Star field athlete Ischke Senekal was honoured with a top award when she was crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the Madibaz Sport gala awards evening in Port Elizabeth last week. The Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club member bagged numerous shot put and discus gold medals this year at events that included the USSA championships, Varsity Athletics meetings and the national track and field champs. "The award means a lot to me as I've worked hard to reach the heights I set for myself. It also showed me that my goals made me win that title," said the Uitenhage local. "I'm now recognised as this year's best sportswoman at the university and I had tough nominees against me. So I'm happy it turned out the way it did," said Senekal, who was nominated for the award last year but had never won it prior to this year. The 25-year-old, who also won national colours at the IAAF World Cup in London and claimed gold for shot put and bronze for discus at the African Senior Championships, felt she was not in her best form at the beginning of the season. "I still managed to go on to reach what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to go to the world cup, continental and African champs. I was in the preliminary team for the Commonwealth Games, but they unfortunately didn't choose me to participate." Senekal, a second-year education honours student and Grade 2 teacher at Ankervas Primary School, added that she had achieved most of her goals. She wanted to be the SA and USSA champion again, as well as to finish in the top three at the African champs. "One thing I didn't achieve was a shot put record, but I was a little far behind. It's one of my goals for next season." Her best memories from this year included going to the world cup where she placed fourth, becoming African champion for discus and competing in the continental cup. "It was a great moment and honour to represent my continent in the Czech Republic," said Senekal. Senekal attributed her success to three key . . .
PRETORIA – 25 OCTOBER 2018 – Hennie de Klerk, South Africa’s DAKAR 2018 Rookie Award champion, has confirmed that he will be competing in the Morocco Desert Challenge 2019, taking place from 12 – 20 April 2019 in Peru. The Morocco Desert Challenge, celebrating its 11th year in 2019, will be covering a spectacular coast-to-coast route in which magnificent parts of the notorious desert will be represented. The 2019 route is completely renewed and will have 2.5 stages in Western Sahara (now Moroccan Sahara). The MDC2019 – spanning 8 days and just over 3,000 kilometres – will offer fast tracks, technical parts, wide African plains, many dunes, salt lakes as well as legendary Paris-to-Dakar-stages. Hennie commented, “The DAKAR 2018 was one of the most challenging but also one of the most exhilarating races that I have ever experienced. It was such an adrenaline rush from Day 1, and it is truly one of those moments of life where the memories will be treasured forever. We were keen to go to DAKAR 2019 and take part in that race again, defending our Rookie 2018 award, but have since decided to enter the Morocco Desert Challenge instead – a very similar race to the DAKAR, but as we have not done the Morocco Desert Challenge yet, we are very excited to give it a go! We think that the experience and knowledge we have gained during DAKAR 2018 will provide valuable insight and we look forward to experiencing the MDC next year.” Follow Hennie’s progress on Facebook CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Nelson Mandela University karate ace Gcobani Maxama believes he has fulfilled a personal mission by being named the Madibaz Sportsman of the Year at last week's gala awards function in Port Elizabeth. The 27-year-old student, currently enrolled for a postgraduate diploma in internal auditing, has established himself as a karateka of high standing, being crowned the All-Africa champion this year. Introduced to the sport by his father, sensei Zolile Maxama, karate has come to play a central role in his family's life because his brother, Lwazi Finca, was an instructor (sensei) at Mandela University from 2007 to 2009. Gcobani, who is also a sensei, said the award had always been a dream of his, which was inspired by his brother. "He was a student at Madibaz and he said to me if he did not win the Sportsman of the Year award in his time then it would be up to me to make it happen and to make our family proud," he recalled. "So, to win this award is a big deal because it means I fulfilled my brother's hopes. "It definitely is a great feeling and I don't think it has fully sunk in yet." It was a night to remember for Maxama because he also received the Student Coach of the Year and Sports Personality of the Year awards. "Winning the student sport coach award was something I didn't expect," he said. "I am excited and happy to have won this award, not just for me, but for my students, the executive committee and the manager. "They are the ones who made it possible for me to take this one home - they made me look good. "I would also like to thank everyone who voted for me to win the Sport Personality of the Year. Their support is highly appreciated and never taken for granted." Born in the village of Mangondini in the Amathole district, Maxama moved to eGompo in East London in 1999. Four years later he moved to Kwazakhele in Nelson Mandela Bay, where he currently resides. He attended a number of primary schools before matriculating from . . .
Dirt Bronco, Krugersdorp - The final stop of the TRP Distributors SA MX National Championship was held at the prominent Gauteng track called Dirt Bronco over the weekend. There were over 140 contestants, and the track was muddy after some recent rains. Either way, the Championship contenders produced some of the best racing seen this whole year. In MX2 All eyes were initially on the battle between Caleb Tennant, Anthony Raynard and a hard charging David Goosen, when David’s team mate, Tristan Purdon who was waiting to make his move, did so out of the blie and made quick work of the leaders to get to the front and hold it all the way to the finish for the win. With many of the MX2 contenders racing in MX1, the action now switched to the first MX1 heat. This time it was Goosen that set the fastest lap in practice but Tennant was only one second off the pace. Heat 1 saw Goosen pull a large lead to try and out run any competition but Tennant hung on until once again Purdon made a mid race charge to pass the two leaders, claiming his second heat win of the day. Goosen took second and Tennant third but with the Championship points between those two so close, it would force the Championship title decision to the MX1 heat 2 race. The MX2 heat 2 now saw both Tennant and Goosen sit out as they rested for pending battle for the MX1 Championship. This time it was a hard charging Matthew Malan that took the win with a Purdon in second and Joshua Mlimi in third. Purdon took the overall with a 1-2, closely followed by Malan’s 4-1 and solid 2-4 performance by Raynard gave him third for the day. For the day though it was all about Out of Africa Yamaha’s Tristan Purdon who took another win with a 1-2. Goosen took second with a 2-3 and Ashwell claimed third with a 7-1. “It was a good day on the track for me,” said Purdon after the event. “It was muddy so I chose different lines, often choosing way outside, looking for the dry spots.” Purdon pushed hard throughout the . . .
University of Johannesburg soccer star Thato Letsose believes she is reaping the dividends after consistent hard work saw her named the varsity's Sportswoman of the Year this month. The 22-year-old sport psychology student, who made her debut for the South African women's team this year, has enjoyed a stellar season on the soccer field. Besides playing for Banyana Banyana, she captained the UJ team to victory in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Port Elizabeth in July and led the Ussa squad to the gold medal in the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games in June. Further recognition came with her nomination as Sportswoman of the Year when UJ held their annual gala sports awards function at Randpark Golf Club on October 11. Born in Bloemfontein, but now living in Auckland Park in Johannesburg, Letsose said the award meant a great deal to her. "I feel that finally my hard work is being rewarded," she said. "This award is a big deal for me because it shows that women's football is evolving and getting better." She admitted that failing to achieve goals she set herself was a big motivating factor. "The more I fail, the more I want to try again until I master it," she said. "That, I feel, has been a big part of my success. "But I must add that nothing would have been achieved without my team-mates. They were always there for me and that made me a better player and a better leader." As with many of South Africa's soccer stars, Letsose learnt about the game playing football in the streets of her community. "I remember getting involved at a very young age - about six or seven - when I started playing street football with my brother," she recalled. "I love soccer because of the excitement of winning and the great team and work skills you develop. "For me, though, it's not always about winning. It's about learning to give your best and encouraging your teammates to do the same." She added that . . .
The first ever, Gary Kirsten Sixes event has created a wave of excitement in Khayelitsha. Cricket has gained huge popularity over the last four years since the inception of the Gary Kirsten Township Development Programme. Now the emergence of talented young players is set to take the game in the region to new heights. Thirty-six under-13 players including 12 girls converged on the Masiphumelele Primary School for a day of high adrenaline action. After a few rounds of competitive action, the ‘Proteas’ beat the ‘West Indies’ in the final. Batting first the Proteas made a total of 80 from six overs and then restricted their opposition to just 40 runs. “It was an unbelievable day for these youngsters. I must say they grabbed the opportunity to show us just how far they have come along,” Foundation Head Coach, Sivuyile Mfunelwa said. “It is a step forward for these players. Most of them never played in a competitive environment before,” Mfunelwa added. The tournament was made possible thanks to the generous sponsors of the Gary Kirsten Foundation. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Fairtree Simonsberg Contour MTB - Back and better than ever With three successful years behind it’s back, the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour 2 Day MTB Event has gone from the newbie on the calendar to a firm favourite and must-do event for all mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Originally created to continue the development of routes and to showcase the incredible network of single-track trails on the Simonsberg Mountain, the region has become a hotspot for trail runners and mountain bikers alike through the continued support of Fairtree Capital. Dirtopia has spent the last 5 years developing new routes on Delheim, Muratie, Warwick and Uitkyk wine estates. These trails are now operated in partnership with the landowners with the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy being the primary beneficiary. The conservancy represents more than 20 farms around the mountain and is currently focused on a multi-million-rand alien clearing project to return large tracts of the mountain to fynbos and renosterveld. There is no better time to be out in the winelands as harvest season will be in full swing in surrounding vineyards. The MTB two-day event will take place on 2 & 3 Feb 2019 with a 60km and 40km route on offer for both Saturday and Sunday, with the two day’s riding taking place on separate trails on the vast network. Do both days, mix it up or do only one day - your choice! The event will start and finish on Delvera Wine farm where riders and runners will be treated to breakfast the morning before the activities start and lunch once you’ve crossed the finish line. As always there will be a wonderful area to relax after their ride, with showers, a bike park, bike wash & lube station and a massage service on offer. There will also be a kiddie’s entertainment area with the option for supporters to join for lunch by buying a food ticket. And yes, great coffee and the best beers will be served on the day. Each participant will receive a goody bag and coffee, . . .
South African field athlete Ischke Senekal and karate ace Gcobani Maxama walked away with the top accolades at the Madibaz Sport gala awards evening in Port Elizabeth last night. The function was held at Nelson Mandela University's Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre, where Senekal and Maxama were deserving recipients of the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year awards respectively after excelling in their respective fields over the past 12 months. In the team category, the SPAR Madibaz netball outfit won the Team of the Year award after an outstanding 2018 which culminated in them narrowly missing out on a place in the final of the Varsity Netball tournament. Maxama received further recognition for his contribution to karate at the university by being named the Student Coach of the Year. He was also voted the Student Sport Personality of the Year. This award involved a poll on the Madibaz Facebook page, where students had to vote for their favourite personality. The top three nominees were Maxama, Senekal and netball star Nobubele Phuza. Maxama's achievements in karate reached a peak when he participated in the All Africa Championships in Cape Town in July. The event acts as a selection tournament for the world championships in Japan, which are held every four years. Maxama took first place at the Cape Town event, making him a frontrunner to captain the African team at the world tournament in Japan next year. He already has experience of competing in Japan when he took on some of the best fighters in the world in the all-Japanese weight category tournament this year, losing in the third round. At the University Sport South Africa week in July he dominated the competition by winning gold in kata, semi contact, full contact and team kata. He was named the best overall participant at USSA. Senekal had one of the best years in her career with the Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club, winning a slew of gold medals at various meetings. The star field . . .
Madibaz Sport will take the opportunity to honour a wide range of achievers when they hold a gala function at the Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre on Friday. For the first time in several years this will be a sports-only function to recognise those who have made a contribution in their specific fields at Nelson Mandela University. The sports stars were previously honoured at the Achievers Awards function, where the university recognised excellence across all student activities. Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka said standalone sports awards evenings had been held previously, before they were amalgamated with the Achievers Awards function. She added that by holding a separate sports evening it provided greater scope for them to honour those who had excelled during the year. "Madibaz Sport has representation on all campuses of the university and represents 21 recognised codes," she said. "We annually sit with a long list of sports achievers but could not honour them in the appropriate manner due to the consolidated Achievers Awards function. "By having our own function there is the opportunity to recognise our sports people as well as a chance for the university to see the depth of the work done annually on the sports fields." She said they felt it was critically important for Madibaz Sport to host a function such as this to ensure those who contributed so much were adequately recognised. "The awards will cover a wide range of categories which will include individual achievements, success on a technical or coaching front, and contributions to outreach programmes," said Lumka. Madibaz Sport will also use the occasion to honour former president Nelson Mandela by inviting his grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, to be the guest speaker. "The reason for this is particularly for him to speak about our theme of ‘His Story, Our Story', which highlights the importance of the late president and his 100 years, as well as to continue [telling] the . . .
#SHOVAFORHOPE – 4 Heroes, 106km, 2 Charities, 1 Goal Expand a Sign’s #SHOVAFORHOPE programme focuses on 4 HEROES, 106 KM for 2 CHARITIES - with 1 GOAL in mind – raising awareness and money for vulnerable children in KwaZulu-Natal. Three of Expand A Sign’s team is embarking on the gruelling 106km Amashova cycle race on a single-speedy bicycle this weekend. As uncomfortable as their bikes are, they are pushing themselves in a fundraiser and awareness drive for Operation Bobbi Bear and iThemba Lethu. Operation Bobbi Bear is a human rights organisation committed to helping sexually abused children in Amanzimtoti in Kwa Zulu Natal and iThemba Lethu helps restore hope and destiny in vulnerable children through various programmes, including Family Integration, Breast Milk Bank and HIV Prevention, We obviously can’t begin to tell you the full story of the incredible work these organisations are doing in our local communities, so check out their respective websites - http://bobbibear.org.za/ and https://www.ithembalethu.org.za/ Get Involved and Make a Difference We are looking for as little as a R20 donation to Operation Bobbi Bear or iThemba Lethu in order to reach our donation goal of R100 000. Share #ShovaForHope and get your team or family and friends involved in sending motivational messages to the Expand A Sign team cycling. Donate with Zapper South Africa or EFT by clicking here: www.expandasign.co.za/shovaforhope CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .