay Deysel, Joshua Masudi, Hlubi Mboya and Carina Marx, joined forces to run for those who can’t in the 2016 Wings for Life World Run, where 100% of race proceeds go towards research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury. Wings for Life World Run events took place in 33 countries across 6 continents and 12 time zones, with 34 official locations, including Pretoria in South Africa. Athletes of all abilities - elite, social and paraplegic - across the globe started at precisely the same time - 11am UTC on May 8, 2016. This year saw an unprecedented number of registered participants – 130,732 across the 34 official locations, stepping up to run for those who can’t, helping to raise a staggering €6.6 million (Euros) for spinal cord injury research. There is no finish line at the Wings for Life World Run. It’s the only race in the world where the finish line catches you. Athletes at each location are chased by a Catcher Car, which takes off 30 minutes after the start, driving at exactly 15km/h for the first hour. This speed increases to 16km/h for the second hour, 17km/h for the third hour, and then 20km/h for the fourth and fifth hour, increasing to a fast 35km/h to chase down the leading runners. In Pretoria, the Jeep OCR Team ran 28.5km in 2h18m06 before they were caught by the Catcher Car. Said Jay Jay Deysel, “During the race, we met Saskia Schulze, a wheelchair athlete. She needed some assistance to help her beat her 2015 distance of 21.9km. Jeep Team worked with her to run/push her to 28.5km. She was the leading lady in a wheelchair and took the win! Helping Saskia was an awesome experience as this is what Wings for Life is all about – running for those who can’t due to spinal cord injuries. Saskia was the perfect motivation and we pushed hard to reach her and our goal. Next year we’re all planning to run together again.” Worldwide, the . . .
KWAZULU-NATAL, DURBAN, 5 MAY 2016 – To experience ordinary people conquering the extraordinary, be at the award-winning Comrades Marathon Nedbank Green Mile SPECATOR ZONE in Old Main Road, Kloof, on Sunday, 29 May 2016 from 8am to 3pm. On the day, a 1.2km stretch of road in Kloof will be converted into an energetic mile-long ‘green & gold’ themed spectator and runner zone, orchestrated by Nedbank, to ensure runners, families and friends feel fully immersed in the awe-inspiring, humbling, life-changing Comrades Marathon along the Comrades Marathon route. Dress to theme and join in with the fun and festivities. The Comrades Marathon is South Africa’s most inclusive sports event, involving a sports discipline that has no cultural, racial or financial barriers and attracting around 350,000 spectators, 3-million global TV viewers and 4 500 volunteers every year, not to mention the real heroes – the approximately 20 000 runners who take on the ‘Ultimate Human Race’. For millions of South Africans, showing their support for the Comrades Marathon has become an important, unmissable and iconic tradition. Families, friends and colleagues make plans to support competitors, getting up at the crack of dawn, packing picnic baskets, deck chairs and umbrellas, and donning their supporter outfits, to stake out at the Nedbank Green Mile official spectator zone, where they provide encouragement to runners as they take on this immense challenge, whilst being entertained by movement and sound. “The only place to catch all the 2016 Comrades action is at the only official spectator point along the route, the Nedbank Green Mile. The Nedbank Green Mile has been designed to celebrate the essence of what it means to take part in the Comrades Marathon - courage, selflessness, humbling, dedication and perseverance. In 2016, the Nedbank Green Mile is themed ‘Green and Gold’, and will see Kloof’s Old Main Road transformed into a rejuvenating, eco-friendly, celebratory, . . .
Nelspruit's Gawie Combrinck became the first three-time winner of the 900km Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race after placing second alongside teammate Nico Bell on the final stage of 84km between Highflats and Scottburgh in KwaZulu-Natal today. Johann Rabie and HB Kruger of Telkom won the stage – their fourth in total – when they got the better of NAD Pro on the single-track section that led riders to the floating bridge and finish on the beach. Rabie and Kruger finished second in the overall standings after nine days of racing from Heidelberg in Gauteng. Andrew Hill and Tyronne White of Thule-Pyga-TIB rounded out the podium. "They (Telkom) were full gas from the word go," said Combrinck. "We simply followed them and tried to stay out of trouble. "They were a bit faster than us in the last single-track. We played it safe over the bridge; it is very slippery in this rain and I almost lost it." The 30-year-old said it felt great to collect a third trophy in as many tries. "We were aggressive from the start and the only real hiccup was that one day when we went too fast down Bezuidenhout's Pass and suffered a mechanical at the wrong time." Combrinck said they had good form over the second half of the race and were able to ride aggressively. "On day six we felt that we were getting better and that is also when HB started to struggle a bit. "We usually get better during a tour and I felt that day was the turning point." He said the elation of the moment would possibly only sink in later, but paid tribute to his 32-year-old partner. "Nico and I have raced together a lot and we train together every day and he must be one of the best teammates one can have. It is vital on a stage race as you are only as strong as the weakest rider. "It is also important to be able to look after your partner when he is going through a rough patch. We race very well together in that sense." Rabie, who has collected two titles alongside Combrinck . . .
The 2016 Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run was a resounding success with an increase in entries over 2015, the introduction of the exciting 60km Husqvarna Classic MTB X-treme and plenty of healthy family fun on a sunny KZN winter’s day. Race organisers, sponsors Husqvarna, Gwahumbe Game & Spa and iNsingizi Game and Spa, again delivered an event that drew plenty of praise for its fast track, challenging terrain, spectacular vistas, well-manned water tables and excellent markings and marshalling. Sunday’s events included the 60km Husqvarna Classic MTB X-treme, the 40km Husqvarna Classic, the 18km Gwahumbe Game & Spa Fun Ride, 5km and 10km Kids Rides and the iNsingizi 18km Trail Run and 9km trail runs. The 60km MTB women’s champion, Jeannie Dreyer, summed it up: “Being able to do game spotting while riding is a real treat. Nine years of development of the Husqvarna Mid-Illovo MTB race and I don't think much more can be done to improve the route. The variety of tracks and scenery within the race keeps it interesting and exciting to ride. “It is most definitely one of the most exciting races in KZN. There is obvious synergy between the title sponsor, Husqvarna and organisers as we saw the incredible amount of work that had gone into cutting and building new sections of incredible single track,” she said. Race organiser, Shanon MacKenzie, noted that it was not only the die-hard mountain bikers who enjoyed the event. ““The beauty of the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run is that it is not exclusively for professional sportsmen and women. It has something for everyone, especially for those who love the outdoors and the beautiful scenery of KwaZulu-Natal. This year, we had even more families participating and lots of people stopped to take selfies en route.” This 2016 Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run took place two weeks before Sani2C, giving mountain bikers a perfect . . .
Successfully changing the political, social and economic perceptions of KZN agriculture through a comprehensive PR strategy entitled Kwanalu Uplifting Agriculture campaign secured Pietermaritzburg-based media publicity agency UrbanHouse Media (UHM) a Gold at the public relations industry’s recent PRISM awards. The event, a highlight on the industry’s calendar, was held in Johannesburg on April 17. UHM won Gold in the Resources category for their traditional and social media public relations campaign for their client the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) with a campaign entitled Kwanalu Uplifting Agriculture campaign. “The 2015 media campaign for Kwanalu was a great success with both ourselves and our client being happy with the results. To be awarded a Gold from PRISA for the campaign reiterates this and is a great feather in our team’s cap,” said UHM director Cindy Kidger. UHM have again been appointed to direct an ongoing media campaign for Kwanalu in 2016 with the continued objective of changing the perceptions of the agricultural industry amongst the greater KZN community and of uplifting the morale of farmers in the province. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Medical history was made in KwaZulu-Natal late last week with the first ever use of a state-of-the-art robotic surgical system at Netcare Umhlanga Hospital near Durban. During the historical procedure, 50-year-old Bheki Mdlalose of Durban successfully underwent a robotic-assisted prostatectomy to remove his cancerous prostate. “Such has been the success of Netcare’s introduction of the da Vinci Si robotic surgical system in Johannesburg and Cape Town that Netcare regarded it as critically important to also introduce the sophisticated robotic technology in KwaZulu-Natal to meet the demand for this type of procedure from doctors and patients in the province,” says Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division. Du Plessis says the procedure was performed by renowned urologist, Dr Marius Conradie, who has performed numerous robotic-assisted surgical procedures, and travelled from Johannesburg to collaborate with his peers to undertake the procedure at Netcare Umhlanga Hospital. Mr Mdlalose, who hails from KwaMashu near Durban, is recovering well and reportedly in good spirits after the prostatectomy. According to the general manager of Netcare Umhlanga Hospital, Marc van Heerden, more patients have already been scheduled to undergo the same procedure with the assistance of the new system. The da Vinci robotic technology is designed to assist surgeons in performing intricate procedures, such as a prostatectomy, with a much greater degree of accuracy and fewer side effects than can be achieved with traditional open or laparoscopic surgery. “Netcare introduced da Vinci Si robotic technology at Netcare Waterfall City Hospital in Midrand and Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town in mid-2014. Over 360 prostatectomies using the robotic- technology have already been performed at these two hospitals,” notes Du Plessis. “Urologists trained in robotic-assisted surgery have also used this cutting-edge technology to perform a number of . . .
Take a serious mountain biking and trail run challenge for top notch professional athletes, add tough races for amateur sports lovers and finish with a dollop of family fun and you have the 2016 Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run. This eagerly anticipated event, which is due to take place Sunday 24 April at the Mid-Illovo Club in KZN, will include a new challenge for serious mountain bikers – the 60km Husqvarna Classic MTB X-treme. Seasoned riders, many of whom have already tested their endurance against the 40km Husqvarna Classic, can look forward to tackling what has been called “the best single track of any single day event”. Less serious bikers can choose between the 18km Gwahumbe Family Experience or the 10km route where entry is free for the under 12s. The 18km or the 9km iNsingizi trail routes, which were introduced three years ago, grow in popularity every year with more and more trail runners enjoying superlative routes through indigenous KZN bushlands and grasslands. Event organizer, Shanon MacKenzie, pointed out that, for the first time, the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run would take place two weeks before Sani2C, giving mountain bikers a perfect pre-Sani training opportunity, especially when it came to the new, longer riding route. The Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge has more than earned its place as part of the prestigious Quattro ROAG Series which was created to develop the sport in KwaZulu-Natal. It has successfully focused on encouraging young and up-and-coming riders to enjoy mountain biking. “The beauty of this event is that it is not exclusively for professional sportsmen and women. It has something for everyone, especially for those who love the outdoors and the beautiful scenery of KwaZulu-Natal. Most importantly, it offers something for partners and children which means that it can be a fun filled family experience,” said MacKenzie. The Husqvarna Classic . . .
By Peter Feldman for The Next 48hOURS Two prominent Durban stage directors have been nominated for prestigious Naledi Theatre Awards, which takes place in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 19 April. They are Steven Stead and Caroline Smart, both of whom, over the years, have made invaluable contributions to the KwaZulu-Natal arts scene. Stead is nominated for his direction and production of the Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd and revival of Little Shop of Horrors, while Smart is nominated for her direction of the original South African play about Cecil John Rhodes, Hinterland. Now in its 12th year, the Naledi Theatre Awards reflect the vibrant and diverse nature of the South African theatrical landscape that exists today. These are the premier awards for theatre excellence in South Africa. Smart says she is "over the moon" about being nominated for Hinterland, a play about Cecil John Rhodes; a truly controversial and current subject. "I feel incredibly honoured to be nominated for a Naledi Award - particularly to be on the same list as such prestigious directors," Smart continues. Hinterland started its main journey with rehearsals in Durban after it won three awards at the 2012 PANSA/NLDTF Playwriting Festival. Since then it has appeared at the National Arts Festival twice and at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square. It is going to Artscape later on this year. “I admire Duncan Buwalda's command of dramatic text and his use of humour,” Smart says. “Also, his bold idea of taking a ‘what if’ situation and almost making one believe that the working relationship between Cecil John Rhodes and Sol Plaatjie actually happened." Asked her thoughts on the state of South African theatre, Smart replies: "These are interesting times indeed and I am always impressed by the tenacity and dedication of performing artists and their determination to make it work, even in this difficult economic climate." Stead says it was always very gratifying to have one’s . . .