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Kargo Pro MTB paves the way for SA MTB internationally

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Durban – As the South African cross country and downhill mountain biking fraternity gear up for this weekend’s African Continental Champs in Cape Town, news of Kargo Pro MTB team being accepted as a UCI MTB team by cycling’s international federation – a first for the South African cycling scene – has cyclists nationwide abuzz with excitement.

Phase one of team manager Shaun Peschl’s dream was realized on Tuesday when he received official confirmation from the UCI that his “team will be registered as a 2014 UCI MTB Team”, paving the way for the outfit to start their international journey and, hopefully, follow a similar pathway of success to that of South African road cycling phenomenon Team MTN Qhubeka, presented by Samsung.

“We are thrilled by the news that we can now officially call ourselves a UCI mountain bike team for 2014,” said an ecstatic Peschl. “The timing could not have been better with African Champs less than twenty-four hours away and I’m sure all our guys will now be even more motivated to do well in Cape Town than ever before.

“Looking at how far Doug Ryder has gone with his MTN Qhubeka team on the road – he has truly been an inspiration for us and we hope to have the same impact on the South African MTB scene,” he added.
The UCI’s acceptance of the Kargo setup will see the ‘Proudly South African’ outfit now turn their full attention towards their short term goals whilst always bearing in mind their ultimate motivator – the Olympics.

“We really are very proud of the fact that almost all of our setup is South African. All our riders are from SA, our title sponsor – Kargo – is a South African company and even the bikes we ride – Momsen Bikes – are from here!” explained Peschl.

“We had a really good pre-season and our season began nicely a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s all about fighting for every UCI point available.

“Short term goals for us are to be as consistent as possible locally, to achieve good results at the UCI World Cups and the 2014 Commonwealth Games and to have at least five of our riders compete at the 2014 World Champs whilst our long term dream is definitely all about the Olympics,” he added.

2014KZNXCO1Rourke
For team ace Rourke Croeser, the news represents a major step in the right direction not only for the Kargo Pro MTB team but for the sport of mountain biking throughout South Africa as a whole.

“It really is just great for cycling, and particularly mountain biking, in South Africa,” said Croeser. “Hopefully this also starts a trend here in SA and that other teams start taking competing internationally seriously as well.

“The more UCI teams we have in SA can only be good for MTB in the country!”

With a positive result in Cape Town heightening his Commonwealth Games prospects, Croeser will be hoping he can give it his all this weekend whilst the likes of under-23 Travis Walker and the rest of the team will too be looking for solid performances.

“Trav (Walker) and I got here on Wednesday and the bikes arrived all safe and sound, so that was a relief,” said Croeser.

“We managed to do a few laps of the course yesterday and the organisers really have done a superb job given the limited space they have available to them.

“It’s quite a tight, snappy course with lots of sudden, fast acceleration followed by sections that force you back down to zero – it’s a very stop/start type of course with just one longish climb but overall I think it’s a good one.”

With uncertainty over what weather to expect over the next few days, Croeser isn’t fazed by the possibility of rain and is looking forward to the different challenge a wet track poses.

“There is talk of rain on Friday which would obviously make things pretty interesting on Saturday’s race day. I don’t mind at all though, the worse the conditions the more it probably suits me actually because I enjoy a muddy, technical track.”

All the cross country events of the 2014 African Continental Mountain Bike Championships take place at Willowbridge Shopping Centre on Saturday 25 January with the downhill action unfolding at Contermanskloof on Sunday 26 January.

More event info can be found at www.cyclingsa.com and Kargo Pro MTB team info can be found atwww.peschlracing.co.za

 

Photos by: Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media

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Events

ZA Fest with KAMERS/Makers A Resounding Success

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Under the inviting African sun in the undulating hills of the Manor House in Salt Rock, ZA Fest 2024 with KAMERS/Makers was a spectacular hit, drawing over 9,000 enthusiastic festival goers for the 4-day event. From 14 – 17 June 2024, KAMERS/Makers made their first appearance in KwaZulu-Natal, and apart from the foot stomping performances of the Ndlovu Youth Choir and Johnny Clegg on Saturday 16th June – the artisanal market was a standout feature of the festival.

This bespoke artisanal ‘ZA’ shopping experience enriched the festival with its diverse offerings and showcased a variety of incredibly talented South African artisans. Visitors were greeted with a diverse array of handcrafted goods, jewellery, art, clothing, bags, and more. Jeremy Doveton-Helps from KAMERS/Makers, shared, “We were nervous, we didn’t know what to expect with this being our first foray into KZN and wow! What a great 4 days we had at the Manor House. The ZA Fest organisers were such a great team. We enjoyed the best winter weather you can find in South Africa with great people, smiles, sunshine and shopping. To sum it up in 4 words, ‘we will be back’!”

The festival was blessed with four days of glorious sunshine, boasting an average temperature of 25 degrees in mid-winter. Visual artists displayed some of South Africa’s best talent, featuring vibrant oils, delicate watercolours, ethnic art, and stunning photography. “We were ecstatic about the turnout and the overwhelming support from our amazing KZN community,” said Evan Roberts, ZA Fest co-Founder. “The success of ZA Fest 2024 is a testament to the vibrant spirit of our visitors and the dedication of everyone involved. We’re excited to see how the festival has positively affected the local economy and supported creative spaces around KZN”.

On the 16th of June, the festival featured electrifying performances by Jesse Clegg, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, the talented singer-songwriter Jemma Kate and her troupe of dancers, as well as a captivating performance by the cast of ‘Dream On, A Poppins Tale of Joseph’, featuring talented youths from various schools across the province making up the Young Performers Project (YPP). A notable highlight was the Ndlovu Youth Choir performance. As they took to the stage, their rhythmic dancing and powerful voices resonated deeply with the audience, with the almost 4000 strong crowd being brought to their feet and mesmerised by the ‘ZA’ magic with each song that followed. East Coast Radio presenter Danny Guselli infused the festival with his infectious energy as the Master of Ceremonies, acknowledging the impressive crowd and honouring all father’s at this year’s event. Local musicians, including The Kickstands, Freddy L, the KZN Youth Wind Band, Tara Blake, Matt Davies and Tim Lewis, flew the flag high, keeping visitors entertained throughout the festival.

Adding to the stellar entertainment, ZA Fest partnered with local brands to further enhance festival-goers’ experience. East Coast Radio was the official broadcast media partner, who added to the festival’s dynamic atmosphere with an engaging outside-broadcast by Shaina-Rae on Saturday, 15th June, capturing the excitement and bringing the festival’s vibrant energy to a broader audience. Seaton Estate showed unwavering support to the event as a sponsor and helped to showcase the best of what the North Coast has to offer. An added bonus was the presence of the REMAX hot air balloon which gave locals a chance to enjoy the spectacular Manor House setting from a bird’s eye view as the sun began its decent. Hampshire Hotel sponsored the Ndlovu Youth Choir’s accommodation, providing the charismatic musical troupe with much needed comfort and rest after their electric ZA Fest performance. The festival also featured a South African hand-crafted gin bar where each flavour was an African masterpiece, from the “Wild Blossom” and the “Lost Oasis” gin beverages to the powdery Turkish delight rose salivating taste buds across the festival.

While the festival was a joyous occasion for those who attended it, the tickets purchased also went towards a worthy cause with a percentage of sales being donated to Gift of the Givers and their support relief efforts in the Tongaat area that had been very badly impacted by the recent tornado. “Our commitment to supporting the local community and helping those in need goes beyond what happens on stage,” Roberts reflected. “Seeing the local community and businesses rally together to support our neighbouring community of Tongaat was truly heartwarming. We’re proud to contribute to the relief efforts and assist in rebuilding what has been lost. This is where the saying ‘Ubuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu’ becomes more than just words, but rather a way of life”.

With a perfect blend of world-class entertainment, a bespoke artisanal market, and family-friendly activities, and magnificent KZN winter weather – the ZA Fest 2024 set a new standard for events in the region. The magic of ZA Fest will undoubtedly return next year, promising even more excitement and community spirit – so make sure to save the date for 13 – 16 June 2025. “The infrastructure and staging that our partners, Extreme Events put up was truly world-class without a single security or safety issue reported over the full four days. Furthermore, without the support of Collins Residential through the venue and other funding contributed – we simply could not have achieved an event of this calibre. Festivals like this are powerful unifying moments for South Africans during uncertain times. Art and music, as expressions of human creativity and emotion have the extraordinary ability to transcend language and cultural barriers, resonating deeply within everyone. We are so grateful to all of our partners and each and every person that came out to support this inspiring event,” concluded Roberts.

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I heart Market moves to Ballito’s Sugar Rush Park

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In time for the Festive Season KZN’s much-loved I heart Market makes a new permanent home up the North Coast at popular family entertainment venue – Sugar Rush Park in Ballito – with the season dates confirmed for 3, 10, 17 December 2022 and 7 January 2023 from 08:30 to 14:00.

Situated next to Collisheen Estate, Sugar Rush Park is a hive of family-friendly activities. It serves as an activity hub and the base for Holla Trails – a network of biking, running or walking trails that go through the sugar cane fields.

Sugar Rush Park, also has a restaurant -Food Fundi, a kids’ play area, mini-train, the Ndlondlo reptile park, The Jump Park, the Tree Trails obstacle course and Park Run every Saturday morning.

Anna Savage, the market’s owner /manager explains the move, “The I heart Market is a local business hub, and our business is based on the success of small business enterprises. We have an obligation to provide the best sales opportunity for our traders and at the same time create a relaxed, fun day out for everyone.”

“As a result, we have made a  bold decision to move to Ballito, as we needed to find a venue that could provide us with the security of a long-term lease, and a vibrant well-kept venue that has additional family-friendly activities that our customers can enjoy. We have found the perfect venue at Sugar Rush Park. We realize that this move is a big jump in terms of location and that it may be far for some of our regular customers. But we can guarantee a great day out to those who can travel north, and make  a day of it by taking advantage of the other activities available.”

The I heart Market has a reputation for supporting artisanal crafters, artists, and traders, offering fine, handmade goods that include jewellery, accessories, leather goods, ceramics, visual arts, décor, clothing, deli foods bakery goods including breads, pastries, cookies and cakes, and a delicious range of eat in foods. Echoing the market’s name, the goods on offer are made with love, dedication to the craft, and personal integrity.

“Sugar Rush Park is excited to welcome the I heart Market to our activity hub. Celebrating and supporting small creative local businesses is vital to the local economy and has a special role to play post covid.  We invite our customers and Ballito locals to support this initiative and enjoy the fine products.” Nick Jordan, partner at Sugar Rush.

According to Anna Savage, the market will continue to trade throughout the year on the first Saturday of every month. There is secure parking and entrance is free.

For more information, or to enquire about possible trading contact info@iheartmkt.com

 

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Best University in South Africa

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Best University in South Africa According to Center for World University Rankings

The best university in South Africa for 2012-2022 was declared by The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR publishes the only academic ranking of global universities that assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

Top 12 South African Universities

National Rank World Rank University Quality of Education Rank Alumni Employment Rank Research Performance Rank Overall Score
1 269 UCT 180 260 252 77.3
2 292 Wits 190 98 329 76.9
3 435 Stellies 187 455 74.9
4 483 UKZN 491 375 480 74.3
5 580 UP Tuks 778 548 73.3
6 674 UJ 1035 642 72.5
7 924 NWU 879 70.7
8 1163 UFS 1107 69.3
9 1239 UWC 1175 68.9
10 1313 Rhodes 375 900 1269 68.5
11 1416 UNISA 955 1351 68.1
12 1631 NMU 1279 1559 67.1

Center for World University Rankings Methodology

CWUR uses seven objective and robust indicators grouped into four areas to rank the world’s universities:

  1. Quality of Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size (25%)
  2. Alumni Employment, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held top executive positions at the world’s largest companies relative to the university’s size (25%)
  3. Quality of Faculty, measured by the number of faculty members who have won major academic distinctions (10%)
  4. Research Performance:
    1. Research Output, measured by the total number of research papers (10%)
    2. High-Quality Publications, measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
    3. Influence, measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals (10%)
    4. Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research papers (10%)

Article shared from CWUR Website

Best University in South Africa’s Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town

University Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town
Wits – University of Witwatersrand
Stellies – Stellenbosch University
UKZN – University of KwaZulu-Natal
UP Tuks – University of Pretoria
UJ – University of Johannesburg
NWU – North-West University
UFS – University of Free State
UWC – University of Western Cape
Rhodes – Rhodes University
UNISA – University of South Africa
NMU – Nelson Mandela University

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