Johannesburg's Greig Knox, who was a late entrant, surprised even himself when he outlasted his competition to win the Bestmed Sondela MTB Classic near Bela-Bela in Limpopo on Sunday. The 27-year-old UCT Private Client Holdings rider, who grew up in Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal but now lives in Atholl close to Sandton, pulled away in the last five kilometres of the 60km feature race to win in 2:18:34. He was followed home by Ryno Smith in 2:19:30, with Francois van Tonder third in 2:26:13. Knox, who entered the feature event at the last moment, said afterwards he was "ecstatic" at finishing on top of the podium. "I have not been doing much training lately because I have had heavy work commitments, so this win does come as a real surprise." It was his first appearance at Sondela as, according to him, he "do not normally travel this far north to compete". Knox said he found the course fairly flat, which "made it tougher than expected". "We went out quite hard to try to create a split because the route was pretty flat and there was quite a big bunch. "Eight of us broke away after about 20km and then we went into a single-track section. "I worked hard there and then there was only two of us left at the front (Knox and Smith) and from there we rode up a nice gap on the rest until I managed to get ahead." Knox described his debut at the Sondela MTB Classic as a "wonderful experience". "It was very good. There was some awesome single-track out there and I really enjoyed the experience. "And, of course, I'm very happy and surprised with the win." Team Bestmed-ASG locked out the podium in the women's event with 32-year-old Sanet Coetzee winning in 2:39:33. She was followed home by Mariette Hattingh in 2:41:16 and Nina Sender in 2:44:49. On Saturday, Bendeon Mybergh and Alma Bester won the men's and women's sections in the 40km, with Damian Mellet and Retha Meyer triumphing in the 20km. Full results: 60km Men 1. Greig Knox . . .
After two successful sets of courses in KZN, the Investec International Rugby Academy will be returning to St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg these school holidays, adding position-specific courses, for both players and coaches, to the course line-up. The 5-day course aims to provide high school players with the skills and expertise they need by matching them with former national and international players in their position and teach coaches to learn alongside these players. The exciting line-up that attendees can look forward to working with are former Springbok flank Ian MacDonald and utility-back Brent Russell, former Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir, ex-Wallabies kicking coach Braam van Straaten, former Sharks coach Grant Bashford, Sharks forwards coach Ryan Strudwick, Sharks under-19 coach Paul Anthony, Super Rugby referee Archie Sehlako, as well as local coaches Greg Miller, Greig Wegerle and Ryno Combrink. Behind the scenes training is also a feature of the academy and specialists such as Mark Steele (former Springbok conditioning coach) and Ruan Fourie (former Sharks and Lions physiotherapist) will be educating players on conditioning for the season and injury prevention. “The academy affords players the opportunity to meet, interact and learn from the greats of the game. It can only have a positive effect on one’s development,” says former Springbok, Brent Russell. World renown kicking coach, Braam van Straaten, who has been a coach at the academy for the past seven years, is passionate about his role at the academy. “In a week you see boys become men. We get players to function outside their comfort zone,” says van Straaten. Players’ courses on offer in July are the Prestige Players’ Course (aged seven to 10 years), the Intermediate Players’ and Coaches Course (aged 11 to 14 years), the 5-Day Players’ and Coaches Course (aged 14 to 17 years). Former Eastern Province player and GM of the Investec International Rugby Academy, . . .
Experienced mountain biker Bennie Pearson is approaching Sunday's feature race at the Bestmed Sondela MTB Classic with a sense of excitement following the creation of a new route. Although the weekend cycling festival near Bela-Bela in Limpopo, which is also known as the Bushveld's Big MTB Bash, includes races on both days, all eyes will be on the top competitors in the 60km event. To put them to the test, race director Mel Meyer and his team have cut new trails for the occasion. These will take riders out of the Sondela Game Reserve through a number of adjacent properties. Pearson, who hails from Centurion and is a veteran of the race, said he thought the move to set up a new route was a "brilliant idea". He said he was looking forward to testing himself on the course, which he felt would offer participants a bit of everything. "I think the new route they have created will add a great deal of diversity. "There will be technical riding and bits of climbing as well as some Bushveld sand, so I think it will be a very nice ride and I'm looking forward to it." Pearson said he anticipated tough competition and, while he was at one stage contemplating to just enjoy the ride, he knew that his competitive juices would start flowing as soon as the race started. "I believe it will be a very good race with lots of competition. Once things get going, I know it's going to become really tough." The diversity of the trails exemplifies the philosophy of the event, with various race distances catering for cyclists of all levels. Saturday features 40km and 20km options, while youngsters can enter the 5km ride or 500m dash. The organisers have also introduced a relay race, which they feel will add a different dimension. "We will be doing it in exactly the same way you run a 4x100m relay race," said Meyer. "Teams of four will tackle a 5km route. The first group will take off and hand over to their second rider in a transition area, and so . . .
The stage has been set for the Liberty Waterberg MTB Encounter to become a permanent date on the South African mountain biking calendar after receiving high praise from inaugural winner Gertjie Harmse. The three-day race, which took place near Bela-Bela in Limpopo at the weekend, is the second leg of the Encounter Series and follows the staging of the highly successful Winelands MTB Encounter in the Western Cape over the past two years. Harmse and Devan Kruger, riding in the colours of his SST-Clotan, took top honours after completing the event in 10:59:33. While the top riders competed for the victory, the organisers, ASG Events, said their focus was more on what the race had to offer as it made its debut on the local mountain biking circuit. Facing a crash of rhinos with just your bicycle as an exit strategy, tackling new trails in somewhat challenging conditions and then being able to retire to luxury accommodation provided all the elements of a modern mountain bike event, said Harmse. "I thought the organisers did a tremendous job in creating routes through this area that has a reputation for being sandy and with all the challenges of private land," said Harmse. "The route markings were great, the sand was raked to make the route ‘easier' at places and tracks were made where none existed. "I guess the biggest challenge for most riders were the ‘horizontal climbs' – as the sand is called in that area. For me it was one of the challenges that made it memorable." The route planners negotiated with multiple game farm owners in the region to pass through their land, exposing participants to the Waterberg biosphere and animals they would not normally encounter in similar races. "A few of us were lucky enough to have a memorably close encounter with a group of rhinos on day two," said Harmse. "It's not every day you can face rhinos head-on from 10 metres with only a bicycle to assist in your ‘escape'." Harmse said he thought the approach . . .
Phalaphala FM rebranding celebration - Always There WithYou Phalaphala FM, previously known as Radio Venda, turned 51 this year. To celebrate the springinto the next half-century the SABC radio station is reveling in change.It has been 18 years since the station rebranded and there is no better way to celebrate than to get a facelift.To mark this milestone the radio station will be launching their brand new logo and a multiplatform brand campaign at an exclusive gala dinner. Phalaphala FM,is a contemporary radio station targeting 16-to 34-year-old aspirational Tshivenda-speaking people,underpinned by their tagline: ‘Always There With You.’This speaks to the stations long-lasting endurance. From its early days in 1965, where the station shared a three-hour broadcast a day with then Radio Tsonga, to a full 24-hour broadcast in 1978, the station has morphed to reflect the ever-changing landscape of the country and its listeners. “The rebranding is not just about leaving the past, it is about reflecting on our own changes from analogue to digital,” says Station Manager Freddy Sadiki. “We can now be heard in so many other ways, from digital radio and TV to online.Radio is no longer just in the home or in the car. Listeners are far more engaged now, listening on phones, computers, TV’s, and the list goes on.” “The tagline – Phalaphala –Always There With You –connects the past with the present and future andtells listeners exactly where we are and what we do; the only radiostation entirely dedicated to TshiVenda culture and language,” says Sadiki. Under theleadership of the current Station Manager, Freddy Sadiki, Phalaphala FM is broadcasting shows that are aimed at not only informing, educating and entertaining listeners but also covering every aspect of Tshivenda life ina contemporary world. The radio station is rebranding but remaining firm in being an endearing and friendly radio station that is always readily accessible, relevant, and a custodian of the . . .
Riders can gear themselves up for a unique experience when the inaugural Liberty Waterberg MTB Encounter unveils a series of new trails in Limpopo, near Bela-Bela, from Friday to Sunday. The three-day race is the second event in the Encounter Series, the country's first multistage mountain biking series, and follows the highly successful staging of the Winelands MTB Encounter in the Western Cape over the past two years. With its focus on boutique hospitality as well as creating a good challenge, the Waterberg Encounter provides an ideal opportunity for mountain bikers to keep their wheels turning during winter. In setting up this pioneering event, ASG Events, under route director Mel Meyer, have been "selling" the idea to the landowners over the past few months to ensure a memorable experience. "Because it's a first for the Waterberg in terms of mountain biking races, it is also a first for the landowners," said Meyer. "They are game farmers and normally don't provide access to the public. "One of the first things we had to get right was to gain access to the land to create the routes, because most of it will be going through the game farms. "We really had a lot of buy-in from the farmers and they are assisting us so much. Without that we would not have been able to put this event together." Ravaged by excessive cattle grazing in the mid-nineties, landowners in the region have restored much of the natural wildlife habitat, leading to an increase in eco-tourism. Meyer was in no doubt the riders would experience more than just another mountain bike race. "The big thing about the route is that you are not just going to ride inside a game farm. You will go through a number of them and past some of the most exclusive game-breeding projects in the country." Riders would see some animals they had never seen before, he said. "They are going to experience the Waterberg biosphere and the wonderful ecological element of the region." Meyer said they had organised a . . .
In support of World Hunger Day on 28 May, KFC urged customers to Double Up their Add Hope donations and double the difference it makes to the plight of the millions of South African children who go to bed hungry every night. Our customers generously responded by doubling up their R2 donations, donating over R1 million towards the fight against hunger over the two week Add Hope Double Up campaign. “The Add Hope Double Up campaign was an opportunity to increase awareness of the prevalence of hunger in South Africa and to illustrate the impact it will have on our country’s future if we don’t do something about it,” says Thabisa Mkhwanazi, KFC South Africa Marketing Director. “The success of Add Hope shows that South Africans want to get involved and that if we all pull together, even the smallest contribution can have a major impact.“ Add Hope has raised over R300 million in funds to secure the future of South Africa by helping children learn, grow and thrive through providing them with a nutritious meal, every day. Add Hope makes sure that over 100 000 children receive nutritious meals every month, with the help of 110 beneficiary partners around the country. The collaboration between KFC, its beneficiaries and its customers is vital in fighting hunger and the total donated to these beneficiary organisations increases every year. As part of this Double Up campaign, and in support of World Hunger Day, a number of prominent South Africans visited Add Hope beneficiary organisations to get a first-hand experience of the incredible impact the donations have on young lives. Actress Hlubi Mboya visited Afrika Tikkun in Diepsloot, Gauteng. “These children have my heart. Food, education and shelter are basic human rights. It’s powerful to see the impact that Add Hope has on places like Afrika Tikkun and on these young lives and it is a blessing that places like these are open to the vulnerable. I was completely blown away by all the facilities, and the energy, positive and . . .
Few people’s hearts leap with excitement at the prospect of reading and comparing the finer details of various medical scheme benefit options. This investment in time, however, will put you and your loved ones in good stead when the need for healthcare cover arises – a time none of us enjoy contemplating. “In Limpopo, 8.6 percent of the population had medical scheme coverage, according to the most recent General Household Survey published by Statistics South Africa,” notes Mark Arnold, Principal Officer of Resolution Health Medical Scheme (Resolution Health). “The same national survey found that more than 96 percent of Limpopo households use cellphones. As is the case with weighing up the relative value and merits offered by different cellphone plans to match our mobile phone needs, Resolution Health encourages consumers to look carefully at the merits of different medical scheme benefit options to find the one that suits them best. “When choosing a cellphone contract a person is likely to consider what they want and need in terms of airtime, mobile data, and phone features and temper this to match what their budget can stretch to. Similarly, when choosing a benefit option for healthcare cover, it is important to ensure that your medical scheme is not only offering you affordable cover, but richness of benefits as well,” explains Arnold. Understand what you are paying for “Invest some time in carefully going through the paperwork to ensure you understand what is on offer. Do not ever skip the fine print. While it may not make for riveting reading, it is imperative that you are familiar with all the details of what you are signing up for. Knowing what you have bought will ensure that you are not left red-faced and out of pocket for costs that may not be covered on the option you select,” Arnold advises. As in the analogy of the cellphone contract, you may want to find a cheap deal but, when examining what the contract entitles you to, find that it may . . .
Muruti Development, a property development company in Hoedspruit is giving property investors the opportunity to buy vacant land in a big 4 game reserve at exceptional prices. The development of 3300 ha forms part of the 15000 ha Blue Canyon Concervancy area and is a huge attraction for local and international tourists according to sales and marketing manager, Werner Muller. The concervancy area hosts more than 40 mammal species, more than 300 bird species and more than 50 bushveld tree species. The Concervancy also forms part of an internationally UN recognized Kruger to Canyon biosphere and is very close to the world famous Kruger National Park. In this Concervancy you will be forced to relax and merely enjoy all that is around you. Prices starting from R265000 per 1 ha stand. Visit our website for more information. Additional images available on request. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Small and medium enterprises have much to gain from holistic solutions The economy of any area and its community’s health directly influence each other. Given the fact that this province’s unemployment rate increased 3.9% year-on-year1, the onus is on every company in Limpopo to grow their business’s wealth and employees’ health, thereby swelling the prosperity of the region. This is because employers contribute to the wellbeing of the community through providing employment, according to behavioural psychologist Dr Jacqui Joubert, Director of Agility Channel. “Where a company’s competitiveness and profitability is threatened, job security is jeopardised and this can have significant fallout for the socio-economic health of communities with an increased likelihood of social ills, such as crime and substance abuse.” “A second contributing factor is that small and medium enterprises feel the burden of employees on sick leave, or who are not giving their all, more acutely than large corporations do and this can have significant consequences for a company’s bottom line. Conversely, employees who feel valued and engaged tend not only to have better productivity levels, but frequently demonstrate a more proactive and innovative approach to their work, which can have untold benefits for their employers and the community as a whole. In order to remain competitive smaller businesses, which contribute significantly to employment in the region, must maintain a dedicated, inspired and productive workforce. With ever-increasing competition, however, employers are seeking solutions to keep their businesses sustainable. “When we look at some of the main factors affecting the productivity of individual workers, themes of ill health and poor management of chronic disease; substance abuse and emotional problems, including financial stress, are recurrent problems. Another key aspect often stems from employees feeling undervalued, and they may – either consciously or . . .