The recent donation of 500 packs of the reusable sanitary towel, Subz Pants and Pads, to high school pupils at Marikana Combined School in Marikana, the mining town based in North West province, will make a profound difference to these young women. Sponsored by ChromTech, a chrome beneficiation company which operates in the area, the 500 packs consist of nine pads and three accompanying cotton panties, which will last the recipient three to five years if cared for correctly. “ChromTech is committed to uplifting the communities in which it operates which is why this particular school was chosen,” explained Stephen Baird, financial manager of ChromTech. “With our team made up of engineers, we originally considered reviewing upgrades and or additions to necessary school infrastructure, but I was alerted to the need for sanitary towels in disadvantaged communities after hearing a radio discussion on the topic.” Stephen Baird and staff started researching the issue and were astounded to discover the impact a lack of sanitary towels was having on the lives of young women. From hygiene-related problems to school absenteeism, the lack of such a fundamental item needed by every female was crippling. For many young women, an entire week of school was forfeited monthly, detrimentally affecting their educational opportunities. “Although this is not something we’d considered before, when we realised the impact the lack of such a basic item could have on a girl’s future, we felt this was the cause to support,” explained Stephen Baird. “We wanted to assist as many high school girls as possible for the duration of their schooling career, but disposable sanitary towels are prohibitively expensive and storage space would prove a problem.” This is when ChromTech discovered Subz Pants and Pads, an incredibly durable, reusable sanitary pad and accompanying clip-on panty that is both financially and environmentally beneficial. Developed, designed and manufactured by . . .
Minor changes to the route of the Bestmed Satellite Championship could turn the racing on its head and make for an exciting and unpredictable finish on Saturday. The road cycling classic, which previously started at Saloon Route 66, has moved to Maropeng and, as a result, changes have been made to the 110km and 84km courses. Although the routes remain largely intact, the order of the major climbs has been switched around. In previous editions, participants faced the notorious Hekpoort ascent 30km from the end and then had to crest Poeierbult in the run-in to the finish. They will now take on the smaller of the two first before reaching the base of Hekpoort with around 10km to go. Once over the top of the 4km monster, it is largely downhill to the finish. Defending champion Willie Smit, who soloed to victory last year after ditching his competition on Hekpoort, said the changes would likely make for a very different race. "The change of route will change the dynamic of the race," said the national rider who recently signed for Swiss WordTour team Katusha-Alpecin for the 2018 season. He said the action would likely start far sooner, with the sprinters and slower climbers looking to get away in the earlier breakaways. "I think they will try to get away long before Hekpoort because they'll know once they get to that climb they have no chance of getting over first if they're with the climbers." The RoadCover star said the field would tackle the final climb with tired legs and he foresaw that it would be make or break for many of the favourites. "It's going to be very interesting from the start and to predict anything for this race will be very difficult," said the 24-year-old from Nelspruit who has won 16 races at home and in Europe this season. With some of South Africa's biggest names on the start list, including Bestmed Tour of Good Hope winner Kent Main (Dimension Data) and runner-up Myles van Musschenbroek (ProTouch), Smit said they . . .
A route which suits cyclists of all levels should ensure that the Bestmed Satellite Championship, which takes place next month, remains a prominent race on the South African road classics calendar. The event, which takes place near the Hartbeestpoort Dam in North West on October 14, provides offerings of 106km, 80km and 60km. Entries close on October 2. ASG Events chief executive Wynand de Villiers said the race "was all about the route". "It has become such a popular route, with a wonderful and forgiving road surface all the way," said De Villiers, who is fresh from staging the three-day Jock Tour on some of the country's most unforgiving roads in Mpumalanga over the weekend. "The first 70km are always nice and quick as they present mostly flat roads with a few undulations." However, he added that it was not plain sailing all the way to the finish because of the Hekpoort climb that presented a proper challenge in the latter stages. "Of course, the nature of the race changes somewhat when you hit the base of Hekpoort, which is a signature ascent in South African road cycling. "After the 4km climb it remains undulating to the end," said De Villiers, but he warned riders about the infamous Poeierbult that lay in waiting around 10km before the end. "It's a relatively short climb, but it will again test the legs." Besides the quiet and cycling-friendly roads, De Villiers said there were a number of other key elements attached to the Bestmed Satellite Championship. "It's a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which adds to the credibility of the entire offering," he said. "Furthermore, it is perfectly positioned in the lead-up to events such as the Tshwane Classic (November 5) and 974 Cycle Challenge (November 19)." He said participants would use the Satellite race either as a final long ride to prepare for the November classics or as a barometer to gauge their fitness. De Villiers felt another big plus for the event was the . . .
Bestmed-ASG's new signing Kristen Louw started her tenure with the team on a high note when she won the 50km mountain bike title at the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship on Saturday. The race started from Sun City in the Pilanesberg and took riders through sections of the Gary Player and Lost City golf courses as well as the Letsatsing Game Reserve. The petit 19-year-old from Potchefstroom said she had been determined to put on a good show for her new team and set off in hot pursuit of the men's field after the start, which helped her to gap the top women. "The men went full out so it was tough to chase them, but I enjoyed the challenge," she said. "I'm very excited because this was my first race for the team. I'm very glad and grateful to have won it," said Louw, who admitted she started with ambitions of challenging for the title on her third attempt. She won the race, which consisted of two 25km loops, in 2:11:42 and was followed home two minutes later by teammate Nicolene Marais. Sharon van den Heever completed the podium. "Once we started I didn't see Nicolene again. It was just me by myself for the whole race," said the education student from North-West University. Team manager Owen Botha said he was delighted with Louw's successful debut. "This weekend was quite a prestigious event and we're happy that we can be a part of somebody's excitement and success." Botha explained he'd first been impressed by the young rider's attitude when she crashed badly in a training session before a mountain bike race in Pietermaritzburg last year. "She was so insistent on getting up and riding the next day, so they bandaged her up and she looked like a mummy. She had severe injuries but she had the heart of a lion and wanted to ride. "She's a real talent. With a little guidance, we can be sure she'll do even better in the future." CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Timing his sprint to perfection, Nolan Hoffman edged ahead of RoadCover rival Clint Hendricks to retain his Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship title at Sun City in the Pilanesberg today. The BCX professional, who finished in a fast 2:23:21, took advantage of a cross-tailwind and excellent teamwork in the 103km feature race to hold off last year's Cape Town Cycle Tour champion and RoadCover's Ryan Harris in the gallop to the line. The 32-year-old Hoffman said his third title in the 20th edition of the road classic in the North West Province was a boost for his confidence for the second half of the season. "This is the first big one for the rest of the year and it's always good to pull off a win when things are close," said Hoffman, who lives on the West Rand. "The team rode a phenomenal race today and it's very rewarding to give them a win. It's a big relief and helps to settle the nerves for the forthcoming races." Hoffman, who learnt his trade in Franschhoek in the Western Cape where he grew up, said they had been pushed hard by RoadCover, who sent Hendricks and teammate Willie Smit up the road with about 40km to go. "Although it was a bit of scare I still had David Maree and Wesley Eslick with me and, with help from the Rand Water guys, we put in a solid chase and caught them with about 20km left. "This neutralised the race again and that set it up for the sprint because in this race, from that distance, it is always going to end in a bunch finish." Hoffman said he went into the last kilometre with three teammates at his side and knew they were in a good position. "We got it right today because there was this tailwind from the side and I have done this so many times that I know that if you get it right it's impossible to come off the wheel." He said a last-gasp attack by an in-form Brendon Davids (RoadCover) with one kilometre to go was the carrot they needed. "I was waiting for them to do a lead-out. My teammates had me well . . .
For medical professional and avid cyclist Hendrik Theron the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship is a bit of a personal crusade. As a cancer survivor, he returns to the Sun City event every year to support the organisers' fundraising efforts in aid of the Cancer Association of South Africa. "I always enter the race because a part of the income goes to helping people who are sick with cancer and I see it as an opportunity to give back," said the general practitioner from Brits. He will line up alongside his two sons and one of their girlfriends for the 20th edition, which consists of 25 and 50km mountain bike events on Saturday and 70 and 103km road races on Sunday. They will join more than 5 000 other riders who are expected to line up for the road races alone, with the traditional R10 donation per entrant going to Cansa. This year, participants will also have an opportunity to challenge anyone else to match their entry fee in the form of a donation to Cansa as part of the #WeCAN campaign. Theron said he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most aggressive and life-threatening form of skin cancer, in 2004. He explained the initial lesion had been excised before having sentinel lymph node biopsies done to determine whether the cancer had spread. "These were fortunately clean and I had intensive follow-ups for five years. At the moment, I just go for mole mapping at my dermatologist," said Theron, who confirmed he was in remission. Throughout his treatment, he said, cycling had acted as a balm of sorts, allowing him to keep fit and get his mind off the disease. "I continued to cycle on a regular basis. It's good for your immune system, which, with a tumour like melanoma, is very important because it's basically your immune system that has to fight the cancer. "It was also a way to escape mentally from my day-to-day work stresses." Theron said he had been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug after lining up for his first Cape . . .
With the odds stacked against them, Willie Smit's RoadCover team will be aiming to make life as difficult as possible for their rivals in the 103km road race at the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship at Sun City on Sunday. On a route that will make the mouths of the top sprinters in the country water, the fast men will be gearing up for a tilt at the title held by BCX's Nolan Hoffman. African continental road champion Smit has had a number of successes this year, including overall victory at this month's Lowveld Tour, but said he was not at his peak power after losing "a bit of weight". "We will definitely be behind Clint Hendricks for this one," he said of his teammate who won Tour Durban this year. "We know that BCX will be behind Nolan Hoffman and the generally flat and fast route is one which suits them more than it does us. "But I believe it will be a good fight. You never give up in a race of this nature and I am sure it will be a hard battle until the end." Smit said they were familiar with the route and ready to throw down the gauntlet to the other contenders. "It is no secret that our team's strong point is to ride an aggressive race, which is something that will suit Clint." Hendricks showed his speed when he won the final stage of the Lowveld Tour in a gallop to the line ahead of BCX's Reynard Butler and Hoffman. "BCX might by more conservative, but we will try to make it more difficult for them," said Smit, who is fresh from winning three races in Europe. He added that the route could get a bit tricky halfway through if the wind came up. "That can make for some exciting racing and then it is all about who has the most teammates with them and the strongest legs." He added that Hoffman's speed made him a dangerous rival, while he felt Butler was also looking good after the Lowveld Tour. "I can't see anyone else being faster than them." The two-day cycling festival on Saturday and Sunday will attract thousands of . . .
Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship operations manager Darren Herbst confirmed partial road closures would be implemented to enhance rider safety during the event's road races at Sun City on Sunday. He said the 103km and 70km events got under way from 6.30am and that a section of the R510, between the R556 and Monnakato, would subsequently be closed between 6am and 12pm. "This partial road closure really is a great benefit to the event. We've always aimed to put the rider first and this was primarily done for safety reasons," said Herbst. "We've had a big buy-in from the municipality and we hope, together, that we can raise awareness and get people to avoid this area on Sunday." With more than 4 000 participants expected this year for the road races alone, Herbst said their number one focus was on ensuring a safe passage for everyone who took part. Last year organisers made a call to move the road races to the Sunday to avoid the heavy mining traffic that passed through the area and this was well-received. Sparks are set to fly in the feature event where BCX's defending champion Nolan Hoffman will come up against the in-form RoadCover duo of Willie Smit and Brendan Davids. Smit, the African continental champion, won the recent Lowveld Tour while Davids took the title in last month's tough Bestmed Jock Classic. National road race champion Heidi Dalton and Bestmed-ASG's Sanet Coetzee, who has been impressive in both road and mountain bike races this season, are two of the big names in the women's category. Apart from the road events, the 20th edition of the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa features 25km and 50km mountain bike races on Saturday. These pass through the Gary Player and Lost City golf courses as well as the neighbouring Letsatsing Game Reserve. Go to www.cansalostcity.co.za for more information. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Tetra Pak’s annual Milk for Change campaign to raise awareness of the nutritional benefits of long life milk and donate portions of long life milk to children in underprivileged communities in partnership with non-profit Feed SA has already exceeded expectations as the campaign heads into its final 10 days. Milk for Change has already reached an audience of 5,66 million South Africans and delivered 140 000 servings as the push via the SMS line (“Milk for Change” to 40380) and i-Pay (via milkforchange.co.za) reaches its climax. “We raised 35 000 litres of long life milk,” says Liesl Gruber, marketing director at Tetra Pak South Africa. “And this campaign has already shown me that South Africans are a can-do nation. While the world and our own country are beset by technology-driven business disruption and economic uncertainty, ordinary people are getting on with looking after one another where it matters. We’re proud to be playing a role in making a better future a reality for all South Africans, starting with the children.” Milk for Change announced its intermediate success at an event in Alexandra to hand over collected milk to Feed SA on August 8, 2017. Genevieve Nathan, director of FEED SA, says: “As a non-profit, we cannot survive without the help of communities and corporates that help us get the tens of thousands of rands per month we need to give our kids the most important meal of the day – breakfast. We know that children cannot achieve their full academic potential, the key to their future success, without a nutritional, balanced breakfast, the most important meal of the day, which is why #MilkForChange resonates so strongly with our own vision. It is not easy growing up in Alexandra or being one of the nine million South Africans who don’t get the food they need each day, but with the long life milk from the #MilkForChange campaign we can make sure it’s not quite so hard.” Tetra Pak South Africa MD, John Strömblad, says: “Milk for Change is . . .
Organisers of the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Championship have launched a new initiative to boost funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa when the event celebrates its 20th anniversary at Sun City this month. The cycling festival in the North-West Province has raised more than R3.6-million for Cansa since its inception and organisers are hoping to build on that through the #WeCAN - Riding for Survivors campaign. Outlining the concept, ASG Events spokesperson Sonett de Villiers said that, apart from the usual proceeds, it was just another way to assist Cansa nationwide in their efforts to combat the disease. "After entering the race, participants will have an opportunity to challenge anyone else to match their entry fee by making an equivalent donation to Cansa." De Villiers added that donations were not limited to riders and that anyone could contribute any amount by visiting the campaign on the event's Facebook page. She urged participants and the public to spread the word by sharing the campaign as widely as possible while tagging possible contributors. The title sponsors of the event - which takes place on August 19 and 20 in and around the Pilanesberg resort - said their top priority was to encourage their members to live healthier and more active lifestyles. "Our partnership with Cycle4Cansa has provided a great opportunity to do so over the years," said Bestmed's marketing executive Chris Luyt. "With August being declared Cansa Care Month, we hope to go the extra mile by encouraging entrants to make a donation over and above their entrance fee and inspiring friends and family to do the same. "We are committed to the cause and will continue to support all those affected by cancer in all possible ways." The feature race of the Bestmed Cycle4Cansa festival is a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour and De Villiers added that the offering provided the ideal opportunity to shake off winter cobwebs. This includes 25km . . .