England based Stony Stratford Cricket Club girl's team enjoyed a fruitful tour to South Africa recently. While the girls managed to get in some quality coaching sessions with Gary Kirsten Cricket they also ensured that their visit left a lasting impression. Through fund raising efforts in the United Kingdom they donated a total of R57 000 to the Gary Kirsten Foundation (GKF). "We are grateful for the contribution made by the SSCC. This will go a long way towards the foundation's work in township schools and the development of the sport in rural communities," GKC Director of Cricket Ryan Van Niekerk said. Along with the coaching sessions at the Claremont Cricket Club, the SSCC also enjoyed a friendly match against the GKF's girls team. "It was a fun day out for the girls. Our girls are still learning about the game and so it was not much of a contest. It was a good opportunity for our players to learn," Van Niekerk said. "In addition the SSCC donated pads, bats and other equipment which our girls were able to take home with them. It was a great experience for all involved," Van Niekerk concluded. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The life of 5-year old Buhlebenkosi Mene from Kraaifontein was forever changed thanks to the donation of a much-needed wheelchair that was purchased for her through the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project and the WP Stormers Rugby team. Buhlebenkosi was born with Spina Bifida – a birth defect that occurs when the vertebrae don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. “She won’t ever be able to walk and I have to carry Buhle everywhere we need to go. She is growing and getting too heavy for me, but we don’t have the money to buy a wheelchair for her,” explained her mother, Zikhona Mene. Each year, close to 300 wheelchairs are handed over to recipients thanks to the collection of the breadtags which are made of high impact polystyrene (HIPS). These plastic closures have a high recycling value and the Polystyrene Association has established a network of buyers around the country who have agreed to pay R8.00 for each kilogram of bread tags. Once enough tags have been collected to cover the cost of the wheelchair selected, this money is then paid over to the pharmacy or wheelchair supplier of their choice. “DB Janse van Rensburg is a Grade 11 pupil at the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and one of our most enthusiastic collectors,” explains Adri Spangenberg, Director of the Polystyrene Association and administrator of the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project. “He heard about Buhle’s plight and encouraged his fellow pupils, the local community and the Stormers rugby team to become involved through his friendship with Stormers flyhalf and ex-Paul Roos pupil, Damian Willemse,”she said. A temporary wheelchair was handed over to an excited Buhle at the Tygerberg Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities by Van Rensburg and Willemse. “Because it is important to ensure that the correct wheelchair is purchased when seating quadriplegics, the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) assesses the requirements of each wheelchair recipients and . . .
On 4 November it was family fit day out at Mont Marie Stellenbosch for the Annual Anna Basson Properties trail run. The race catered for young and old, big and small, fit and not-so-fit with the 10km, 5km or 1,5km trails. The day could not have been any more perfect with a cool morning breeze but the most beautiful sunshine day following 2 days of pouring rain. The mountain took the conditions well and gave the participants perfect trails. The route itself was challenging with mostly uphill for the first part of the race but a fantastic downhill finish for the last 2.5km from “baboons guts”. The prize money on the day added up to a total of R14 500 which made the first 3 place winners in the 5km and 10km smile all the way and running to the bank. There were over 20 different lucky draw prizes including watches, fragrances, wines, dinner and shopping vouchers, spa treatments which made all participants wait in anticipation for their names to be called. Congratulations on a well organized race by Amoija events and a great partnership with Anna Basson Properties to invest in health, family and celebrating life! CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Eager to showcase the variety on offer in the Sanlam MTB Invitational, organisers ASG Events are preparing to unveil a number of changes to the route for next week's event. The annual race in the Western Cape takes place from Rhebokskloof Wine Estate near Paarl on November 18 and 19, with stages of 60km on the Saturday and 40km on the Sunday. With the race having grown from strength to strength, ASG operations manager Darren Herbst said a major part of their planning was to improve the trails and overall offering each year. Emphasising their philosophy that "the route is king", he added that they took on board the feedback they received each year to try to consistently improve the experience. "For this year we have really worked hard on a couple of new elements and we are excited to announce that competitors can look forward to a number of amazing additions," he said. With Paarl Mountain still the key feature of the stage, Herbst said much of their focus had been on reviewing the opening day's route. "In the biggest change of our planning, we decided to take the trail clockwise around the mountain this year. This decision not only provides some change, it also gives the route an entirely new look. "A lot of the climbing is now done in the first half of the stage and it has given us the opportunity to showcase a number of new features along the route." Herbst said they had been working in close association with Hero Adventures, which enabled them to implement several new trails and sections to be ridden for the first time this year. "A total of 25 per cent of the route is single-track, most of it new. Without giving away too much, we believe it offers some of the biggest variety anywhere in the Western Cape. "The balance of the trail combines jeep track, foot paths and gravel roads." He added that none of their work would have been possible without "the amazing support" of bodies such as the Drakenstein Municipality, Cape Nature, . . .
The Greater Simonsberg Conservancy (GSC) received a welcome cash injection of R90 000 from Fairtree Capital, sponsors of the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour Mountain Bike and Trail Run Stage Races. The GSC partnered with local landowners, event organisers Dirtopia and sponsors Fairtree Capital to offer participants a unique opportunity to access routes across all 32 member farms during the two-day mountain bike stage race, which will be hosted for the third time in February 2018. According to GSC Conservation Officer Adele Toua, the Fairtree Capital Contour Stage race is not only a welcome financial boost, but provides a platform to educate the public on the importance of conservation. “Efforts in restoration of the natural environment have only been possible through sponsorship and landowner support. Funds are allocated to education programmes, fire management, conservation of biodiversity in the area as well as alien clearing campaigns, as this is one of the major threats to water supply,” says Toua. The GSC is situated in an area that has precious fragments of critically endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Mountain Fynbos. The farmland area currently covers over 4000Ha of which 32% is designated for conservation, including projects such as the Cape Leopard (sighted on Tokara Wine Farm), critically endangered Serruria pinnata, endangered Aristea lugens and 300 year old yellow wood forest (Podocarpus elongates) on Klapmutskop. The inaugural MTB Stage Race – dubbed the Fire Ride – took place shortly after the devastating Simonsberg fire in 2016, which damaged 90% of the trails that were constructed over a 2-year period and also destroyed large sections of the forest canopy. However, route designer and race director, Meurant Botha from Dirtopia, deployed more than 50 trail workers to ensure that a slightly adapted route was ready for race weekend. Remarkable vegetation regrowth has already taken place and according to Botha, riders can look forward . . .
Renowned winemaking team Bruwer Raats and his cousin Gavin Bruwer Slabbert muscled their way into the history books when an unprecedented eight wines from the Raats stable received the coveted 5-star rating in the Platter Guide. No other winemaker has ever managed this accomplishment in one year, since South Africa’s most definitive wine reference guide was first published in 1980. In addition, they were also named Winery of the Year. Leading the Platter party is the highly acclaimed MR de Compostella 2015, a magnificent Bordeaux blend produced by Raats and winemaker friend Mzokhona Mvemve. This wine has consistently impressed local and international wine critics since its maiden vintage was released in 2004, with this being its fourth consecutive five-star rating. Bruwer’s latest collaboration with cousin Gavin Bruwer also got the nod from the Platter judges with two wines under their B Vintners Vine Exploration Company label receiving five-star treatment. This vine exploration initiative was launched in 2014 and has quickly won over consumers and critics alike. Both the Haarlem to Hope 2016 and Liberté 2016 hit the sweet spot for Platter. Raats further maintained his reputation as the South African Chenin King with all three of his Chenin Blancs making the list, namely Eden High Density Single Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2015, Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2016 and Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2016. Raats Family Wines have always been passionate and unwavering in their support of Cabernet Franc as one of the most underestimated grape variety in the country, if not the world. With both Raats Family Cabernet Franc 2015 and Eden High Density Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015 receiving five stars, they have most definitely silenced critics and are bound to gain many more enthusiastic followers for this varietal. “This is obviously incredible news and I am very happy that our whole wine portfolio has shown such depth. These eight 5-star ratings are the results . . .
The new Parskuip neighbourhood marketplace at Windmeul Kelder in Paarl is a gourmet delight with a wide selection of fresh, seasonal produce and local delicacies. The marketplace resembles an old-fashioned pantry with shelves jam-packed with delicious products. With a range of proudly Paarl produce ranging from olives to creamy cheeses, homemade jams and preserves, a stop at the Parskuip market will definitely give your kitchen cupboard a boost. Meat lovers can select from gourmet charcuterie, prime cuts of meat, farm-raised poultry as well as traditional South African biltong and droëwors, while a selection of fudges and nougat will satisfy any sweet tooth. Other items for your basket include specialist coffees, marinades, drizzles and dips, while grapes and even indigenous waterblommetjies can be found on the shelves in season. Parskuip is also ideal for gift shopping and you’re guaranteed to find something for young and old. Beautifully crafted wooden toys, pretty packaged braai spices, hand-made purses and hand bags, organic pamper products and obviously award-winning wines from the Windmeul cellar will leave visitors spoilt for choice. According to cellar master Danie Marais, Windmeul is committed to craftsmanship, not only with their wines, but also in the produce stocked in Parskuip. “The art of creating something with passion and excellence is something that has almost become extinct in our society of instant gratification, but fortunately the appreciation of craftsmanship is slowly making a return. Consumers are increasingly looking for artisanal products that have been crafted with care. It is also very important for us to support local businesses, which focus on sustainability and most of our suppliers are located in close proximity to Windmeul,” mentions Marais. The Parskuip neighbourhood marketplace is open from Monday to Friday (08h00 – 17h00) and on Saturday from 09h00 to 15h00. There is a special kiddies’ play area, which makes it an . . .
The Bestmed Tour of Good Hope is set to turn a brighter shade of pink next year and it will have nothing to do with the exhaustive efforts the cyclists put in to conquer South Africa's premier road stage race. Instead, organisers ASG Events have joined hands with charity organisation Pink Trees for Pauline for the first time to use the occasion as a vehicle to benefit the local community. The Tour of Good Hope, won in thrilling style by Dimension Data's Kent Main this year, will take place from March 5 to 9 from its new headquarters at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre on the road between Paarl and Franschhoek. Set up in 2012, Pink Trees for Pauline work throughout the country to raise money for cancer awareness and to assist sufferers in the communities in which the events take place. Next year, for instance, the organisation will approach businesses and individuals in Paarl, Franschhoek, Villiersdorp and Worcester - towns that dot the route of the Tour of Good Hope - to urge them to become involved. Pink Trees managing director Adri van der Nieuwenhuizen said the initial objective was to sell as much material as possible to create the "pink effect" in participating towns. "We approach the specific municipality to ask if we can use all the trees in town to make them pink for a specific period of time," she said. "We sell the pink material at R25 a metre and then the people involved wrap the trees to give it that beautiful look as you drive through." Van der Nieuwenhuizen said 80 per cent of funds raised were used in the local communities to assist those living with cancer. "We work through the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), who have a huge database of patients. "For example, if patients need transport to receive treatment, we assist them with that, or in whatever capacity we can. The stories that have come through this initiative have been amazing." Pink Trees for Pauline are however not just about wrapping trees in . . .
A call to be courageous drew athletes to the Meerendal Wine Estate this weekend. The seventh edition of South Africa’s largest obstacle racing series, the Toyota WARRIOR powered by Reebok took place on 21 & 22 October. With the Cape’s severe water restrictions, WARRIOR decided to exclude water obstacles from the Meerendal event. This did not faze adventure-seekers, however, as they set off to tackle some of the most scenic trails that the country has to offer. The addition of new obstacles brought a thrilling twist to the event. The Black Ops Elite category found 'Vol Emmer' to be particularly interesting, an obstacle that involved a steep slope and heavy carry. It was at this point in the race that Elite athletes were challenged to earn their DQ bands for the first time. An extra element of fatigue was added to the already demanding route, and Black Ops Elite series leader, Claude Eksteen, was the first to vouch for that. After arriving back from Canada two days prior to the Meerendal event, Eksteen set off with jet lag and heavy legs in hope of sealing up the WARRIOR series. Arch rival Thomas van Tonder had the same determination, however, and was aware that if he managed to defeat Eksteen, he would stay in the competition for the series title. Eksteen kept van Tonder at bay for the majority of the race until he reached the infamous ‘Breaking Point.’ As he struggled to make his way through a set of floating handles in windy conditions, Van Tonder made his attack and crossed the finish line with a hard-fought victory. “My legs felt good until I reached Vol Emmer, which pushed me to my limits and ultimately sent me over the edge. By the time I reached Breaking Point it was incredibly windy, so as I reached out I missed one of the floating handles. I guess that’s the beauty of this sport – a small element can separate you by a big margin,” said Eksteen. The battle for the series title will be settled at the season finale in Riversands . . .
In this digital age, we are all faced with the same reality at one point or another. That reality being, our reliance of having an online presence. Whether our online presence is used for fun, business, communication, research or reviews, we have all realised the many benefits the internet has to offer. The internet has also paved the way for the modern-day writer, the “Blogger”. A blogger is defined as a person who keeps a Web log “blog” who publishes a regular record of their thoughts, opinions, or experiences which is shared on the internet for people to read. The rise in the popularity of blogs comes from the credibility one gets from reading personal and relatable accounts of events, occurrences and fads resulting in a wealth of information relevant to the reader. Readers are now looking to blogs to stay on top of the latest tech updates, hippest new restaurants, trendiest fashion tips and so much more. Although one of the most rewarding investments one can make, making travel related decisions, can be rather stressful. This has been eliminated by the presence of Travel Bloggers who give a first-hand recollection of their travel tips, experiences, downfalls and adventures along their journey. The Travel Blogger is here to inspire and educate readers. Share Your Story. Start A Travel Blog. We asked some of South Africa’s Top Travel Bloggers to give us some advice on How to Become a Travel Blogger, these are some of their top tips on getting started: Di Brown – The Roaming Giraffe: Be prepared to work really hard for very little reward in the beginning. It takes time and effort to build a brand and an audience. Focus on what you are good at and learn new skills if required. Invest your time, money and effort into your blog if you are serious about it. Ryan Enslin – My Lime Boots: Above and beyond absolutely everything, I say authenticity, authenticity, authenticity. You have to write stories that mean something to you, on one level or . . .