South Africa’s rugby fraternity can look forward to working with five former Springboks as part of the Investec International Rugby Academy’s courses which will be held at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg these December holidays. Among the iconic line-up of coaches spending a week with aspiring players (aged 7 to 17) and school coaches are former Springbok players Braam van Straaten (fly-half), Dick Muir (centre), Andre Pretorius (fly-half), Ian MacDonald (flank) and Marius Hurter (prop); as well as former Bath Rugby player Hentie Maartens (scrum-half) and current Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Steele. The Investec International Rugby Academy’s players’ and coaches courses will take place from 10 to 16 December at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg. Visit www.investecacademy.com or contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or email@example.com. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
If you think that dagga is a dangerous narcotic, then you have been duped through propaganda. Dagga is as traditional to SA as biltong, boerebeskuit and witblits. It fascinated JV Riebeeck and missionaries extolled its virtues. It grows like a weed, is medicinal in its natural form with a lower potential for harm to self and society than sugar. Supported by science (endocannabinoid system), legal in 24 USA states with 200 million US citizens having access to it as medicine (endocannabinoid system) + populations of 11 other countries. Deaths from opioid overdoses has also dropped by up to 25% in states with legal dagga. The current 'war on drugs' is a broken system. It's a war on people and does little to protect anyone from substance abuse. It's the same mentality that was used to justify enforcing the mixed marriages act, where the offender is also the victim. A perverse incentive to put people into prison. From physical prison to social prison with a subsequent criminal record. You will find plenty of peer reviewed studies, medical professionals (Joycelyn Elders, Andrew Weil, Lester Grinspoon, Deborah Malka, Sanjay Gupta, Abrams, Suzanne Sisley, Denis Petro, Ethan Russo, Uma Dhanabalan, Jeffrey Block, Bonni Goldstein, Juan Sanchez-Ramos..) who support dagga as a therapeutic plant. In SA, the Bobby Greenhash foundation PTY is supplying dagga oil to people suffering with terminal diseases. Their testimonials to the healing power of dagga is worth a read. The SA central drug authority (CDA) has also called for the decriminalization of dagga and a recent study they commissioned, concluded that dagga kills cervical cancer. Vilifying dagga and then using that stance to 'protect our children' is pointless. Rather fact based solutions (science) focusing on harm reduction through healthcare and education, as recommended by the SA substance abuse experts, S Kelley and Quintin Van Kerken. Better that control of dagga is removed from the streets and regulated . . .
Mpact Recycling, in partnership with Mrs South Africa, coordinated a beach clean-up at Blue Lagoon Beach in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend, as part of a traditional annual environmental ‘spring clean’ that countries all across the globe participate in. “Trash, whether on the beach or in the water, compromises the health of humans, wildlife and livelihoods that depend on a healthy ocean. It also threatens tourism and recreation, and the critical rands they add to our local economies. Addressing what lies unseen beneath the surface or out on the open water requires understanding by the public that the answer lies in recycling materials long before it gets to the oceans and rivers," says Donna-Mari Noble, Mpact Recycling Communications Manager. “Recycling waste at source or at homes and offices considerably reduces the amount of trash that ultimately finds its way to the coast. We encourage all South Africans to participate in recycling their paper-based products and PET beverage bottles." South Africa is one of many countries that participate in what is one of the world’s biggest volunteer efforts encouraging coastal health. Each year, thousands of kilogrammes of every imaginable type of waste is collected and removed from along the world’s shorelines, and South Africa is recognised as a leading participant in this clean-up initiative. Further, Blue Lagoon Beach is a Blue Flag certified, which according to the Foundation for Environmental Education means that the beach meets its stringent tourism standards. “How better to highlight this vital environmental issue than by leveraging the Mrs. SA pageant, and all its stands for?” says Noble. Mrs South Africa is not just a beauty pageant but a women’s empowerment programme. Beauty with a purpose and making a difference is a key part of the beauty pageant. Joani Johnson, managing director of Mrs South Africa says, “As part of the competition, our finalists are encouraged to help with community upliftment and . . .
KWAZULU- NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG, 22 SEPTEMBER 2016 – After weeks of intense voting, Cascades Lifestyle Centre has announced that Rene Morcom of PMB Assist is the winner of their inaugural Woman of Substance Campaign, which was run throughout the month of August in celebration of Women’s month. Rene Morcom, co-founder of Thandi House, which is Assist PMB's flagship project, received the highest number of votes ahead of Sinikiwe Biyela (Lifeline PMB and Rape Crisis Flagship), Julie Hay (Singakwenza) and Caro Smit (South Africans Against Drunk Driving - SADD). As the winner of the Cascades Woman of Substance, Morcom receives R5000, and PMB Assist, receives a donation of R5 000, courtesy of Cascades Lifestyle Centre, as a ‘thank you’ for the great work that she does in the community. Says Rene Morcom, co- founder of Thandi House, "R10 000 can help make a big impact in the lives of abandoned babies, abused and neglected children, and children who are unloved and unwanted by their families due to being severely mentally or physically disabled. Every child deserves love and a family regardless of their circumstance" Cascades Lifestyle Centre’s inaugural Woman of Substance Campaign was the first of its kind for the Centre, and formed part of the centre's celebrations of Women's Month. It was established to raise awareness of these organisations in Pietermaritzburg, and others like it, and to let women working for their communities know that they are appreciated. The campaign was well received, with the various charities actively promoting their women leaders and encouraging people to vote. Says Michelle Chinnu, Property Manager at Ducatus, mastermind of this campaign, "The response that we have had from the community has been truly inspiring. It was such a close vote. Only a handful difference between them. We salute these women, and many others just like them, who are doing amazing work for people and animals in our communities." CLICK HERE to submit . . .
The beautiful 700ha Gwahumbe Game & Spa in Mid-Illovo, KwaZulu-Natal, is the latest private reserve to join the ranks of others which have dehorned their rhinos. Its partnership with Husqvarna and Hilton veterinary surgeon Dr Ryan van Deventer will, hopefully, ensure the survival of the lodge’s last remaining male rhino, eight-year-old Vuyo – and finally allow the expansion of its herd. Previously, said Gwahumbe Game & Spa director Shanon MacKenzie, “We were too anxious about Vuyo’s safety to allow him to be photographed, and we postponed adding to the herd because of the risk of poachers wanting their horns. We are extremely fond of him: he came here when he was just three. The decision to dehorn him was made with his survival and safety very much at the forefront of our minds.” The devastating decline in the rhino population – and the poachers’ savagery– is just one of the issues on the agenda for this year’s CITES COP17 Conference* (24 September-5 October in Johannesburg). Sadly, the battle for the animal’s survival has been a losing one, until recently. A local rhino-dehorning campaign, using Husqvarna outdoor power products, is proving highly successful in the bid to save these beautiful animals from poachers. In KwaZulu-Natal, particularly, the practice is gaining momentum, with increasing numbers of private game reserves voting for this option. The process was first used to help reduce poaching pressure in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. When rhinos are dehorned professionally, the horn is taken above the growth layer of the skin. Rhino horn is like a fingernail: you can cut it or trim it without stopping continued growth. But poachers brutally uproot the entire horn from its base under the skin in the bone. Vet Dr Ryan van Deventer started working on the dehorning project a year ago in various KwaZulu-Natal areas, including, more recently, at the popular Gwahumbe Game & Spa. “Before dehorning, many rhino owners used ankle bracelets and . . .
21 SEPTEMBER 2016, MPUMALANGA – This weekend, Kwanyoni Lodge in Nelspruit, is the host for South Africa’s top Warriors tackling Round 6 the country’s biggest obstacle races, the Jeep Warrior Series, powered by Reebok, taking place from 24 to 25 September 2016. A mere 16 km from Nelspruit, Kwanyoni Lodge will be packed with thousands of athletes who have entered to race over various course distances packed with obstacles, testing strength, skill and endurance, whilst having the most fun with family and friends. Nelspruit’s Kwanyoni Lodge is a new venue, which won a nationwide vote for new venues to host Jeep Warrior Races. It is described as a hidden jewel in the picturesque citrus valley of Alkmaar and is home to South Africa’s "Big 5". Says Jonathan Hart, Advendurance event organiser and Jeep Warrior Series Course Designer, “The Jeep South Africa #Warrior6 powered by Reebok caters for all fitness levels and age groups. Kwanyoni Lodge is a fantastic venue and offers comfortable accommodation for the entire family. Bring your crew along as there is much fun to be had! There is something for everyone, including a Bratz Race and Bratz child-minding zone. Bring on the weekend!” Warrior Bratz caters for children ages 4 -12 years old, covering a distance of 500 metres; with 8 obstacles aimed at challenging the little athletes. Parents/guardians are welcome to accompany their children through the course, but may not attempt the obstacles themselves. Warrior Rookie is the perfect introduction to OCR for athletes 10 years and older, offering up to 15 fun obstacles over a distance from 5 to 8 km. This race is great for team building as well, plus if you’re unable to complete an obstacle, a 20-burpee penalty will see you on your way. Warrior Rookie Elite is for those that compete for prize money and there are no substitute penalties. All obstacles have to be completed. Warrior Commando is for those seeking a greater challenge and who want to test . . .
The Regional Productivity Awards winners have been announced at a function held at the Riverside Hotel Conference Centre in Durban today. The entity responsible for promoting productivity within South Africa, Productivity SA, awarded the best performers at the ceremony which will culminate in the regional award winners participating in the National Productivity Awards in Gauteng. The Chairperson of the Productivity SA Board, Mthunzi Mdwaba said “The awards are intended at recognising organisations making significant contributions towards making South Africa a productive country”. The companies competed in the corporate, emerging and cooperative sectors. The regional awards provide a platform to inspire a competitive and productive South Africa. Productivity improvement is considered the most effective way of ensuring ongoing competitiveness, economic growth and, consequently, more wealth for all. The Head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Desmond Golding, says “business and government should work together to enable economic growth”. South Africa currently faces major challenges, for example how to create employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty. If South Africa is to reduce unemployment and poverty, and increase its economic growth, its emphasis should be on developing productive capacity in all sectors of the economy. The Productivity SA Awards seek to galavanise companies into adopting productivity as a fundamental tool to be more competitive. Productivity SA was created in 1969 as the then National Productivity Institute (NPI) and it focused on; Providing assistance to individual companies in their productivity improvement programs. Conducting research in the field of productivity and related matters. Promoting training and education through specific programs Productivity SA has developed various tools and models that includes measurement tools that . . .
It has been a year since the Investec Hockey Academy brought their line-up of the country’s best hockey players and coaches to KwaZulu-Natal. And now in October, in their next set of courses, the academy will address the needs of specialised school coaches coaching. Local hockey players and school coaches will have a chance to gain valuable knowledge from a new set of star-studded SA hockey icons on Saturday, 8 and Sunday, 9 October at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Kloof. The team of well-known hockey coaches include national players Shelley Russell, Kelly Madsen, Bernadette Coston, Wade Paton and Sulette Damons, SA Women’s Indoor Hockey player Jess Glass and SA Under-21 Women’s Team coach Lindsey Wright. The courses for players offered at the Investec Hockey Academy are the Fundamental Players’ Course (ages 8 to 11), an Intermediate Players’ Course (ages 12 to 15) and an Advanced Players’ Course (ages 16 to 18). In addition, the academy will be including a specialised Advanced Schools Coaches Course, which will run alongside the players’ courses allowing coaches the opportunity to work with the national coaches in the age group of their school teams. The Investec Hockey Academy’s next set of courses will commence on 8 and 9 October at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Kloof. To book contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or visit www.investechockeyacademy.com CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
13 SEPTEMBER 2016, JOHANNESBURG – It is less than a month until the world’s top OCR athletes fight it out at the third OCR World Championships from 14-16 October 2016 at the Blue Mountain Resort, Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Jeep Team athletes, Thomas van Tonder and Carina Marx, have both qualified and have been in full Warrior mode ahead of the World Championship. Both Van Tonder and Marx were on fire at the recent Battlerush OCR fundraiser, a gruelling OCR Training event designed to push athletes through tough individual obstacles that may be seen at the World Champs; and both won the Savage Beast race at The Beast OCR event this past weekend. To have qualified for OCR World Champs, South Africans need to have achieved a Jeep Warrior Top 20 finish in an Elite category in their gender, or an Impi Challenge Top 20 finish in the Elite division in their gender. Van Tonder, over in the past 12 months, has achieved three 1st places, six 2nd places, and one 5th place. Marx, over the same period, has achieved four 2nd places, four 3rd places and two 5th places. Both athletes are well qualified for the Championships but won’t know how they truly compare against the rest of the world until they are neck deep in mud in Ontario. The OCR athletes selected for Team OCR South Africa to go to World Champs is Thomas van Tonder, Bradley Claase, Michael Joubert and Claude Eksteen (not going) for Men; and Hanneke Dannhauser, Carina Marx and Trish Bahlmann (not going) for Women. Joining van Tonder and Marx in Canada, is fellow Jeep OCR athlete, JJ Deysel, who was not selected for the SA OCR Team, but will compete in other races over the Championship weekend. According to the event organisers, the OCR World Championships will put the world’s top athletes through the ultimate physical and mental challenge across a series of obstacles over a distance of approximately 13km and will marry natural elements with some of the most challenging obstacles in OCR . . .
On September 25, 2016, David Barnard will take on the Grand to Grand Ultra in honor of the END Fund and the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa. By participating in this extreme multi-stage race, David has committed himself to raising awareness and funds to help the over 1.6 billion people worldwide whose lives are affected by NTDs. The Grand to Grand Ultra is a six-stage, 273 km race held in vicinity of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, in the United States. David, a well-known South African tech and development activist and Africa Policy Advisory Board member of the ONE Campaign, is no stranger to extreme multi-stage races of this nature. He has already completed races in the Kalahari, Namib, Sahara, Gobi and Atacama deserts, as well as Antarctica. This will be his first race in North America and the fifth leg of his quest to complete a desert race on all seven continents. “Running the Grand to Grand Ultra is more than just trying to finish another desert race. My participation in these races provides me with an opportunity to support causes and campaigns dedicated to development issues in Africa and making a difference in society,” David said. “For this adventure, my aim is to raise funds for the END Fund, promote its work, and contribute to increased public understanding of NTDs and their devastating impact, especially in Africa.” Many parts of the world still reel from the health and socio-economic impacts that are caused by these diseases of neglect. Five of the most common NTDs, and ones the END Fund focuses on, include trachoma, river blindness, schistosomiasis, intestinal worms, and lymphatic filariasis. While they may not cause immediate deaths like more globally known diseases such as malaria or HIV, they leave long-lasting devastation like disabilities, stunt education and economic growth, and create other health problems that can lead to death. As David embarks on his seven-day race at . . .