AUGUST 2013 UPDATE….

Change a Life Paddling
The Zulu paddlers are settling into their base training for the 2014 Dusi. With next year being a doubles (K2) Dusi, most have chosen partners. Exciting to watch will be Mthobisi Cele, paddling with Damon Stamp – going for the very competitive U18 Junior Dusi title. Two weeks ago, they won the junior title on the 2 day Tugela Canoe Marathon.
At the beginning of the month, the Junior paddlers took part in the SA K4 Sprint Champs. The Change a life U16 crew of Mpilo Zondi, Jabulani Gwamanda, Nkosi Mabaso & Syanda Gwamanda won Gold in all their events – 200m, 500m, 1000m and the 10km as well.
Change a Life star, Eric Zondi, recently returned from having raced Australia’s premiere white water canoe race, the Avon Descent. On his maiden attempt, he was delighted to finish 5th overall and for that he received $2000 (R17 600).

RMB Change a Life Mtb team
Mtn National Series – Hilton – 28 July
A super tough Mtb race with lots of climbing. John Ntuli braved the Elite 100km, placing an incredible 19th overall.
In the 75km race, Mboneni placed 31, Sizwe 38, Thembani 50, Vela 51, Martin 54, Bongumusa 66, Nhlanhla 68, Sabelo 72, Kwanda 103, Celumusa(with takkies) 117, Siyanda 121, Mthobisi 125th.

Eston Illovo Mtb race – 4 Aug
The following week the RMB CAL Zulus raced KZN’s biggest one day Mtb race where the competition was of a super high std.
Results were John Ntuli 30, Bongumusa 42, Thembani 50, Mboneni 52, Sizwe 53, Sabelo 81, Martin 82, Nhlanhla 89, Kwanda 95, Vela 120, Siyanda146

Tour De Krantz Mtb race – 10 Aug
The RMBCAL Zulus never cease to amaze me…. this race was by no means easy, cold muddy course, made for testing riding conditions.
Positions were as follows:
John Ntuli 8, Sizwe 15, Mboneni 19, Thembani 21, Bongumusa 24, Martin 31, Vela 34, Sabelo 46, Kwanda 57, Mthobisi 68.

Jeannie Dreyer continued her winning streak by dominating the woman’s category, winning overall by 8min, so having her train with my Zulus is such a bonus – as they feel very strongly about a woman beating them – to them its not a good thing :)

John Ntuli raced beyond himself, placing an incredible 17th in the 30 to 34 year category in the highly competitive Master World Mtb Champs at Cascades – Pmb.

Change a Life Running League
It was a huge disappoint to hear that the Inter Region X-Country Champs were not going to be held at Nagle Dam, when a week ago all was set for Change a Life to host this event. We had booked the venue at Nagle Dam, organised the various age group running routes, selected CAL guys for course marshals, DJ for music etc….
I believe the decision was made at Government level and the reason was that it was ‘too remote’. It is just so frustrating because we had come so far and it was such late notice. Many persons on the organising committee have vented their frustrations to me in that they are not in agreement with this decision that has been made. Suppose you live & learn….

JULY 2013 UPDATE

Change a Life Paddling
Nine Change a Life paddlers travelled down to compete in the gruelling 4 day 240km Berg River Canoe Marathon –the “Comrades of Canoeing”. With CAL now focussing a lot on the Juniors of the Academy, 5 youngsters took on this mammoth challenge, with Mthobisi Cele winning the U18 junior title and Mpilo Zondi winning the U16 – this bids well for the future of Zulu paddling in the Valley. CAL Dusi star, Eric Zondi, did well to finish 9th overall in his first Berg, with an astonishing 2nd place finish on the 4th stage.
The tough Berg was great prep for Eric as he flies to Australia on the 29th of July, to paddle Australia’s premiere white water river race – the 2 day Avon Descent – a race which I won in 2002 – boy he is in for a treat.

RMB Change a Life Mtb team
The RMB CAL Zulus have been hammering quality training sessions, day in & day out this July month since having raced the Dusi2c Mtb race. End of the month, 28th of July, they will compete in the 75km MTN National Mtb Series at Hilton/Pmb. August promises to be a testing month as there is a race every weekend.
I have been spending time in the Valley, hosting a cameraman, filming the RMB CAL Zulus. A 4min Video clip, capturing the essence of what this unique Grass Roots initiative is all about, has been made for RMB to use in their upcoming conference in August.

Change a Life Running League
From the successful Change a Life Inter Schools X-Country Champs held last month, word got out – what great fun the kids had. So much so, the person involved in organising the Inter District Champs, has contacted me and asked if Change a Life can please host this event. The event attracts kids from 30 Schools. What a momentous occasion that promises to be….

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