The University of Johannesburg will have a strong mix of experience and youth as they aim for their sixth title in a row in the University Sport South Africa squash tournament next month. Under the guidance of coach Mike Bester, UJ have shown remarkable consistency in dominating varsity squash and they will again be focused on maintaining their high standards from July 2 to 8. Helping them will be the fact that the tournament will be played on their home courts at the Auckland Park campus, while Johannesburg Country Club will also be used as a venue. UJ squash manager Reedwaan Asvat said although they had lost players from last year, they would still be able to field a strong team. "We have been able to retain some of our senior players and have also recruited a few really good junior ones," said Asvat, who also pinpointed the role played by experienced coach Mike Bester as important. "We have some new faces this year and I believe we have the players who will do UJ proud." Newcomers such as Jenny Preece, he said, would complement the experience of leading players such as Alexa Pienaar, Kacey-Leigh Dodd, Kyle Maree and Blessing Muhwati." Maree, Pienaar and Dodd will help to maintain continuity from last year after they underlined their ability in the individual competition where Maree was crowned champion, Pienaar finished runner-up and Dodd placed fourth. Asvat said the squad were confident that they would again give a good account of themselves. "It is important for us to continue to show that we are competitive against the other institutions. "Unlike some other codes who are involved in the Varsity Sports concept, the Ussa tournament is the major goal for our squash players. This is their chance to make a big impact." He added that the players had been working hard from the start of the year to prepare themselves. "Under the guidance of the coach, the players are always pushing themselves and striving to improve with every . . .
NMMU will be sending a potent four-man team to defend their title when the University Sport South Africa golf tournament is played at Centurion Country Club in Northern Gauteng next month. The KPMG Madibaz team dominated last year's event at Humewood in Port Elizabeth, winning the A and B sections, while Luke Jerling was crowned the individual champion. Jerling has since turned professional but club manager Karl du Preez feels they have a good chance of retaining the title, even though there will be some pressure on them as the holders. "Yes, there will obviously be the challenge to perform as well as last year and a contributing factor is that we are playing inland," he said. "It is often perceived that coastal teams are better players at coastal courses." However, he felt that they would still be among the title contenders, with two capable newcomers in Kyle de Beer and Altin van der Merwe. "We are only sending one four-man team this year and two of them, Jacques Smith and Hando Brophy, are very experienced at playing USSA tournaments. "The ‘rookies' (De Beer and Van der Merwe) have extensive experience playing national tournaments and will have major roles to play in assuring success." He pointed out that all four had been chosen for the USSA national team which competed in the SA Challenge Cup in the Western Cape in May, while De Beer had also been selected to represent South Africa at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei in August. "In my opinion, we have a strong side, which, I think, will be very competitive." Du Preez said the USSA tournament was a major goal for the club and that they had put in extensive preparations for the event. "The success of the USSA team acts as a major drawcard for potential students to join the varsity so this makes it an important event for us." He said the students had played in most of the EPGU and NMMU Order of Merit events this year and have attended numerous practice sessions at Humewood . . .
Our rising on-and-off-road triathlon star, Mikaela Jonsson (19, Jeep Team), leaves for Europe on Tuesday 27th June to race the 2017 XTERRA France for the first time in the Professional Division. XTERRA France takes place on the 1st and 2nd July 2017 As a pro athlete, Jonsson will be swimming one loop of 1500m in the lake of Longemer, mountain biking 34km in the heart of Vogesen Mountains, and trail running 10km to finish. The Triathlon XTERRA France is the official qualifier for XTERRA World Championships 2017, which Jonsson will be aiming for. There will be more than 1000 athletes from around the globe on the start line at the 2017 edition of EXTERRA France making this a formidable racing calendar event to conquer. The XTERRA Editions have expanded globally as qualifying circuits for the World Championships taking place every October in Hawaii on Maui Island. Says Jonsson, “My major Triathlon racing focus this year is to get to Europe to race part of the European XTERRA Tour starting with EXTERRA France. It will be my first season racing as a pro and I can’t wait to give it my all. Finally, I aim to compete in the ITU World Cross Triathlon Championships in Canada on the 20th of August this year.” If you are fan of the Tour de France, XTERRA France is the place to be as the Tour de France to going to Vogesen on Tuesday 4th July at Vittel, and on Wednesday 5th July, the first stage finish is at the high altitude, La Planche des Belles Filles. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Organisers of the one-day Bestmed Jock Classic and three-day Bestmed Jock Tour road races have split the events to accommodate riders who wish to take part in both. ASG Events' operations manager Darren Herbst confirmed that the Jock Classic would take place on July 15 while the tour was pencilled in for September 15 to 17. Both events, which are presented by Rudy Project, will once again be centred around the Lowveld town of Mbombela in Mpumalanga. The Jock Classic, South Africa's second oldest race after the Cape Town Cycle Tour and an official seeding event for the latter, will be contested over three tough stages totalling 150km with 2 900m of vertical ascent. The first stage will take the peloton from Nelspruit to White River over a distance of 42km, with the second covering 45km to Sabie via Spitskop. The final stage will be contested over 63km to Nelspruit via Long Tom Pass. "We haven't changed the route, as it has become an institution," said Herbst, "but there have been improvements with roads being resurfaced and additional support measures being added." He said the Jock Classic was "not your normal one-day race". "It's a lot further and it offers cyclists looking for something different a unique experience." Although the response to this year's race had been overwhelming, Herbst said entries would be taken until midnight today. The Bestmed Jock Tour would be limited to a field of 500, which included team and solo entries, he said. It was not a challenge for the average rider, he warned, as it was the first race in the country to mirror its stages on those found in the European Grand Tours. "There is no tougher three-day challenge on a road bike anywhere else on the African continent," he said of the 313km event that took in a daunting 7 200m of vertical ascent. It opens with an innocuous-sounding 27km time-trial between Nelspruit and Kaapsehoop, but the course rises an intimidating 1 200m. The second stage is . . .
Having ended fifth in both the men's and women's divisions last year, the University of Johannesburg hockey teams will target a strong start in the annual University Sport South Africa tournament next week. Jointly hosted by UJ and Wits, it will be held in Johannesburg from June 28 to July 2. The Ussa event is slightly earlier this year to compensate for the Hockey World League tournament that will be hosted by South Africa from July 8 to 23 at Wits, among other venues. UJ hockey manager Elize le Roux acknowledged that the Ussa tournament was always a testing one as the teams jockeyed for the top positions in their pools on the first three days. "The pool stages are really tough as you need to step on the park in good form from the start because one loss can count you out. You have to try to end first or second in your pool to qualify for the semifinals. "Some universities think it would be better if you first had quarterfinals, but others say that would just be giving top teams another bite at the cherry if you don't perform well on the first three days. "So the format is a bit tricky, but that makes it interesting and worth the challenge." UJ have been a strong force in South African varsity hockey, but Le Roux said they would be looking no further than a place in the top four initially and then taking it step by step. "We always aim for the top four as a starting point and once the pool fixtures are done, we can then focus on the play-off matches. We take it a game at a time and we always try to assess our opposition's strength to see where we can match and better them." Le Roux said the Ussa tournament played an important role in their plans as it provided a yardstick to measure themselves against other institutions and created chances for younger players to make an impact. "We are in a rebuilding phase with both the men's and women's teams, with the women gearing up for next year and the men looking ahead at 2019," she . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, 21 JUNE 2017 – From 2 to 10 June 2017, the world’s greatest adventure racing teams battled for glory in the 2nd edition of the Altay X-Trail Expedition Race in Northern China, the only Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) race in Asia. This year, the race organisers featured a youth team entry fee and travel subsidy to encourage youth teams from all over the world. A youth team has a combined age of under 110 years. In total, 24 teams, of which 10 teams were youth teams, all set out to conquer the Altay Prefecture. Robyn Owen (Jeep Team), along with Michael Owen, Andrew Houston and Julian Atkinson, made up the South African youth team, Best4Sports, tackling the gruelling 500km race. Say Robyn Owen Team Leader Best4Sports, “Being the most experienced member of the team was a new experience for me, but it turned out to be an easy job. Mike handled the challenging navigation as well as many navigators with much more experience; and Andrew and Julian were as tough as nails taking all the unexpected challenges in their stride despite having had very little time to prepare. “ The approximate 500km race through the remote Altay region of Northern China is not normally accessible to tourists, and consists of expansive grasslands, rivers, mountains and desert plains in this spectacular part in the world. The massive, lush grazelands are home to nomads - the Kazaks and Mongolians - with a strong Kazak culture. Back in 2015, Wei Jun (race director) and the X-Trail crew invited ARWS Race Director, Louise Foulkes, and Executive Producer, Erik Nachtrieb, to the Xinjiang region of Northern China to consider creating an ARWS expedition race in China. They spent ten days meeting government officials, reviewing the potential course, experiencing the culture, riding horses, eating lamb's heads and wrestling Kazaks. The debut race took place in September 2016 although slightly shorter than this second edition. The June 2017 Altay X-Trail Expedition was . . .
Excitement is building for local trail and nature enthusiasts ahead of the upcoming DAFCO Urban Challenge, hosted by the Amanzimtoti Sports Centre. Showcasing the magnificent natural beauty of the Sapphire Coast and immersing participants in the areas swathes of deep unspoilt indigenous bush and forest, the series includes four trail running events (30 June, 23 July, 25 August, 8 October) and one mountain biking event (23 July). Those who are looking for an extra element of adventure excitement will be pleased to learn that the 4km and 8km trail runs scheduled for 30 June and 25 August will be held at night. The event to be held on 23 July will be arguably the most popular component of the DAFCO Urban Challenge series, where 16km, 24km and 32km mountain bike races and 4km, 8km and 16km trail runs will be complemented by several children’s activities and a DJ and family picnic day on the Hutchison Park oval. The fourth and final event (8 October) will offer local athletes and families one final chance to enjoy the 4km and 8km trail run routes, as well as a wonderful day of picnicking and music at the Oval. All the events that comprise the DAFCO Urban Challenge will make the most of the invigorating wildlife and scenery of the forests and riverside trails of the Illanda Wilds, situated along the banks of the Amanzimtoti River and home to a variety of birds, vervet monkeys, duiker and mongoose. The community event was first held by the Amanzimtoti Sports Centre in November last year as a means of fundraising for the upgrade and maintenance of its first class sporting facilities, attracting over 210 runners and walkers. The Centre is firmly entrenched as the epicentre of sporting and recreational activities in the area, representing eleven affiliate sport codes, including rugby, soccer, cricket, athletics, cycling, tennis, squash, bowls, baseball, and the Amanzimtoti Conservancy and Dog Club. Sapphire Coast Tourism’s Monique Botha said that “we are so happy and . . .
A number of Madibaz squash players have been included in the Eastern Province teams to take part in the annual Jarvis Kaplan Cup interprovincial tournament in Pretoria next month. Player-coach Jason le Roux and Dwain Dodd have been selected for the men's A side, Gershwin Forbes for the second stringers and Johan Thiel for the C team. Forbes will also do duty as reserve for the first-choice outfit. Sarah O'Grady, Bianca Brown and Hayley Ward were named in the women's A team. "This is great for the club as we now have a significant footprint in the provincial league," said Madibaz Sport squash manager Melissa Awu. She attributed their high level of representation to hard work, dedication and the input of their experienced coach. Awu said the men would be competing in the B section of the tournament, while the women would be in action in the A division. Le Roux, who represented Border in the A section until switching allegiances this season, said the women would be facing a tough challenge after losing three top players to other provinces. "It's a young side and they will be up against international players as well as the cream of the crop from South Africa," but he was confident that they would be able to handle themselves and, importantly, not get relegated. Le Roux explained that there were six teams in the A section and that EP - who were fourth last year - had to place fifth or better to avoid relegation. He said the men would be competing against five other teams in the B division and would need to place first to secure a spot in the men's A section. On a more personal note, he said he was looking forward to new beginnings. "There are exciting times ahead. It is great being able to build relationships with the EP players, especially since my training mates are on the same team." The 34-year-old said the tournament would be a particularly tough assignment for the varsity players, who would be in action in the University Sports . . .
By 2020, there will be one million unfilled coding jobs due to lack of education. The Digital age has changed the environment we live in. Coding has become the universal language of this era, in the future not learning this skill will make navigating the working world as challenging and alienate non-coders, as coding will be a required skill even outside of the technological industry. Safety In Numbers – Why you should learn coding Learning coding will empower students to seek high paying jobs in the Financial, Manufacturing and Healthcare sectors which will become the most reliant on coding in the future. Learning coding assists individuals in building problem skills, using coding principals, coders can break problems into smaller segments to tackle them more efficiently. Coding is a universal language which builds an engineering mindset, sharpens mathematical abilities and teaches students the algorisms that exist in our environment. This discipline also inspires creativity and flexibility. Four climbers attempt to break a world record and raise funds for Non-profit coding organization Code4Change Many will know of The Seven Summits climb, which refers to the ultimate achievement in mountaineering – to reach the top of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. More recently, the idea of the 9 Summits were born – referring to the highest peak in each of the nine provinces of South Africa. Not only were people now climbing the highest mountain in each of the nine provinces, but they were doing it in record times. The current team record for completing the 9 Summits in SA is 4 days, 18 hours and 38 minutes. In July 2017, four South Africans will attempt to set a new team record for the fastest time to complete the 9 Summits in South Africa. The team will comprise of the following people of Adrian Saffy: (Attorney by profession, Adventure racer by nature), Alex Harris (Professional mountaineer, adventurer and Seven Summits climber), . . .
The annual Mandela Day Have a Ball Charity Soccer Tournament will take place on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 from 12h00 to 16h00 at the Fives Futbol, Century City, Cape Town. Corporates line up for the 4th Mandela Day Have a Ball Charity Soccer Tournament, hosted by Adverb. It’s time to boot up again for the 4th edition of Adverb’s Mandela Day Have a Ball charity soccer tournament taking place at Fives Futbol, Century City on Mandela Day, Tuesday, 18 July 2017 from 12h00 in support of the children from My Dunoon. Forty children from the project will team up with members of the participating corporate teams in a 5-a-side round-robin soccer tournament. This day of giving will be topped off with a handout of takkies, soccer balls, beanies and bags to each child - purchased with the funds donated by corporate sponsors and suppliers, who are: Adverb, Ankerdata, BON Hotels, Concept Lounge, Diesel Digital, Fives Futbol, Gemini Solutions, Hobbs Sinclair, Innovation Projects, IOL, OneFM, Orlichem, Pyrad International, Sir Juice. Participants and spectators can look forward to a fun day of football, food, refreshments, laughter and happiness, a live broadcast from OneFM, with a few surprises in store including celebrity appearances. All the players will receive a medal and there are great give-aways throughout the day for best save, biggest smile, team spirit, sportsmanship and ball skills. If you are interested in entering a corporate team, please contact Ashleigh@adverb.co.za - or just pop by and cheer from the sidelines. Order of the day is to HAVE A BALL! CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .