Defending champion Reynard Butler will be using the East Rand Classic road cycle race next weekend to kick-start his year after a somewhat disrupted beginning to the season. The popular Johannesburg event over 98km, formerly known as the Emperors Palace Classic, takes place in Kempton Park on Sunday, April 28, and offers an ideal opportunity for the sprint specialists to show their prowess. A year ago Butler, who rides for ProTouch, pipped Ryan Harris and Clint Hendricks in the perennial dash for the line, continuing a season which brought him six podium finishes in major races. The early part of this year has not run as smoothly, but the 31-year-old Butler said they were eager to get a win under their belts. "Personally it's been a bit up and down because I crashed out when racing in Gabon earlier in the year and had to withdraw due to injuries," he said. "I wasn't really in top form at the Takealot Tour of Good Hope or the Cape Town Cycle Tour and I have just got back from the race in Morocco (Tour du Maroc) where I had to pull out due to illness. So it's been a rocky start for me personally. "But the team has been doing really well and we will obviously be aiming for the top spot next week. "It's always good to get a win under the belt because that boosts your confidence, and with the guys in good form we are positive about a good outcome." Butler acknowledged they would have to be on point with their tactics due the fast nature of the course, but said they were prepared for that. "There are one or two sections of the course where the wind can affect things, but most of the teams know what goes down on the day and it usually does come down to a bunch sprint. "So it's important to have a good lead-out in the closing stretch to ensure you get your sprinter into the right position for the finish." Women's champion Kim le Court, riding for Demacon MaxWax Racing, is targeting a hat-trick of titles as she strives to continue a . . .
The Takealot Jock Classic, one of South Africa’s oldest road races, will offer a number of options when cyclists take the opportunity to stretch their muscles in mid-winter in Mpumalanga. Covering a distance of 155km, this event offers a unique package in which the overall distance is divided into three stages, all taking place on the same day – July 13. This deviates from the normal practice in cycling, where one-day races traditionally cover a distance around the 100km mark. But race organisers ASG Events are making sure that nobody gets left out this year by catering for various choices within the feature event, which takes place in Nelspruit, White River and Sabie. “We have decided this year to offer three options to those who want to compete in one of the country’s classics,” said ASG chief executive Erick Oosthuizen. “So this year you can do all three stages, for which we will naturally have the overall champions, or you can do the last two stages, or just the last stage. We feel this will cater for most riders.” However, there is a built-in incentive if you ride in two or three stages, because these come with meals, he added. The stages will cover 48km, 45km and 62km respectively and there will be starting times for each leg. Oosthuizen also said they would again have a junior men’s category, which was introduced for the first time last year. “We are keeping that because we would very much like to support cycling development and this fits in with our views and objectives.” Coming at a time of the year when the event calendar is not that full he felt it was an ideal opportunity to get in some decent winter training. “Fortunately, the weather is so good in the Lowveld that it is not a problem, while the race offers a unique challenge in incorporating three stages in one day. “Of course, the format of the event does throw up a few challenges, but it’s a great day out on the bike and you can learn a lot about your own . . .
Madibaz artistic swimmer Courtney Musson continues to impress in the national arena. She returned from the national championships in Durban last week with a haul of six medals - one gold and five silvers. The 24-year-old Nelson Mandela University student was part of the Eastern Cape artistic swimming (formerly known as synchronised swimming) team which competed in the event. She was delighted with her results and is now waiting on tenterhooks to find out if she will be included in the South African team to compete in the World Championships to be held in South Korea in July. "I was extremely happy with how I performed in my events, especially in my individual events," said the human movement science masters student. "I did, however, narrowly miss out on a gold in my technical duet event with my partner Nina Smith (from Port Elizabeth), but we were still satisfied with our silver as we have only been swimming together in this category for less than a year." Musson, who went to school at Erica Primary and Collegiate High, admitted to a degree of nervousness going into the championships. "I specialise in the individual events, also known as a solo, which includes a technical solo category and free solo category," she explained. "The technical routines are the most difficult category for the soloist as they incorporate movements that all the athletes have to perform within their routine. We are judged on how well these movements are executed. "The technical solo was one of my toughest routines that I had to perform at competition and previously, in December at our national club competition, I did not meet one of the criteria in the routine. "This drove me to improve on this aspect for the national competition." Adding to the pressure was the possibility of making the team for the World Championships. "The SA nationals also served as a platform for final selection for the world event," added Musson. "This was the second round of trials . . .
PRETORIA, GAUTENG, 10 APRIL 2019 – Returning to popular Tierpoort Adventure Farm, South Africa’s biggest WARRIOR event was a day of adrenaline-pumping action, epic family fun and loads of excitement for participants of all fitness levels. The third instalment of the 2019 Toyota WARRIOR Series, powered by Reebok, was a massively-successful, sold-out event that saw over 3500 men, women and children of all ages, shapes and sizes face the best OCR trails in Gauteng. The event also saw little adventurers experience the specifically-designed 1km, 8-obstacle course and exercise their bodies and minds to #BeMore because it’s never too early be a WARRIOR. The highlight of the event was the high-action, Black Ops Elite race, that saw ‘new contender’, Bradley Claase storm ahead of Thomas van Tonder (RedBull) who finished second, and Claude Eksteen (Air Team) who took third place, to seize his first ever WARRIOR victory by a margin of 32 seconds and 1 minute 57 seconds respectively. Said Claase after his maiden win– “What I once thought was impossible has become a reality. I finally have a WARRIOR Race Black-Ops Elite win. What a day, what a race and what a feeling! I have learnt that achieving a goal opens up the mind to new possibilities.” In the Women’s Black Ops Elite race, 2018 WARRIOR Series winner, Trish Eksteen (AirTeam) took the podium 2 minutes ahead of her team-mate, Nadene Cahill (AirTeam), with Cindy Wills (OCT South) who took third position, 10 minutes behind Eksteen. In the Commando Elite men’s race, a 10 km, 22-obstacle course, Sphelele Hlengwa took first place (47m20s), Kelvin van Wyk came in second (49m47s), and Samuel Schollash took third place (45m57s). The women’s race was won by Helge Herbst (1h24m07s), in second was Elzani Lotter (1h25m20s), and taking third place was Tate Stewart (1h25m20s). The shortest and most fun-packed race of the day, the Rookie, saw young athletes crawling, climbing and jumping through the course. The Rookie . . .
University of Johannesburg official Nomsa Mahlangu has been recognised for her contribution to varsity sport by being elected president of the Federation of African University Sports. The senior director of sport at UJ, Mahlangu won the election with a big majority when it was held in Entebbe, Uganda, last month. "There were four of us in line for the post, but Ibrahim Bangura from Sierra Leone withdrew on the morning of the election," said Mahlangu, who became the first woman president of the continental body. The federation is internationally known as Fédération Africain du Sport Universitaire (Fasu). She will hold office for four years and said she was looking forward to her term as she hoped to improve the standard of university sport on the continent across the board. "I believe there are some important times ahead of us and our goals going forward are to unite the varsity sportsmen and women in Africa," said Mahlangu. "We feel that university sport needs to play a bigger role in using research to improve our overall performances." She added that she was honoured to be appointed the first female president of the federation. "Hopefully this can pave the way for future developments because there is a need to open doors for more women, to empower them and to encourage them to hold these sorts of positions of responsibility." The federation is the governing body of university sport in Africa and was founded in 1971 by 10 African countries to improve the development of university sport on the continent. Mahlangu said there were 28 members in Fasu and they were divided into five regional zones. "It has been an associate member of the international body (Fisu) since 2007 and has the General Assembly as the supreme governing body. This body determines and controls the general policy of Fasu." She added that the General Assembly met every two years, while the executive committee comprised seven members, elected for four years by the . . .
The Madibaz Rowing Club returned from the University Sport South Africa sprints regatta with its reputation firmly enhanced following some notable performances during the competition. Leading the way was Alex Ennis, who became the first female Nelson Mandela University rower to be awarded Grudge (half) colours at a USSA event. The event was held at the Misverstand Dam on the Berg River, near Porterville in the Western Cape, from April 5 to 7. Having only started rowing last year, the 22-year-old Ennis said she had worked hard to move to the next level. "I look back on 2018 as a total beginner's year," said the biokinetics student. "This year I wanted to compete in the A division and work towards a goal of attending the World University Rowing Championships in 2020 or 2022, or both." She explained the concept of being awarded USSA rowing colours, known as Blues and Grudge. "Blues and Grudge is the selection and racing of the top university athletes in South Africa and is extremely prestigious within varsity rowing. "Both sweep and sculling boats are selected, with the top athletes being chosen to race in the Blues crew and the next best competing in the Grudge crew. Both crews then race each other over the sprints course. "Blues and Grudge racing takes place after the last races on Saturday at the USSA sprints regatta. "Selection for Blues and Grudge starts early with athletes having completed 1km and 2km ergo trials in the beginning of the year, aiming to meet predetermined cut-off times. Finally their overall performance at USSA sprints is considered by the selectors." Ennis added that her expectations going into the USSA tournament were unknown, having only previously competed in the novice section. "I had never raced these experienced individuals before, so the goal was to go out and try my hardest with all the hard work I had put in beforehand and I am really glad it paid off." She said the team members, consisting of nine . . .
Former presidential security chief Rory Steyn delivered a fascinating address at Nelson Mandela University on Thursday in which he said the lessons he learnt from Madiba remained as relevant today as they were back then. The talk at the Port Elizabeth university's council chambers was a Madibaz Sport initiative, set up last year to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth in 1918. An ex-policeman, Steyn formed a close relationship with the late South African president when he was a team leader with the Presidential Protection Unit during Mandela's term from 1994 to 1999. The humility of the legendary statesman shone through during Steyn's address and the lessons he learnt from Mandela which he shared with the audience still resonate today. Steyn said he always grabbed the opportunity to talk about Mandela's legacy, particularly to the younger generations. "You, as students, are the future of our country and some people are already forgetting the lessons Madiba taught us and I don't want that to happen," he said. "So I take any chance I can to spread the message of what Madiba taught us and hopefully for you to implement it in your lives, which is something I try to do as a father." One of his earliest memories of Mandela's life lessons came after the assassination of Chris Hani on April 10, 1993, just more than a year before he became president. "I was overseas at the time, but much later my colleague and fellow team leader in the PPU, Jason Tshabalala, told me what happened when Mandela heard the news. "Although he was weary from travelling overseas to raise funds for the 1994 election, Jason said he was called by Mandela on the Sunday morning after the assassination, who told him to take him to the SABC. "There he got himself live onto every SABC radio station and TV network so he could speak to the people of South Africa, saying ‘We understand your anger and what has happened is a terrible crime. But please, do not take the . . .
Get set for the 6th Annual Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort MTB and Trail Running Challenge. The event which continues to grow in popularity is a weekend filled with healthy fun for the whole family and will be sure to get your blood pumping. The first challenge on Saturday, June 29th will be the 7.5km, 15km and 20km trail runs followed by the 20km & 40km MTB events on Sunday, June 30th. To stand in line winning cash prizes and fabulous lucky draw prizes, best you check your mountain bikes tyre pressure, dust off your running shoes and head on up to enjoy the crisp mount air and the spectacular scenery of the magnificent Southern Drakensberg. Just a reminder that this event also forms part of the prestigious Quattro ROAG Series, which offers both MTB and Trail Running Events!!! The event is also privileged to be able to access the adjacent Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa resort is the perfect venue for “Good Value & Good Fun” for events of this type and is sure to fulfill your every expectation! Remember, 10% discount on all-pre-race entries for families of 4 and more. SATURDAY, JUNE 29TH: *20km trail run – Entry Fee: R160 per competitor •15km Trail Run - Entry Fee: R140 per competitor •7.5km Trail Run - Entry Fee: R100 per competitor SUNDAY, JUNE 30TH: •40km MTB Race - Entry Fee: R180 per competitor •20km MTB Race - Entry Fee: R140 per competitor The first 200 participants that enter any of the events over the weekend will each receive a goodie bag and a race t-shirt, so get those entries in fast as there are limited places to participate. There are cash prizes for overall male and female winners and age category prizes (1st 2nd and 3rd) in the MTB event. There are also cash prizes for the Top 3 Overall only in all 3 trail run events (Men and Women). No age category prizes in the Trail Run. To enter online go to www.roag.co.za or . . .
The Liberty Waterberg Encounter is perfectly poised to provide a wide range of mountain-biking enthusiasts with a memorable weekend getaway near Bela-Bela in Limpopo from June 7 to 9. This three-stage race over 168km, which exposes competitors to exciting bushveld trails, is the final event of the Liberty Encounter Series. It started with the TransCape MTB Encounter in February and continued this past weekend with the Winelands Encounter. Entries for the Waterberg race close on May 22 and ASG Events chief executive officer Erick Oosthuizen said there is plenty for riders to look forward to in the overall package. "This is a wonderful chance for the whole family to experience a weekend in the bush," he said. "The luxury tented accommodation at Elements Private Golf Reserve makes it the perfect chance to escape the city for a few days, with riders being exposed to mountain-bike trails through game farms. "Once the hard work is done on the bike there is plenty of time to chill at the clubhouse." Besides Elements, he said accommodation was also available at Sondela Nature Reserve, one of the most popular bush-lodge holiday spots in South Africa. "Sondela offers a variety of accommodation, from four-star self-catering chalets to a caravan park and tent camp." Besides the opportunity for a memorable family weekend, Oosthuizen said he felt the race was a perfect opportunity for those in the corporate world to have some fun away from the pressures of business. "This is a great chance for corporates to experience a relaxed weekend, where they can either enjoy a team-building opportunity within their company or network with their colleagues in a chilled environment. "Luxury tented accommodation packages are available for the Friday and Saturday night at Elements Golf Reserve and all bedding comes with electric blankets for the chilly nights. "The race offers an opportunity for riders to get close to a variety of wildlife without compromising . . .
The 2019 edition of the Tour of Good Hope may only have ended just over a month ago, but race organisers ASG Events are already putting plans in place for next year’s event from March 2-6. South Africa’s premier road-race classic in the Cape Winelands, won by national U23 champion Marc Pritzen, proved another huge success last month, finishing with its traditional climb up to the Taal Monument just outside Paarl. Entries for next year’s event are now open and the same categories will be offered as this year, with team and solo options for the amateur riders. An interesting development, said ASG chief executive Erick Oosthuizen, was that former Springbok rugby players John Smit, Breyton Paulse and Stefan Terblanche had all committed to riding in next year’s tour. “This is something that is developing as we go along but it will be great to have them on the tour,” he said. “We are still planning on how their inclusion will work because they may be part of a team and challenge other teams or they may challenge each other. “But they are all keen cyclists and eager to experience what one of the country’s high-profile tours has to offer.” Earlier this year, Smith, the 2007 World Cup-winning captain, made his debut appearance in the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter, which also falls under the ASG Events banner. This year the Tour of Good Hope enjoyed UCI status for the first time and Oosthuizen said they were confident of receiving positive feedback from the international body. He added, however, that there were a variety of factors to consider before the final planning was done. “The UCI status definitely adds to the credibility of the event, but there are budget factors to look at,” he said. “To be honest, it will be sponsor-dependent. “We are very keen on it for 2020, but we are crunching the numbers to make sure we can do it.” Oosthuizen felt the variety of stages this year made it “a nice edition”. “We admit that the first day was . . .