One of South Africa's longest-serving sportsmen, Paralympian Ernst van Dyk, will give his perspective on how the Olympic Games have played a critical role in inspiring athletes like himself. The 43-year-old wheelchair racer and handcyclist, who won the road cycling gold medal at the Rio Paralympics last year, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Western Cape Provincial Conference of Sport to be hosted by NMMU in George on Friday and Saturday. The theme of the conference is Olympism and will, among other things, explore the impact the Games have on the development of sport and the role it plays in influencing rising stars. Born in Ceres in the Western Cape, the sports science honours graduate from Stellenbosch University first represented South Africa at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 when, he said, the Paralympians were still regarded as "social charity". "In those days nobody even knew there was an event like the Paralympics and our manager had to go on television to spell out what it actually meant," said Van Dyk, who was born with a congenital absence of both legs. "At that stage the sports minister said there was no funding for something he labelled as ‘social charity'." Now, Van Dyk, who won the Boston Marathon in the United States 10 times from 2001 to 2014, said he was amazed when he compared the reception they received in London (2012) and Rio to his experiences in 1992. "What I see now is that people have an appetite for the Paralympics. They want to see the people who are doing it and get insights into their stories. "And you get able-bodied sports people looking up to their disabled colleagues, holding them up as role models. That shows how far we have come and, to me, is one of the most significant effects the Olympics have had over the years." Having overcome many challenges during his career, Van Dyk will be speaking on sport from the athlete's perspective. "It will be a message for the conference delegates to see . . .
Bouchard Finlayson is inviting entries for the 2017 Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award as part of the Hermanus FynArts Festival. The Tollman family, owners of Bouchard Finlayson, has long been great supporters of the arts in South Africa and is sponsoring this competition for the fourth consecutive year. Artists are invited to submit their entries, in tondo format (circular – at a maximum of 60cm in diameter) under this year’s theme ‘Reflections’. The works of about 40 finalists will form the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition that will be exhibited in the Hemel-en-Aarde wine estate cellar, where they will also be available for sale for the duration of the Hermanus FynArts festival (9 – 18 June 2016). The competition closes on 19 May 2017. Judges will include Stefan Hundt, curator of the Sanlam Art Collection; Michael Godby, Professor Emeritus of History of Art, UCT; and Lien Botha, artist, writer and curator. The winner will receive a cash prize of R20 000, followed by a second prize of R10 000, and two merit prizes of R5 000 each. Further details and competition entry forms are available on www.hermanusfynarts.co.za @BouchFinlayson @FiveStarPRZA Established in 1989 in the temperate Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on 125 hectares (312 acres) of Walker Bay's prime viticultural land, Bouchard Finlayson Vineyard and Winery is a small cellar dedicated to the quality production of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. Ever since releasing their first vintages, the name Bouchard Finlayson has been internationally synonymous with excellence. Today, owned by the Red Carnation Hotels’ Tollman family and under the leadership of Victoria Tollman, founder Peter Finlayson and winemaker Chris Albrecht, 22 hectares (54 acres) of the estate are currently under vine with 50% devoted to the varietal for which Peter is most acclaimed – Pinot noir. Other cultivars under production include Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Sangiovese, as well as a handful under . . .
Irishman Philip Lavery led a small group of escapees over the line to win the opening stage of the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope in warm conditions at La Paris Estate near Paarl today. The 26-year-old Alfa Bodyworks rider from Dublin, who only arrived in South Africa on Wednesday, clocked a time of 2:21:06 on the relatively flat 102km ride through the Cape Winelands to claim this year's first yellow jersey. He was followed home by 94.7 Cycle Challenge champion Brendon Davids and BCX's Calvin Beneke. The day's outcome saw most of the general classification favourites finish behind in the main peloton, leaving them with some work to do when the tour resumes tomorrow with the 26km Buffet Olives individual time-trial. Lavery only returned to professional cycling last year after a two-year hiatus and was thrilled to get his adopted team a win in South Africa's premier road stage race. "We got away early on and I didn't do a lot of work as we have Jayde Julius for the GC," a jubilant Lavery said afterwards. "It is just my second race of the year, but I think it is a good indication of my form." Lavery said he knew the run-in to the finish after competing in last year's tour and wanted to make sure he entered the chute first. "The attacks started relatively far out. I just waited and waited for the finish as I knew it was a little bit of a headwind. "When I went, I went hard and they weren't able to come around me. I think I maybe won by about three bike lengths." Lavery said the attacks started within the first 20 kilometres. "We were still on the main road when the breaks started going. Normally I don't need to be in the breakaway, but I was at the front of the peloton when the final break formed. "It went away really easy because most of the top teams were represented. And it was up to them to ride hard. "There were four riders from Dimension Data and three from BCX riding for general classification and I was just able to stick with . . .
The Western Cape’s largest travel, outdoor and adventure event, The Cape Getaway Show, returns to Lourensford Wine Estate from 31 March to 2 April 2017 and promises to be bigger and better than before. Take part in the Lourensford Getaway 13km trail run through the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate or explore new adventurous routes in the Cape Getaway Show Mountain Bike Challenge. The Cape Getaway Show Mountain Bike Challenge 2017 Some of the most breathtaking mountain bike trails are situated in the Helderberg, and the Cape Getaway Show Mountain Bike Challenge sponsored by Sportsmans Warehouse is the perfect opportunity to experience them and their beauty with friends and family. There are 5km, 20km and 40km distances to suit all levels of experience. Date: 1 April 2017 Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate Prices: All prices are per rider and includes free entry for the rider plus partner to the Cape Getaway Show. 5 km – R50 20 km – R200 40km – R300 Distances: 5km: Non-technical family fun ride 20km: Ideal route for beginners on a jeep track with moderate climbs 40 km: A challenging, technical ride, mostly single track Bookings online: http://www.ticketpros.co.za/ The Lourensford Getaway Trail Run Join us for a 13km trail run sponsored by Sportsmans Warehouse on the final morning of the Cape Getaway Show. The route winds through the estate and vineyards. Space is limited so book now to avoid disappointment. Date: 2nd April 2017 Cost: R 100 per person (all prices are per runner and includes free entry for the runner plus partner to the Cape Getaway Show) Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate Bookings online: http://www.ticketpros.co.za For more information head over to: http://www.getawayshow.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Dimension Data rider Stefan de Bod is motivated to retain the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope title when the five-day road race takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 6 to 10. Returning to a region he knows intimately, champion Stefan de Bod is fired up to defend his title when the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope takes place in the Cape Winelands next week. Starting on Monday, South Africa's premier road stage race, spread over five days and 490km, will see the country's leading road cyclists, as well as some high quality international contenders, vie for the title. The 20-year Dimension Data rider, who grew up in Worcester in the Western Cape, described the Cycling SA-sanctioned event, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, as "a very special race". "It is in the heartland of where I grew up and trained daily, as well as now when I'm in South Africa, so this will always be special to me," he said. De Bod has already laid down a marker for his opponents, winning the national U23 road and time-trial titles in Wellington last month, followed by the African U23 time-trial title a week later. Having won the Buffet Olives time-trial in last year's Bestmed Tour of Good Hope, De Bod said it could again play a critical role in the final outcome. "I had a good time-trial last year and made enough time on the other riders to defend the yellow jersey comfortably with a great team behind me," he said. "The time-trial will definitely be an important stage in this year's tour and I would like to win it again. "After the time-trial (on day two), we'll have to see who are contenders for the general classification and plan the strategy for the rest of the tour." This year's time-trial route, which boasts a total ascent of 283 metres and has been shortened from 37km to 25km, will take place on the quieter roads in northern Paarl. Reflecting on last year's overall victory, De Bod said it was one of the biggest victories of his career at that . . .
African Continental road champion Willie Smit will lead Team RoadCover's charge in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope in the Cape Winelands from March 6 to 10. Photo: Supplied Having recovered from a year hampered by injury, professional road cyclist Willie Smit is looking forward to making his mark when his team compete in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope next month. The 24-year-old Team RoadCover rider is fresh from capturing the African Continental Championships road race title in Egypt at the weekend and has now turned his attention to the five-day tour in the Cape Winelands. Presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, the 490km race from March 6 to 10 will see many of South Africa's top riders, mixed with international contenders, competing for the newly named Phil Liggett Tribute trophies. Smit, who placed third in the road race at the national championships in Wellington the previous weekend, left no doubt of his team's intentions in the build-up to the Cycling South Africa-sanctioned event. "We are aiming for the overall classification win," he said. "Stage victories and winning jerseys are good, but basically we have an all or nothing mindset in targeting the GC." He acknowledged that riders needed to maintain their concentration throughout a tour of this nature. "You can lose it at any time if you are not fully focused," he said. Smit, who lives in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, suffered a broken collarbone and shoulder muscle injuries after an accident in France last year, but has now fully recovered and is eager to prove his worth over a week of international competition. "I was in a bad state of mind after my injury in France as I had reached a peak, which is often difficult to achieve. "But I came back to South Africa to take a break and undergo rehab. I have seen a lot of medical professionals and everything heals with time." Smit, who won the Bestmed Jock Tour in his hometown last year, said he was grateful he could compete again, thanks to the . . .
Voting is currently underway for the Klink Awards where Bouchard Finlayson has been nominated in the prestigious category of SA WINE ICONS. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley winery is in good company, sharing the nomination with Beyerskloof, Waterford Estate and Groot Constantia. In its fifth year now, Wine Tourism South Africa’s Klink Awards is South Africa’s only wine consumer awards. Celebrating the country’s best in wine and food experiences, members of the public are invited to vote for their favourites across 13 categories. Voting closes on 10 March 2017. Vote online here: www.winetourismsouthafrica.co.za/vote-now/ Ever since Peter Finlayson established Bouchard Finlayson in 1989, the winery’s name has been internationally synonymous with excellence. Today, owned by the Red Carnation Hotels’ Tollman family and under the leadership of Victoria Tollman, founder Peter Finlayson and winemaker Chris Albrecht, 50% of its vineyards are devoted to the varietal for which it is most acclaimed – Pinot noir. Other cultivars under production include Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Sangiovese, as well as a handful under exploration. Accolades include winning the South African Wine Index (SAWi) awards for Top Pinot Noir – Galpin Peak (2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) and Top Red blend (other) - Hannibal (2014, 2015 & 2016), as well as being voted the No. 2 Top overall wine producer in both 2015 and 2016. Bouchard Finlayson is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Absa, title sponsors of the Absa Cape Epic, will provide 10 young Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA) students with invaluable internship opportunities at one of the world’s toughest mountain bike stage races. Since 2004, Absa has been a proud and active supporter of the DMA, especially in its endeavour to leverage the sport of mountain-biking to provide change and positivity for the indigent youth from Diepsloot. In partnership with the DMA, and with the assistance of the event organisers and other event sponsors, Absa provided work exposure opportunities to 14 DMA students at the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. Over the last two years the DMA internship programme has been aligned to ReadytoWork, the bank’s pan-African employability initiative aimed at helping young people build the skills they need to make the critical transition from education into the world of work. This forms part of Absa’s commitment to Education and Skills development, one of three key focus areas of its Shared Growth strategy. This year, Absa is intensifying its commitment to the DMA via comprehensive pre-and-post event workshops that could enhance the prospects of the DMA interns securing further internship opportunities after the Absa Cape Epic. During the race itself, the DMA interns will gain valuable hands-on work experience under high-pressured circumstances across a number of job sectors including hospitality, bike mechanics, photography as well as marketing and public relations. The overriding objective of these work exposure opportunities at the Absa Cape Epic is to empower the youngsters with the requisite training and support to enhance their employment or self-employment prospects. Adam Brooke, Sponsorship Manager at Barclays Africa Group Limited, said: “We continuously aim to leverage our various sponsorship properties to generate opportunities that benefit our local communities. The DMA strives to assist the youth in their community and the projects they run are extremely . . .
Entrepreneur and TV producer Dewald Visser is tackling 800 kilometres over 14 days in a daunting 50k a day mountain biking challenge to raise funds for a young sufferer of spinal muscular atrophy. 6-year-old Hanno Fourie of Durbanville has beaten all the odds in staying alive despite suffering from this incurable, life-threatening disease. Hanno has managed to confound specialists, who predicted his life expectancy to be only 18 months. Despite being wheel-chair bound and permanently on a ventilator, young Hanno stole Visser’s heart with his sheer joy and love of life. Visser is cycling to raise funds for the Hanno Fourie Trust to assist his family in buying him a new wheelchair and adapting their home to his ever-changing needs. Visser is doing the journey from Jeffrey’s Bay to Gordon’s Bay on a fat bike, only clocking distances travelled on beaches or gravel roads. The intrepid adventurer and his production crew are also not allowed to sleep in guest houses and hotels or to buy fast food, but will have to camp and cook for themselves for the entire period. Visser, who is more adept on the golf course or behind a braai as presenter and producer of TV series such as Kom Braai and Hooked on Golf, founded the 50k a day concept in 2015. On his initial journey, he covered over 800km off the rugged West coast of South Africa from Alexander Bay to Cape Town and was so overawed by the experience that he decided to make it an annual excursion. “This promises to be another amazing adventure. Last year was an incredible experience and I had the opportunities to see parts of our beautiful country that few people will ever access. The 2017 Solo Fatbike Challenge will have some added adventure as all the rivers en route will also be crossed by an inflatable craft. This year I am even more determined as I know that Hanno and his family will be cheering us on all the way. All the funds raised will go directly to his family to help them taking care of this awesome . . .
The Ellsworth-ASG outfit of Pieter Seyffert and Travis Walker finished off the TransCape mountain bike race in style by claiming victory on the final stage to cement their overall triumph today. It was the perfect start for the new pro outfit, who rode together for the first time when they lined up in Knysna last Sunday for the seven-day, 690km race to Franschhoek in the Western Cape. They were followed in the general classification by the Belgian team of Eddy Feliers and Kristof de Neys (Cicero Baik), with David and William Wertheim Aymes (Bromance) completing the podium. Today's route over 78.5km from Villiersdorp to Franschhoek included the famous Groenlandberg climb, arguably one of the toughest ascents on the race, which Walker described as "a real test". "It's a hard climb due to the terrain, with lots of sand and rocks," said the 25-year-old from Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal. "But once you get to the top the views are amazing so it is worth the effort." Walker said he wasn't too sure what to expect coming into the TransCape but described it as a wonderful experience. "We used this race as an experiment for Pieter and me, so we could get to know each other, as well as to prepare for races such as next month's Bestmed Tour of Good Hope. "I think as the year goes on Pieter and I will get stronger and work even better together." He said the moment that stood out for him was the fifth stage on Thursday when the pair, who had built up a comfortable lead, rode with the peloton for the day. "As a professional, for me to ride with these guys and to see their determination and passion for cycling was an eye-opener. It showed just what spirit and camaraderie there is on the TransCape." The 30-year-old Seyffert from Helderkruin on the West Rand said there had been some challenging times up the Groenlandberg and Franschhoek Pass climbs. "It was a tough day because the climbs were loose and rocky and you are not completely done after conquering . . .