Race organisers are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to develop the Tshwane Classic into one of the premier road cycling races in the country. Central to their planning is the element of total road closure for the 98km, 60km and 20km distances as they and the Tshwane Municipality embrace the key issue of rider safety. More than 4 000 cyclists have already entered for the event that takes place on November 5. ASG Events' operations manager Darren Herbst said they understood they could face a few teething problems in implementing their plan, but they were confident the Tshwane public would understand the value of the race. "The term total road closure is easily said and often taken lightly by cyclists," said Herbst. "Before it is advertised, an organising entity must be 100 per cent convinced that the plan to ensure closure is executable. "It's one thing advertising it, but implementing it effectively on race day on 98km of roads only comes after countless hours of meticulous planning by city experts." He added that the City of Tshwane had been working tirelessly to overcome many obstacles that could potentially affect the success of the day. Race spokesman Mauritz Meyer outlined some interesting statistics related to their vision of full road closure. "A total of 342 metro police officers, 250 marshals and more than 35km of barricading are among the elements that will be deployed," he said. "All bus routes will be diverted and all roads will be closed effectively by predominantly yellow plastic barricading, with the assistance of a massive personnel base from the SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police." He added that signage was already being erected on the race route to alert motorists about closures and various billboards in Tshwane were also being used to warn the public. Meyer said the metro had urged residents to have patience on race day. "We appeal to the road users to assist us on this occasion. We are convinced the public . . .
National hockey player Ignatius Malgraff and netball star Nolusindiso Twani took the top sporting honours at the Nelson Mandela University's Achievers Awards evening held at the South Campus in Port Elizabeth last night where the university recognised excellence across all student activities. Malgraff, who is representing South Africa in the Africa Cup in Egypt from Sunday, was named Sportsman of the Year, while Twani took the Sportswoman of the Year accolade for her exploits on the court. In his role as a striker, Malgraff has made a big impact in national hockey circles this year, turning out in eight tests during the Summer Series against European opposition. He was also chosen for the South African team that played in the World League semi-finals in Johannesburg in July. Following the men's interprovincial in Johannesburg in August, the human movement science student was the only Eastern Province player to be chosen for the national side. Malgraff has also been named as one of the marquee players for the Professional Hockey League, which will take place in the City of Gold from November 25 to December 10. Twani, who is also studying human movement science, received national colours at an U21 level when she was named in the SA team that participated in the World Youth Cup in Botswana in July. She has emerged as one of the brightest netballing prospects at Nelson Mandela University, appearing for a number of representative teams. As a member of the Eastern Cape Aloes oufit that participated in the Brutal Fruit national competition, Twani was named the player of the match against Limpopo Baobabs. Besides representing Madibaz in the Varsity Netball tournament during which she won three best shot awards, she was a member of the Nelson Mandela Bay U21 team at the national championships and included in the SA junior squad for 2017-18. The Club of the Year award went to the Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club, which excelled in a number of areas . . .
The first two yachts in one of the planet’s toughest endurance challenges, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, arrived into Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront overnight with a total of 4 South Africans aboard the leading vessels. The unique race, which has stopped in Cape Town eight times previously, is crewed by ordinary people and amateur sailors. 40 per cent of crew have no previous sailing experience and the organisers provide full training as part of the experience. The skippers are the only professional people on board. The second stage of the race from Punta del Este, Uruguay, to Cape Town was won by Greenings with Dare To Lead, skippered by Dale Smyth from Fish Hoek, coming in just 17 minutes and 45 seconds later. The Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet has covered over 10,000 of the race’s 40,000 nautical mile route since Race Start in Liverpool on 20 August. Smyth said: “This is the highlight of my race for sure – coming home, seeing my kids and my wife and just being in my city. To give Andy Woodruff (the Interim Greenings Skipper) his due, we tried all sorts but he just had that little bit of pace on us. After 3500 nautical miles, he was around 3 miles ahead so we are talking very small margin. That’s the nature of this game.” Also onboard Dare To Lead was Nqoba Mswazi, 25, from Durban. Nqoba first competed in the Clipper Race in the 2013-14 race and went on to gain his Yachtmaster Ocean under the instruction of his now Skipper Dale Smyth. A member of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation, which aims to provide life-changing opportunities to under privileged South African youths, Nqoba goal is to use his experiences and qualifications to pursue a career in sailing. The stage-winning Greenings team featured two South Africans. Andy Sutherland (48) from Johannesburg and crew member, Janette Potgieter (35) a Corporate Investigator who was born in Pretoria. 40,000 nautical miles long and lasting eleven months, the Clipper Race was . . .
The Red Bull KTM squad gathered for a dusty showdown at the MX Nationals season finale on Saturday. With many of the championships undecided, riders set off with the determination to snatch up every last point they could. It was a day of celebration for the orange family with Pro Mini rider Camden Mc Lellan taking the championship. The final round was bitter-sweet for the legend-in-the-making, who did not end the season off as he had hoped. Mc Lellan crashed during training a few days prior to the Terra Topia event and was still recovering from concussion. He was advised to sit the race out, especially since he already had enough points to take the championship, and decided to attend the event to support his teammates. “I worked really hard for this championship, so I’m really glad the effort paid off. Next season I’ll be racing a 125, I’m so looking forward to that! I’ll also be overseas a lot more for the full ADAC series, and some EMX85 races,” said Mc Lellan. It was an epic end to the season for Red Bull KTM’s Kerim Fitz-Gerald. He took his place at the start with a specific goal in mind: “I want to win today. I haven’t done that in a while and I miss the feeling,” he said. An overall victory looked promising for the MX hero when he completely annihilated his competitors in the first heat of MX1. In a dramatic second heat, a high-speed crash up front was a stumbling block for many riders. Fitz-Gerald managed to slip past and keep his pace, finishing the heat in third. He walked away with second place for the day, and stepped onto the podium for an overall third place in the MX1 class for the season. “I struggled a bit this season, I hurt myself in the first round and started on the back foot after that. The other guys were also riding really well! The biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year to just stick the season out no matter what - you never know what could happen. I’m grateful to have ended things off like I did” said . . .
Alexa Pienaar hit the ball out of the court with a stellar season and was duly rewarded when named sportswoman of the year at the University of Johannesburg's Sports Gala awards function recently. The humble squash star, who racked up a long list of achievements, said the award she received at the Johannesburg Country Club was completely unexpected and undoubtedly one of her highlights of the year. "I was awarded third place for sportswoman of the year last year, but I never expected to be awarded sportswoman of the year," said Pienaar, who also received the student-athlete award for excelling in sport and academics. "It has been a fantastic year and it is great for us athletes to get recognition for our efforts. We do not always realise that people do notice what we do so it is very rewarding getting an award of this nature." The third-year fine art student reached new heights when she was crowned University Sport South Africa champion while helping UJ to the overall title for the sixth year in a row in July. She also made it into the SA National Championships and SA Open semi-finals, which took place in Johannesburg in June and July. "I feel that this year has been my lucky year," said Pienaar, who lives in residence at the university. "I have been lucky enough to win the Hyundai Award (for up-and-coming squash stars) for 2017, which includes a full sponsorship with Hyundai, and now this. It is by far my best year in terms of achievements." The road to success had not been a smooth one, she said. Balancing her studies and squash was her greatest challenge and she admitted there had been many late nights. "I spent my nights doing class work while spending as much time as I could on court. I just worked harder and kept pushing myself," said the 23-year-old, who attended Outeniqua Primary in George and Menlo Park High in Pretoria. "Our teachers encouraged us to do every sport that the school offered. I ended up playing socially for a few . . .
The South African Sevens team, current HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions, will face Scotland, winners of the 2017 HSBC London Sevens tournament, in the final match on Day One of the Assupol International Sevens Tournament in Stellenbosch next Saturday. This exciting tournament, which will also see African powerhouses Kenya and Uganda in action, will take place on Saturday, 28 and Sunday, 29 October at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch. The fixtures for the tournament has been announced and spectators can look forward to some highly entertaining rugby action. Apart from the four World Series contestants, England Academy, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mauritius will also play in the event, which forms part of Assupol’s vision of growing the game by hosting high calibre tournaments like this one. South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe will represent Africa in the Rugby World Cup Sevens that will take place next year July in San Francisco, while Uganda won the recent African Championships and will also participate in the World Series tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town in December. The Assupol International Sevens Tournament will also feature a U17 international section, where the SA u17 team, coached by Marius Schoeman, Argentina, Namibia, Western Province, SA All Stars, Boland and SWD will participate. The Youth Olympics will take place in Buenos Aires in October next year and the international youth teams are using this tournament as part of their lead-up to that. Some of the best schoolboy talent in the country will be on display for the SA side. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The Ashburton Investments National MTB Series took over the quaint town of Kaapsehoop last weekend. Situated 1586m above sea level on the Highveld escarpment, this mountain village made for an epic season finale. For the first time in the popular mountain bike series, riders cross the finish line on a mountain top. The first stage of the event had all eyes on Team Pyga Euro Steel's Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes who entered into an epic battle for the series title. A lot was at stake for the mountain biking heroes, who took their place at the Kaapsehoop start line with less than a 200 point different on the series standings. It was Beukes who came out on top on the first and second stage of the event. He did not fail to live up to his climbing abilities and maximised his strengths on the 1600m elevation gain each day: "It was a challenging route, with a nice big climb at the end. I felt like I was riding in Europe somewhere! I want to do a lot more races like this," said Beukes. He admitted that his victory did not come easy: "I had to push extremely hard in those final 2km, and just managed to come out on top!" Buys, who finished in a close second place, showed nothing but pride for his teammate: “All I can say is well done to Matthys! He had a rough season last year, and he made sure to make up for everything he missed out on." Reflecting on the season, he added, "So happy with the way it has all ended. This series is important to us - it has the most diversity, prize money and represents our sponsors really well. It's also the ideal opportunity for youngsters to start smashing us elite riders, It's been awesome to see guys like Wessel Botha come out here and actually challenge us." With marathon champion Nico Bell and his Team NAD Pro teammate, Gawie Combrinck out of the mix, it was HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock who presented the next greatest threat. The BXC riders finished third and fourth respectively. With the in-form Robyn de Groot . . .
In a bid to ensure the green effect is high on their priority list, organisers of the Tshwane Classic have joined forces with South Africa's largest paper recycler for the road race in Pretoria on November 5. Mpact Recycling, who form part of the Johannesburg-based paper and plastic packaging business Mpact Limited, will be throwing their support behind next month's cycling festival in the capital. Mpact business development officer Roland Thompson said they came on board after discussions with race spokesman Mauritz Meyer, who is working on the event with ASG Events. "We want to use this opportunity to create awareness of our ability to recycle paper cups used in the race," said Thompson, who added this was the only cycling race in which they were involved. "In addition we wish to engage with the consumers of Tshwane, who are part of our household collection programme." He said the company annually recycled 450 000 tonnes of paper, which is the equivalent of filling 552 Olympic swimming pools. "All this paper is used in the manufacture of recycle-based paper and packaging, which reduces the reliance on virgin fibre," said Thompson. "We seek to divert material from landfill, create jobs and ensure a sustainable packaging and recycling industry." Mpact will be providing receptacles at all water points and Thompson said they encouraged cyclists to do their best to deposit their cups into the bins. "We wish the cyclists a safe race and encourage them to maintain hydration," he added. ASG Events operations manager Darren Herbst said they needed to comply with certain regulations in hosting races of this nature. "The main issue is that we have to make sure that the areas surrounding the water points are all cleaned up after the cyclists have been through," he said. "For this we employ a team of workers from the local community to assist us in clearing the debris." He added that they were also required to use environmentally friendly . . .
University of Johannesburg hockey star Tyson Dlungwana has some long-term goals on his mind, but his immediate priority will be to confirm his prowess when he competes in the Africa Cup from Sunday. The 20-year-old midfielder, who has nine tests under his belt, is a member of the South African senior squad who will be defending their title at the continental tournament in Ismailia, Egypt. Having worked to improve his game in several areas, he said it was a massive honour to be chosen for his country. "Being recognised at the highest level is actually pretty cool, because it gives you the feeling of knowing that the hard work has paid off," said Dlungwana, who was named the age category sportsman of the year at the UJ Sports Gala awards function last week. The second-year education student, who grew up in Maritzburg but now is in residence at UJ, said he had focused on a number of specific areas to ensure he grew as a player. "Firstly, my one-on-one defensive work has improved as this was a weakness at one stage. "Secondly, I have been working on my long-ball distribution, something I had ignored by not learning the basics at a young age. However, I am confident in that area so it's safe to say I have it waxed now." Focusing on always being stronger and quicker than his opponent, the UJ star said he would need those qualities at the Africa Cup. "Going to any country on this continent will always have its challenges, but ultimately the biggest test for us will be beating hosts Egypt," he said. "We will need to show the character to do to them what they did to us when they beat us (2-1) in the World League semi-finals in Johannesburg this year." Dlungwana wants to take his national representation to another level when the next Olympics roll around in 2020. "My biggest goal ever since I started playing this sport seriously has been to represent South Africa at the Olympics in Tokyo," he said. "Every year I feel I am a step closer, but . . .
Powerade Hosts Exclusive Performance Academy for High School Coaches Powerade are continuing their endeavour of supporting, motivating and inspiring South African athletes to reach the pinnacle in performance through the Powerade Performance Academy. The Powerade Performance Academy focuses on South African High School coaches, recognising their role as primary influencers of the next generation of South Africa’s sporting heroes. The continued evolution of sports performance includes state-of-the-art training programs, executed through high level coaching methodologies. To ensure that our athletes are equipped with the mindset to persevere through some of their toughest sporting moments, Powerade have teamed up with renowned sporting and mental coaching professionals as well as performance experts, to bring the Performance Academy to Johannesburg. Former South African cricket coach and player, Paddy Upton, will lead the programme as the Ambassador of the Powerade Performance Academy. Upton has been on both ends of the spectrum – having experienced the pressure of being a coach and being coached. As a former Performance Director of the South African cricket team from 2011 to 2014, Upton is perfectly positioned as this year’s Powerade Performance Academy Ambassador. “Powerade is thrilled to be at the forefront of inspiring coaches to motivate their athletes. Performance is something that resonates with Powerade, and we believe in creating platforms where coaches can receive the best advice and coaching tips to take back to their athletes,” says Sapna Naran, Powerade Brand Manager. Paddy will be joined by Referee Talent Development Coach, Craig Joubert, Head of Performance Sport and Medical for Team Dimension Data, Dr Carol Austin, and Robin Banks, a world renowned motivational speaker and expert on aspects of Mind Power and Personal Mastery. “I’m delighted to be a part of the Powerade Performance Academy. I strongly believe that modern-day . . .