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Tsogo Sun Amashova Celebrates 30 Years

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South Africa’s oldest road cycling race, Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic is turning 30 this year. As part of the celebrations for reaching this significant milestone, the event’s coordinators have launched a “local legends” campaign. According to Tsogo Sun Amashova’s Race Director, Annie Batchelder, the campaign being run via predominantly digital platforms looks to recognise loyal cyclists that have been riding this race for 10 years or more and are esteemed members of the Green Number Club .

“The Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic has become one of the major calendar events that takes place within the province of KwaZulu-Natal. In the last 30 years since the race first started in 1986, it has created a positive impact in the Tourism and Sports Industry in the province, which I am incredibly proud to be a part of. It has been so satisfying to see first-hand the significant growth in the number of entries and more importantly – how many ‘return riders’ there have been. The loyalty of the over 600 riders who have ridden the Tsogo Sun Amashova for ten years and more to earn their green number is testament to the quality of this race on both a social and competitive level,” stated Batchelder.

The history of this grand ‘classic’ cycle race, is one of dogged determination to succeed in spite of the odds. The idea of having a bicycle race on the route of the world famous Comrades Marathon, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, was the dream of veteran Springbok cyclist Dave Wiseman and his friend Tony McMillan. At the time the relevant authorities, did not share the enthusiasm as the Natal Mercury and Pick ‘n Pay who agreed to support the race in its early years. The NPA felt one “day long” event was enough and wouldn’t budge. Finally, a local politician, who saw the value to Durban hosting such a race, forced the traffic authorities’ hand. So, reluctantly, permission was  granted for the first race to take place in 1986. The race was called ‘The Natal Mercury/Pick n Pay National Classic.’ The traffic authority gave permission for only 150 riders to participate.

In the years that followed, the traffic authority gradually increased the allowable participation from this small group to 350, then 500, then 550 and so on. In the early days of the race only 4 hours were given for all to finish, which created the impression that this was a race for only the most serious cyclists.

Glen Connell having completed 25 years and Henk Duys having completed 30 years are some of the “local legend” cyclists with their green numbers being recognized by the Tsogo Sun Amashova race organisers in the build up to the 30th anniversary of the race.

Glen Connell having completed 25 years and Henk Duys having completed 30 years are some of the “local legend” cyclists with their green numbers being recognized by the Tsogo Sun Amashova race organisers in the build up to the 30th anniversary of the race.

Resistance by the traffic authorities towards the race continued until 1998, with just over 800 riders participating in the event. The growth of the race was slow when compared with other cycling events taking place throughout the rest of the country. An approach was made to the new local government to relax the restrictive conditions to the race. The race organiser showed the revenue generation potential to tourism in the city to Durban’s Mayor, Councilor Obed Mlaba. The mayor immediately endorsed the event, and the profile of the race changed completely. The route changed from the unexciting Walter Gilbert Road to right outside the City Hall in West Street. In order to accommodate this dramatic finish, the Western Freeway had to be closed down. KwaZulu Natal’s Transport Minister, Sbu Ndebele was quick to see that this happened. The culmination of this lobbying and planning has produced one of the finest finishes in South African road racing. With these changes, numbers and interest in the race grew dramatically. In addition, the introduction of one of the country’s top sponsors went a long way to making the Shova, as it is fondly known today, as KZN’s biggest cycling race and the only cycle race with the City’s endorsement giving it full road closure.

In 1999 the organisers wanted to build the race with its own identity. The race takes place in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal province and naturally has a strong tie to the region, its people and the culture. These were all important considerations in building the identity of the race. The word ‘Amashovashova’ was put forward, which is a Zulu word that describes the pedaling or pushing/shoving motion. ‘Ama’ denotes everybody doing it together. The name has since taken root and the brand and race that is now a popular highlight on most social and competitive cyclists social calendar was born.

With this name change came a new finish venue at Suncoast. This created the opportunity for more events to be added to the Tsogo Sun Amashova package. The race could now boast being a cycling event for the whole family as children events were introduced and MTB events an optional extra.In 2010 the race finish found a new home at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, the beautiful stadium built for the soccer world cup and the race finished at Moses Mabhida Stadium until 2013.

Since 2014, the race has run from Pietermaritzburg City Hall to Durban through spectacular scenery, ending at MasabalalaYengwa Avenue, with the prize-giving at Tsogo Sun’s Suncoast. Everyone loves the grand Moses Mabhida Stadium and we are delighted to still have this iconic edifice within the finish area precinct. The main Tsogo Sun Amashova race is 106km long, with two shorter ‘fun ride’ options of 35km, which starts at Hillcrest and ends at Suncoast, and the 65km half challenge, which starts at Cato Ridge and ends at Suncoast. All three races have full road closure. Once cyclists have completed the route they ride onto the world-class beach promenade just north of Suncoast – where they can relax on the Suncoast lawns enjoying an afternoon “at the beach”. After a cold winter inland most cyclists from Gauteng and Tshwane tend to look forward to a day near the beach. Another highlight for this year will be the two live bands that are performing in the public hospitality area, the Kickstands and the Gus Brown Band, which will bring a wonderful vibe to the 30 Year Celebration.

Annie Batchelder, of the Tsogo Sun Amashova is humbled by the success of the race and the support it has gained over the past 30 years by riders and sponsors. “Today the race is the oldest and one of the largest classic cycle races in the country, with prize money of over R100 000 and a starting line-up of more than 10 000 entries over the three races. We are also thrilled to have secured another three-year title sponsorship by Tsogo Sun, which shows all the signs of this race growing even more in popularity and size with Tsogo Sun behind it.”

Entries are still open to cyclists who would like to enter, entrance can be secured online at www.shova.co.za. Please note that the closing date for online entries is the 16 September at 23:00. Should you need further assistance or additional information regarding the race, please email melissa@amashova.co.za

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Sport

Padel. Durbans fastest growing sport.

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Padel, the fastest growing sport in Durban, is a relatively new and exciting sport that is quickly gaining popularity in the area. Keep reading to find out how to get 15% off some amazing Osaka Padel gear. Padel is a combination of tennis and squash, and is played on a court that is similar to a tennis court but with walls. It is a team sport, and two teams of two players each compete against each other using paddles, similar to those used in squash and badminton, to hit a tennis-like ball over the net.

Padel has been gaining popularity in Durban, South Africa due to its fastpaced and energetic game play as well as its social aspect. Unlike traditional sports, such as tennis and squash, Padel encourages players to chat and laugh with their opponents during the game, making it an entertaining and social experience. The sport is also extremely accessible, as courts are smaller than those used for tennis and squash and require less space, meaning they can be found in more places around Durban.

The game is also very easy to learn, and can be enjoyed by players of all ages and abilities. The rules are simple, the equipment is inexpensive and the game is fastpaced and exciting, making it perfect for anyone looking for an enjoyable and social activity.

As Padel continues to grow in popularity in Durban, South Africa, more and more players are taking advantage of the sports fastpaced and exciting game play. Whether youre looking for an energetic and social activity or a competitive and challenging sport, Padel is a great choice for Durban residents of all ages and abilities.

 

Cool, I’m in, How do I play?

Keen on checking it out? Download the Padel app Playtomic, it is truly amazing. It has been designed to provide users with a comprehensive, easy to use platform for finding padel courts and playing partners. With Playtomic, users can search for courts in their area, view available court times, and book court reservations with just a few taps.

The app also allows users to find and connect with other players, organize their own group games, and set up tournaments. Playtomic has a great user interface, with intuitive navigation and a straightforward sign-up process. All in all, Playtomic is an incredible padel app that makes it easy to find and play padel anytime, anywhere.

 

Gear up!

You can rent Padel racquets through the app to however if this is the sport for you then we highly recommend getting your own gear and Durbanite are here to help make that a little easier!

Osaka racquets and accessories are some of the best in the world. They are renowned for their quality, craftsmanship, and innovation. Their racquets are designed to be lightweight and powerful, giving players an edge when playing. Osaka also offers a range of accessories, including racquets, bags, and clothing. Their products are designed to be comfortable, durable, and reliable, making them great for both recreational and competitive play. Osaka Padel is a great choice for anyone looking for topnotch equipment for their padel game.

Use our exclusive Durbanite discount code at checkout and get 15% off your order.

DURBANITE15

 

Where to play?

As of today here is a list of Padel courts around KZN:

1 – PadelNation | Umhlanga
2 – Al Falaah Durban Padel
3 – Africa Padel Kloof Country Club
4 – Africa Padel Salt Rock Country Club
5 – Gayle Padle Club | Moorewood Activity Centre | Hillcrest
6 – Station Padel | KwaDukuza
7 – Padel HQ | Dolphin Coast
Coming soon: Eden Padel by Padel Pros

 

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Events

Inaugural Global Team Horse Racing Series

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GTH - Unmissable Sports Fixture 1

Fun, faster, family friendly horse racing, Global Team Horse Racing (GTH), a team-based thoroughbred horse racing product, launches its full racing series to thrill crowds.

The first GTH Live Series debuts on 5 August at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse in Durban. The series will be run under lights on Fridays, over four weeks and is packed with excitement for fans of all ages. These high-octane two-hour events are full of thrilling races, gripping entertainment, a kiddie’s area for the younger fans, all set right at the track side.

Three teams go head-to-head over four events, but only one team can come out tops! Watch the KwaZulu Royals take on the Gauteng Gijimaz at the first event of the series on the 5th August.  The following week, the 12th August, it will be the KwaZulu Royals going up against the Cape Stingers.  The 19th August will see the Cape Stingers take on the Gauteng Gijimaz and the combined results will determine who makes the final showdown on the 2nd of September.

The races will be called by two of horse racing’s legends, Neil Andrews, and Graeme Hawkins.

Neil has been a part of the SuperSport team since the outset and his knowledge, insights and humour have kept audiences entertained for years. He is also the anchor of the new revamped and relaunched Super Saturdays on SuperSport.

Graeme has had an involvement in horse racing his whole life as a punter, owner, bilingual race-caller, racing journalist, television presenter, auctioneer, track expert, race programme planner, pedigree researcher, marketer, salesman, administrator, and that is why to many, he is known as Mr Racing!

The GTH team has been bolstered with the inclusion of three of South Africa’s most popular presenters. Many a Gautenger will have ended their day with Alex Caige, who hosts 94.7’s afternoon show, and he is joined by well-known Mzanzi actress, Hope Mbhele and multi-talented TV and radio presenter, and a passionate F1 speed crazy Kriya Gangiah. Tee Xaba, a multi-talented entertainer, and East Coast Radio DJ will be the MC for the Live series.

The series offers something for everyone, you don’t need to be an ardent race going fanatic to sense the excitement. Choose and support your team and see who makes it to the final. GTH Team merch will be available to show your support. Ticket prices start at R100 for general access. Children under R14 are free. Gates open at 17h00 on a Friday, action starts at 18h00 and all condensed to finish by 20h30.

 

WIN! WIN! WIN!

 Durbanite in partnership with GTH have WEEKLY tickets to giveaway, all you need to do to qualify is:-

  1. Follow these Facebook pages – @Durbanite.Official and @gthracingza
  2. Find our Facebook post advertising the competition and tag a friend you would like to take along + let us know who you would like to see win? Is it the KwaZulu Royals, the Gauteng Gijimaz or Cape Stingers?

Please note that all the above steps need to be completed to successfully enter this competition.

Ticket’s up for grabs as follows:-

  • 12th August / 3 x winners of 4 x tickets each*
  • 19th August / 3 x winners of 4 x tickets each*
  • 2nd September / 3 x winners of 4 x tickets each*

*Winners must be over the age of 18 to be eligible to win.

*Winners will be contacted via The Durbanite Facebook page.

*Std T&Cs apply.

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Entertainment

Two Sides Documentary Premieres on 15 May 2022

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SuperSport and M-Net will be rolling out the first of several locally-made sport documentaries on 15 May 2022.

Following the recent success of “Chasing the Sun”, the World of Champions has another major rugby documentary in production.

A three-part series to be broadcast on DStv, “Two Sides” tells the story of the tour by The British & Irish Lions that was punctuated by drama, struggle and triumph. What makes it unique is that it will be a film told through the eyes of both protagonists.

In a first of its kind co-production between producers of “Chasing the Sun” and broadcast producers Whisper. This docu-series also featured the environments some of the players emerged from with footage of friends and families of Maro Itoje, Pieter Steph Du Toit, Liam Williams and others adding to the extraordinary narrative.

The film takes in numerous events, including the drama of the tour’s status in the build-up, the Covid outbreaks in both camps, the impact of civil unrest and the tension of the down-to-the-wire finish.

“The film is a heartfelt celebration of the game’s longest-standing Test tour and the brotherhood that comes along with it,” said Marc Jury, chief executive of SuperSport.

“In the midst of unprecedented challenges and hardship, it is a reminder of the values of the game we love so dearly. The film is a story of sacrifice, courage and a belief in the power of sport.”

Later in 2022, SuperSport will lift the lid on “Rassie”, which for the first time tells the full – and astonishing – story of Rassie Erasmus’ rise from the backwaters of the Eastern Cape to the top of the rugby world.

BROADCAST DETAILS

The first episode of “Two Sides” will be broadcast on DStv on May 15 (M-Net, 6pm; SuperSport 7pm).

The remaining episodes will broadcast on May 22 and 29.

TWO SIDES – THE STORY

Two Sides is a first-of-its kind documentary, telling the compelling story of a rivalry that goes back over a century.

The Springboks and The British & Irish Lions meet once every twelve years, which only adds to the weight of expectation for this latest instalment, in 2021. But this series almost didn’t happen, because of a global pandemic that changed the way the world lives and works – and also changed the way sport happens.

Through collective will from both sides, this tour endured health protocols, empty stands, civil unrest and a controversy that rocked the very foundations of World Rugby.

Along the way, Two Sides emphasises the importance of keeping sporting traditions alive, because they matter to players, coaches and their families. And the fans who find a way to be a part of each collision.

With unprecedented access to both teams, their families and their change-room in the midst of an unforgettable series, Two Sides is a story of considerable sacrifice, a tale of redemption and glory, and the unflinching will that keeps the things that matter going, even when everything says they shouldn’t.

Two Sides is a story of courage from two teams building on the proud legacy left by those who came before them. Two Sides is a story of hope.

Article shared from SuperSport Website

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