Archive for March 2010

GOING SOLO

 STAGE 3 of the ABSA Cape Epic saw the retirement of my partner because of a very unfortunate incident. 10km into the race just after we had entered a sandy stretch of single track, a fellow competitor took a wobble ahead of my partner, Albe, and as Albe Skirted around him, this competitors cleat connected with Albe’s knee cap which immobilised his leg. The pain was excrutiating, but he soldiered on for another 40minutes, however things did’t get better. It’s always a tough one when one participates in a team sport where your partners well being is instrumental to your successs. I’m sad we couldn’t continue on as a team, but also realise it could have been me with the injury.

 So the rest of the stage for me saw me catching up with friends and having a leisurely day.

STAGE 4 and we woke to a perfect morning, and although the wind was pumping, it was working in the right direction for us.

The leaders blastered off the start, and within 400m, the top seven teams had opened a small gap on the rest of the field.

WIth my new seeding as a solo rider, startin right at the very back of the field in the last batch, i was able to enjoy supporting fellow competitors as they headed out for the day, that would see us riding 89km with 1680m of climbing, taking us from Ceres to Worcester. I paired up with a beast of a rider, Hennie Kriel, who worked me over for the first half of the stage, but fortunately my endurance helped me to match him in the latter part of the stage. Even with the handicap of starting at the back, our time placed us 51st across the finish line yesterday. [Although i am not seeded, i am still official and will be pairing up with Hennie from today so will start in C-batch from tomorrow]                                                        

Wearing the African Leaders jersey, Kwazulu-Natalians, Max Knox and Brandon Stewart.

STAGE 5: 27km TIME TRIAL. Seems easy?…. 860m climbing… that’s the crux!

I’m fine with the details remaining a surprise if the mspy device is even announced, though

EARLY DAYS.. 6 TO GO

…So far, touch wood, it hasn’t been so bad. Today’s endless single track riding and spectacular climbs were well worth every turn of the pedals. I heard plenty of moans from fellow competitors as we hit yet another sandy patch after sandy patch, but luckily for me i don’t really mind the sand and seem to have some sort of a technique worked out.

Again, a casual start for myself and Albe, saw us start at the back of our A batch. Also not knowing that they had combined batch A and B (160 not 80 riders), we found ourselves further down the field than expected. By the time we realised though it was too late as we hit the first stretch of single track and already a slow moving queue of riders. Over the next 50km we managed to work our way through a fair number of the teams, putting us in 69th position across the finish line- now lying 63rd overall

SUNSCREEN, SWEAT and DUST…and NO TEARS

There seems to be plenty of excitement at the front of the race, new teams constantly taking the lead, as most of the top teams are battling with flat tyres during the stages- (the risk you take when you race with the lightest and thinnest of tyres to reduce the weight of your bike- i’ve seen they even shave the knobblies off the tyres to make their equipment lighter).

It’s still early days of this Absa Cape Epic and there are plenty of top notch riders, but we can be happy that our home-grown, Kevin Evans, riding with the World Marathon Champ, Alban Lakata, are wearing the leaders’ jersey. 

Stage 3: today has been branded the, Epic day of All Epics. 115 km with 2280m of climbing, we are sure to feel the legs burning for most of the estimated 6h30 of riding time. Lets hope you log onto this page tomorrow morning and again see some smiles behind the dust. According to 9to5mac, that former employee of microsoft’s hololens team is nick thompson, whose detect it here linkedin profile shows he moved to apple in july

AN EPIC START….

I don’t consider myself much of a biker, having only really ever biked for adventure racing, (where there it’s usually more push-bike than riding), and with my focus on the Dusi canoe Marathon in January over the past years, it wasn’t possible to even consider training up for this Epic race. But, with the recent changes in my Dusi racing career which is allowing me to be more verstile with my racing, how could i decline an offer to ride for 8 consecutive days and be part of the biggest MTB stage race in the world, the Absa Cape Epic. I have heard how gruelling this race can be, so i am thrilled to finally be experiencing it for real…or am I?

 Albe, my cycling machine partner- psyching me up (me looking poep scared)

 Wearing a brave face…

Stage 1: 117km with 2190m ascent- from Diemersfontein, just outside Paarl, to Ceres, has been the furthest i have ever cycled. Having taken a very laid-back approach to the race, and found ourselves near the back of the 600-team (1200rider) starting shoot, we surprised ourselves with a 61 position finish yesterday. So the race is on… and we are fired  up for todays 90km stage around Ceres, which i have heard has plenty of incredible single-track and no doubt some ‘incredible’ climbs.

Pay attention to the tone as well as the content of the questions there is an immediacy and directness that can be a model for the tone of your buying term papers essays

THEN AND NOW….

                                       THOMAS NGIDI -Zulu Warrior

‘Change a Life’ athletes Thomas Ngidi (winner of Non Stop Dusi, 3rd in Dusi) and Kwanda Mhlophe (under 18 dusi winner) have currently enrolled at the University of Natal for 2010, studying Geography & Environmental Science and Geography & Environmental Agriculture, respectively. The Ken Collins Trust have pledged to pay R15000 towards each ones University fees. Why did they choose to help these two individuals amongst thousands? It came down to basic logic – If these individuals could obtain such incredible results in the sporting arena through sheer hard work, focus, discipline and goal setting, then surely they will have a great chance of success if they apply themselves to getting a degree and follow through with the same principles.

Now this is true Development. Once Qualified, Thomas ultimately wants to “put back” into the Valley. Eliminate bad farming practices causing erosion and improve farming productivity and so food production. Who wouldn’t want to invest in someone like this.

                              GWAHUMBE NATURE RESERVE

Now that Dusi is a spectacle of the past, the Wheels of the “Change a Life” Team are literally turning again – the Zulu boys are back on their bikes. Already next month are two races some will partake in – Juicy Lucy Mtb Classic – a real beauty which traverses across the Gwahumbe Nature Reserve. Last year it was more than just cycling the 48km route, it was an exciting weekend of game drives (viewing Giraffe, Hippo and Rhino for the first time) and top class accommodation – upon special invitation of race organiser Craig McKenzie. The second is the Spur Adventure Race at the Lourensford Wine Estate (finish of Cape Epic Cycle) down in the Cape. Great excitement as 500 plus athletes partake in a Challenging course against the majestic backdrop of the Boland Mountain Range.    

What’s happened – I took part in the Sani2c last week. Farmer hospitality and a challenging  route made for a spectacular weekend. Poor Farmer Glen, race organiser, got moaned at big time. I couldn’t believe the amount of squealing that was going on after Day 1, where the muddy conditions sorted the men from the boys. I presume these individuals thought Mtb’ing was a fair weather sport. Sorry to say, but there is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people’. Grab these adverse conditions with both hands and deal with it better that your competitors and you will be ahead of the curve. These varied conditions can easily destroy the very fabric what constitutes Teamwork as it is more likely to expose that not all partnerships are equal in riding ability. Adversity is the Breakfast of Champions.

 

 

Unfortunately, due to safety reasons, the first 25km of Day 2 had to be rerouted, bypassing the awesome single track of Yankee Doodle, Murray’s Meander and Nick’s Pass. After the compulsory Nando’s 10 min stop, the course dried up beautifully. Day 2 will be remembered for the long testing climbs. Day 3 was a ‘chip & a putt’, fast flow riding down to the coast at Scottborough, with the odd ‘Heart Rate’ hill to keep things honest. It was a pity I couldn’t ride with Albe, my Cape Epic partner (due to work constraints), but thanks to my good friend Iain don Wauschope for a lekker ride, stepping in at the last moment. We had to do the Adventure and not the real race, as I  too had work commitments. That same day we finished, I had to be in Parys that afternoon, 2 hrs out of JHB, to join Albe at the annual USN conference to do a Motivational Presentation.

My Mission Statement of the Academy were the first words I wrote down when I conceptualised this Grassroots Initiative two years ago. It pleases me in that I truly believe we (Computershare, USN and Hi-Tec) are on course where the Martin Dreyer ‘Change a Life’ my Academy is at and where it is going.

This was my Mission Statement….

My vision will be to support the development of black youths from the Valley of a Thousand Hills, to build a successful team and use this platform as a powerful vehicle for developing basic life skills, which will allow for the upliftment of these enthusiastic individuals

I hope to create and foster a spirit of risk taking, cooperative team work, to stimulate the individuals for ready and vital responses to challenging situations and to promote reliability, organizational skills and responsibility, in and out of the sporting arena.

  • To provide opportunities aimed at empowering the selected individuals through sport participation, whereby these individuals will be able to provide for  their families with weekly food packs, pay their own school fees, obtain their drivers license and further their after school education through courses.  
  • To create opportunity for self-upliftment and to provide a bridge for these youths to participate in the process of community building and ultimately Nation building.  
  • To provide invaluable life-skills and entrepreneurial skill.  
  • To promote travel in the sports world.
  • To ultimately establish a sports club in the Dusi Valley with a solid foundation to ensure that the objectives ‘snowball’ into a successful and sustainable project ensuring more underprivileged youths attain their dreams.  
  • An important means of doing so is to provide encouragement, financial support and access to valuable information. 

          THANK YOU

 

Längst haben sie verlernt, wünsche von wirklichen bedürfnissen zu unterscheiden und mutieren oftmals lieber gleich zu freunden, statt ihrem führungsauftrag nachzukommen , ghostwriter film haus so erklärt leibovici-mühlberger das phänomen

PASSING TIME….

                             Bulle -Fourie, Morne, Pierre & Victor

With my ‘Change a Life’ Team currently taking a well earned break, I have used this time to take up some great opportunities giving motivational talks. Three stand out heads above the rest.

Was a real treat visiting the Blue Bulls, current Super 14 Champs, in the Bull ring at Loftus. Who would have thought a ‘scrawny’, non-conventional sportsman could offer motivation to the most ‘manly men’ on earth?

Lance Kumalo – head of Unilever Supply Chain for Ola

On my return to Durbs, I did a talk to Unilever at the new World Cup semi-final Moses Mabhida Stadium. The view from the peak of the arch made the ABSA stadium look like a feature from an ant’s village.

Garth from  Rentworks and Headmaster Mtshali from Phangindawo School 

Then I pitched my story to Rentworks, a company that will be starting next week to install  computer labs in two different schools (Masijabule High School and Phangindawo Junior School – which my Change a Life guys attend) down in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Each Lab will have 30 computers, aircon and 24hr security. They will also train a tutor  (a Change a Life athlete), to oversee this classroom.                                

Sport Development is one thing, but following through to ‘Life Development’ is what it is all about. It’s always been a concern of mine how do I take my guys to this next level. Over the next two months, Rentworks will roll this program out to six Schools in the area. This is what warms my heart. 

 

 

Tom Ngcobo, no doubt my strongest paddler, left the valley on Friday to travel to the Drak Challenge with the other ‘Change a Life’ boys to have a fun outing as this is now their off-season, camping in Underberg. Yesterday, after the race Tom climbed into a different vehicle. A  brave decision which will change his Life forever. This vehicle was travelling to Jhb. Today he will catch a bus to Parys to the Likkewaan Canoe Club to be take up the offer  Chairman Saal de Jaager (ex springbok sprinter) has given him. Saal is passionate about getting Development going at the Club and wants Tom to lead this Initiative, coaching in the afternoons. Having a Security Company, he will train Tom for 6 months to be an Alarm Technician where he will earn a salary and have work going forward. Parys weekly Time Trial – watch out, things are about to be shaken up.

 Drak Results

Water level – perfect.

13th – Tom Ngcobo (3rd under 21)

18th – Lucas Mthalane

20th – Zonele Nzuza

25th – Mzamo Zondi (3rd Junior)

30th – Eric Zondi

43rd – Kwanda Mhlophe

1st Doubles – Skhumbuso Nigidi/Nhlanhla Cele

DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP COURSE

 Venue: NCC clubhouse

Accommodation: The Gables B&B

Fact: 23 Clubs around SA, pursuing ‘Canoe Development’

I invited the “Leaders in Development Canoeing” to attend a  two day course that I organised with the help of George Forder. I asked George Forder to facilitate this two day course.

We discussed at length as to what should be covered and in the end, decided ‘everything’, covering all aspects of Development from ‘A to Z’.

Such as:

  • Running of a Club- Constitution, committee election, finance….
  • Accountability, timeliness, etiquette….
  • Safety – CSA indemnity, Union Registration….
  • Rules for equipment use – Repair, responsibility….
  • Life Skills – Discipline, hard work, goal setting….
  • Training – Technique, paddling sessions…. 

The positive energy that emulated from the two days spent together was priceless. Those who had become despondent, were recharged from the fresh ideas and also the selfless commitment of the others.

The voluntary chatter of candidates during Tea and Lunch, taking advantage of this unique networking opportunity to gather information, was a true indication of their passion and commitment to their own initiatives

The comfortable accommodation was a real treat, making the weekend that much more professional. Especially considering that 80% of this course’s candidates are from a low income group and would otherwise never experience this.

Interestingly,  the most valuable information actually came from topics that became “open discussion”.

Special Guests

Fiona MacCrimmon – from SLOT (School Leavers Opportunity Training).Opportunity Training). 
Where do you want to go and what do you want to achieve?
  • Self management Skills
  • If you want to employ someone, need someone with….

      Interestingly, they came up with – +ve attitude, skills, knowledge,    

      sound track record, reliable, on time, think out box, honesty, passion,  

      hard worker, responsible.

1.      Donkey – Whip behind or carrot in front?

2.      Customise work role

3.      VICTOR – ownership, accountable, responsible

                        VICTIM – blame, excuses, denial.

 ·        John Oliver 

1.      CSA necessities…. Indemnity etc.

2.      Keep records – equipment list, how many paddles….

3.      Safety

4.      Correct numbers….

5.      Club colours

 ·        Craig Mustard

1.      Training technique

2.      Training programmes

3.      Training logs

 ·        Hugh Raw

1.      How to repair….

2.      Checklist….

Conclusion:

Selection of Development paddlers for getting equipment from Club/going to races must be based on Attendance and Performance.  

  1. Every Club must establish hierarchial performance ladder by weekly recording 2000m time trial.
  2. Keep attendance register
  • Address concern of swimming ability – provide funding for swimming lessons
  • Nutrition assistance.
  • Assist to a greater level with daily ‘Development expenses’.
  • Need to host more such Educational Development Courses – very worthwhile to have all Development Leaders liasing on a personal level, encouraging and  sharing information.
  • Problem communicating with all Development leaders as many lack Internet Access.

Now the Development faction of Canoe SA has a voice… thanks to CSA for sponsoring this very worthwhile Development  Leadership Workshop.

 

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