Johannesburg, South Africa - The SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg on October 14 is all about women – so it is only fitting that the entertainment for the day should come from an all-woman group.

The beautiful and talented ladies of BlackByrd.
From left: Tamsyn Maker, Samantha Heldsinger and Tarryn Lamb.
Picture by: Famous Concerts

BlackByrd – comprising Tarryn Lamb, Samantha Heldsinger and Tamsin Maker - are rapidly making waves in the South African pop music scene with their unique approach to adult contemporary music, particularly since Lamb started writing their songs. They have just released a 13track debut album, “Strong”. Only one track, country classic “Reason to Believe,” made famous by Rod Stewart, was not written by Lamb. The album also features their hit single “All for Me.”

Managed by music industry veteran Mike Fuller and produced by Mean Mr. Mustard’s Mark Beling, “Strong” is filled with real emotion and powerful lyrics. “Our overriding messages on “All For Me”, as with all the tracks on the album, are positive,” Lamb explains. “It’s all about not looking back, and focusing on what the future holds.”

Their messages blend perfectly with the SPAR Challenge, and also with the idea behind Reach for Recovery, the support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is the charity that will benefit from the Challenge.

But while they have strong messages, BlackByrd are also about having fun and providing great music. Women are particularly receptive to their positive message. “Our songs are all quite cathartic,” Heldsinger says. “It’s music that’s intended to make people happy.”

What could be better than listening to their kind of music after enjoying a morning in the company of thousands of women, pounding the pavements and making new friends while taking part in the Johannesburg leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge?

For those who feel 10kms is a bit too far, there is also a 5km Fun Run, and walkers are welcome in both events.

Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores, or online at or


London, USA - The draw for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group was held on Wednesday at the offices of title sponsor BNP Paribas in London. Third seeded South African Davis Cup team has been given a bye in the first round and will play the winners of Slovenia and Poland from April 5-7, 2013 in the second round of the Euro/Africa Group I.

Individual draws were made for the 2013 World Group, Americas Zone Groups I and II, Asia/Oceania Zone Group II and Europe/Africa Zone Group I. The draws for Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and Europe/Africa Zone Group II will be held following the remaining 2012 Davis Cup play-off ties on 19-21 October.

The 100th Davis Cup Final will take place on 16-18 November at the start of the ITF centenary celebrations in 2013. To view the full draw sheets please visit the official Davis Cup website and

World Group

First round (1-3 February)
Canada [c] v Spain [s]
Italy [c] v Croatia [s]
Belgium [c] v Serbia [s]
USA [s] [c] v Brazil
France [s] [c] v Israel
Argentina [s] [c] v Germany
Kazakhstan [s] [c] [*] v Austria
Switzerland [c] v Czech Republic [s]
Americas Zone Group I
First round (1-3 February)
Chile [s] v Bye
Ecuador v Bye
Uruguay [c] v Dominican Republic
Colombia [s] v Bye
Second round (5-7 April)
Ecuador [c] v Chile [s]
Europe/Africa Zone Group I
First round (1-3 February)
Russia [s] v Bye
Great Britain v Bye
South Africa [s] v Bye
Poland [c] v Slovenia
Finland or Denmark v Romania (Home team not yet known)
Netherlands [s] v Bye
Ukraine [c] v Slovak Republic
Sweden [s] v Bye
Second round (5-7 April)
Great Britain [c] [*] v Russia [s]
Americas Zone Group II
First round (1-3 February)
Puerto Rico [c] [*] v Mexico [s]
El Salvador [s] [c] [*] v Barbados
Venezuela [s] [c] v Guatemala
Peru [s] [c] [*] v Haiti
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II
First round (1-3 February)
Chinese Taipei or New Zealand [s] v Lebanon (Home team not yet known)
Sri Lanka [c] v Pakistan [s]
Kuwait [c] v Thailand [s]
Syria [c] [*] v Philippines [s]
[s] = Seeded nation
[c] = Choice of ground
[*] = Choice of ground decided by lot
The home nation is listed first for each tie.


Johannesburg, South Africa - The SPAR South African netball team will be taking part in a vibrant new form of the game in November this year – the Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Fast5 series will be played in Auckland, New Zealand, from November 9-12 – less than two weeks after the completion of the Quad Series, which features Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa. Jamaica and Malawi will complete the make-up of the six nations tournament, which features the world’s top six netball playing countries.

The Fast5 tournament kicks off with a match between South Africa and Jamaica, and three hours later, South Africa play England. The second day will be particularly strenuous, with South Africa playing world champions Australia, their African rivals Malawi and world number two, New Zealand, with very little recovery time between the matches. On Sunday, the two semifinals will be followed by the play-off for fifth and sixth position, before the play-off for third place and the final.

For the past few years, the SPAR Proteas have competed in the Fastnet tournament in the United Kingdom. Fastnet was described as the netball equivalent of Twenty20 cricket, but Fast5 promises to be even faster and more exciting. A Fast5 squad comprises 10 players, with five on court at any time. The five positions on court are goal shooter, goal attack, centre, goal defence and goalkeeper. Goals can be scored from anywhere within the goal shooter’s third of the court. There are three goal scoring zones, with goals scored from 3.5m or less from the post worth one point, from more than 3.5m worth two, and goals scored from outside the circle worth three points.

There are four quarters, each six minutes long, and rolling substitutions are allowed throughout the game. Each team will select one quarter as a Power Play, in which all goal points are doubled.

Three players, Tsakane Mbewe, Simnikiwe Mdaka and Nontle Gwavu, will join their teammates in Auckland, while six players will return to South Africa after the Quad Series. “We’ve chosen an exciting and very flexible team,” said Fast5 coach Lana Krige. “Fast5 is a whole lot faster than conventional netball, and with the reduced number of players, there are a lot of open spaces on the court. A player like Nadia Uys makes fantastic use of those spaces, and Simnikiwe is a very fast and very clever player.”

Krige said the four shooters selected for the team played very different roles, as did the four defenders. “With the rolling substitutions, we should be able to cater for any situation,” said Krige.

SPAR team for Fast5 tournament: Chrisna Bootha, Maryka Holtzhausen, Nadia Uys, Tsakane Mbewe, Bongiwe Msomi, Simnikiwe Mdaka, Adele Niemand, Karla Mostert, Nontle Gwavu, Amanda Mynhardt.
South African umpire, Anso Kemp, has also been invited to officiate the Fast5 tournament and will travel with the team to Auckland.


Johannesburg, South Africa - Totiusdal Primary School – known as the small school with the big heart - has implemented the Legacy2Generations Community Development Project, as an initiative to raise funds for school community development projects.

President of Jamaica Netball Association Marva Bernard hands signed memorabilia over to a Totiusdal Primary School pupil at the launch of the Legacy2Generations Community Development Project on 18th September 2012.

2011 Miss South Africa Melinda Bam and SPAR Protea player Vanes-Mari du Toit at the launch of the Legacy2Generations Community Development Project held at Totiusdal Primary School, Tshwane.
Pictures by: Johan Rynners Photography
Official Photographer for the Blue Bulls Rugby Union

Part of their plans include a Sport Youth Development Centre for Primary School children and a Live Streaming Education Centre. As a way to raise funding, Totiusdal is collecting signatures from well-known and influential academic, sporting and arts and culture personalities with the idea of breaking into the Guinness Book of Records for the most signatures collected for a fundraising competition. Tickets for the event will be sold over a period of a year. Some of the signed items that have already been collected are: Academic – Books from: Jacky Kunene; Jake White; Sarel vd Merwe; Peter de Villiers; Billy Selekane; Lloyed Chapman. Sport – Jerseys from: 2011 Orlando Pirates(ABSA premier league winners; 2010 Scotland 6 nations squad; 2009 New Zealand T20 winning team; Cap – Yusuf Pathan; Makaya Ntini; also signature of Doc Danie Craven. Art & Culture – Paintings, sculptures, and CD’s from different artist. The culmination of the initiative will take place next year from the 13th - 15th September, in celebration of the school’s 60th birthday, where a community involved festival will be held.

The launch of the Legacy2Generations Community Development Project took place on Tuesday 18th September at Toitusdal Primary School, in Waverley, Tshwane. Members of Netball South Africa and the SPAR Protea netball team were present to hand over signed memorabilia, along with the representatives of from the Blue Bulls rugby union; the MMC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Cllr. Faith Kgaditse; the High Commissioner of Jamaica , Her Excellency Norma Taylor Roberts; Marva Bernard (President of Jamaica Netball Association), and Miss South Africa Melinda Bam, amongst others.


Johannesburg, South Africa - The Paralympic Games in London last month introduced a host of new heroes, as people around the world thrilled to the exploits of athletes who had overcome mild to severe disabilities.

A few of the Reach for Recovery ladies posed for a picture at the launch of the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge on 4th September at Buitengeluk in Broadacres.
From left to right (back) Rachel Katz and Dorothy Lewis, (front) Beulah Jankelowitz and Gretha Tresiman from Reach for Recovery.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

People like Ilse Hayes, Shireen Sapiro, Anrune Liebenberg, Dyan Buys and Charles Bouwer and many more joined the more familiar Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius to become household names, as South Africa notched up 29 medals, including eight gold medals.

What people loved about the Paralympics was the indomitable spirit of the athletes, and their matter-of-fact attitude to sometimes almost insuperable problems. Others with this same attitude are the women from Reach for Recovery, a support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases facing women. It knows no boundaries and is no respecter of social status, wealth, physical fitness or education. Some of the best known breast cancer conquerors are Sibongile Khumalo, Sheryl Crow, Cynthia Nixon, Christina Applegate, Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge and Martina Navratilova, who all put up a brave and public battle against the disease.

But breast cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence. Early detection and treatment can ensure that the patient lives a long and healthy life after the initial diagnosis. Nevertheless, the words ‘you have breast cancer’ strike terror into any woman’s heart, and this is where the Reach for Recovery volunteers come in.

Every member of Reach for Recovery has gone through the ordeal herself, and is able to understand exactly what the new patient is going through. Volunteers from the support group visit patients in hospital before and after the surgery, to talk about what is about to happen and to provide counselling. Because they have been through it themselves, they are able to reassure the patient that there is life after surgery.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Reach for Recovery has once again been selected as the charity that will benefit from the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians on October 14. Many of the Reach for Recovery volunteers will be taking part in the SPAR Challenge, either doing the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run. They can be identified by their pink t-shirts, but also because wherever they are, there is an atmosphere of fun and laughter.
They are an amazingly positive group of women who know all about the terror of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but they are also happy to talk about how they came through it with the support of other women who had been there as well.

So support Reach for Recovery by taking the Challenge, and show that you can also be a hero. Walkers are welcome in both races.

Entry forms are available from all SPAR, KKWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores, or online at or


Montreal, Canada – The Miele Canadian Davis Cup team will remain in the World Group for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas next year after defeating South Africa 4-1 in a World Group play-off tie held outdoors this weekend at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal.

South Africa’s no.1 player Izak Van Der Merwe in action against world no. 15 and Canadian no. 1 Milos Raonic in today‘s (Sunday) first reverse singles rubber of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie in Montreal, Canada

South Africa’s rookie player Nikala Scholtz in action against Frank Dancevic of Canada in today‘s (Sunday) second reverse singles rubber of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie in Montreal, Canada.
Pictures by: Arturo Velazquez

After Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON) and Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) were unable to clinch the tie for Canada in Saturday’s doubles rubber losing in straight sets, Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) secured the winning point for his country with a decisive 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Izak Van Der Merwe in Sunday’s first reverse singles rubber between the teams’ no. 1 players.

Raonic was dominant from the first ball, getting an early break in all three sets to maintain control throughout the match. The 21-year-old executed both on serve and with his groundstrokes, continually keeping his opponent on his heels.

I am proud to be part of this new era of Canadian tennis.” Raonic said.” It’s great to be back in the World Group, there’s a lot of time between now and February for us all to improve so that we can improve our chances of advancing further in the World Group in 2013.”

Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) capped the weekend with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Nikala Scholtz, who was appearing in his first Davis Cup tie for South Africa.

“To qualify for the World Group for two straight years shows that we can consistently perform at a high level,” said Team Canada captain Martin Laurendeau. “It was a great team effort this week starting with the way we practiced, the way we prepared for the tie, and the way we executed and played the matches.”

This is the first time since 1991-‘92 that Canada has qualified for the World Group in consecutive years. Only 16 nations entered in Davis Cup play qualify for the elite World Group. The draw for opponent and choice of ground will take place this Wednesday, September 19 in London at 11:00 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET). The World Group first round tie will be played from February 1-3, 2013.


Montreal, Canada – The Miele Canadian Davis Cup team took a commanding 2-0 lead in its best-of-five Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie on Friday. Canada’s Vasek Pospisil started the day off on a positive note for Canada defeating Izak Van der Merwe 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to give Canada the early advantage. World No. 15 Milos Raonic then secured the second point for his team with a 7-5, 6-4, 7-5 win over South Africa’s rookie Nikala Scholtz.

Pospisil was strong from the start and captured an early break of serve in each of the three sets to take control of the match. Van der Merwe, who became South Africa’s No. 1 player after Rik de Voest suffered a wrist injury earlier in the week, was unable to capitalize on his chances, converting only one of six break point opportunities. This is Pospisil’s first Davis Cup victory since his dominant performance against Israel in the World Group play-offs last September.

It feels incredible to get the first point for our team,” said Pospisil. “There’s a lot of pressure and expectations that come with playing Davis Cup. I care about representing Canada, so this means a lot.”

Raonic lived up to his heavily-favoured billing against NCAA player Scholtz who was making his Davis Cup debut. Though Scholtz handled himself extremely well, his inexperience showed through in the late stages of the first and third sets when poor service games allowed Raonic to close out the match in straight sets.

I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but what’s important is that I got the win,” said Raonic. “Vasek won as well and we are in a great position for the rest of the weekend. I’ll work on my game and be ready for Sunday.”

The team needs just one victory in the final three matches to secure the win. Saturday’s lineup will see Canada’s doubles pairing of Daniel Nestor and Pospisil take on Raven Klaasen and Van der Merwe. Sunday will feature the reverse singles matches with Raonic up against Van der Merwe and Pospisil against Scholtz in a potential deciding rubber.

We sent a clear message to our opponents today,” said Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau. “It’s certainly a great position to be in up 2-0, it doesn’t happen very often and it’s up to us to make the most of it tomorrow.”

A win over South Africa will allow Canada to keep their place in the elite 16-team World Group for 2013 while a loss would relegate them back to the Americas Zone Group I.

Play will continue with the doubles match on Saturday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET and the remaining two singles matches will be on Sunday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Live coverage of Saturday’s doubles match can be seen on Citytv and TVA Sports.


Montreal, Canada – The Miele Canadian Davis Cup team was unable to clinch victory in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie against South Africa on Saturday when the South African doubles team of Raven Klaasen and Izak Van der Merwe upset the favoured Canadian pairing of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(5).

Klaasen and Van der Merwe came out strong and were extremely effective at the net, putting enough pressure on the Canadians to get a late break in the set and take the lead. Nestor and Pospisil were more composed in the second but were unable to capitalize on four set points allowing the South Africans to force a tiebreak which they proceeded to win. It was more of the same in the third set with the Canadians pushing hard for a comeback and saving five match points before Klassen and Van der Merwe were able to close it out on the sixth attempt and claim the straight sets victory.

We didn’t do much well today,” said Nestor. “They (South Africa) were better than us in a lot of aspects. They returned well and played the big points better than us. We had chances to get back in the match and we didn’t take them.”

Canada still has two chances on Sunday to secure the final point needed to keep them in the World Group for 2013. As it stands now, Sunday’s lineup will see the No. 1 players from each team up first as Milos Raonic will play Van der Merwe. Then, if necessary, Pospisil will face-off against Nikala Scholtz in what could potentially be the deciding fifth rubber. The captains of both teams do have the ability to substitute their players up to an hour prior to the start of the match. Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario) is the fourth member of Canada’s Davis Cup squad.

“All of our guys are competitors; they want to win each and every time, so this defeat hurts,” said Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau. “But we need to quickly digest this loss. We are still in a better position than them going into tomorrow up 2-1. We need to stay calm, regroup and not lose sight of the fact that we are still one win away from staying in World Group with our best player playing first tomorrow.”

A win over South Africa will allow Canada to keep their place in the elite 16-team World Group for 2013 while a loss would relegate them back to the Americas Zone Group I.

Play will continue with the reverse singles matches at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday. Live coverage of the matches can be seen on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.


Montreal, Canada – The official draw for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie between Canada and South Africa took place Thursday at Uniprix Stadium to determine the match-ups for the coming weekend. The tie will be contested outdoors on Court 1 at Uniprix Stadium from September 14-16, 2012.

The Miele Canadian Davis Cup squad consisting of Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) will battle with South Africa in two singles matches on Friday, a doubles match on Saturday and two reverse singles matches on Sunday. Miele Canadian Davis Cup team captain Martin Laurendeau will be at the helm this weekend.

Prior to the draw, the South African Davis Cup team made a roster change, announcing that Rik de Voest would not participate in this weekend’s tie due to a wrist injury and would be replaced by captain John-Laffnie de Jager. The South African team is now comprised of three players, Izak Van der Merwe, Nikala Scholtz, Raven Klaasen, and a playing captain, de Jager.

Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:

Event Representing Canada Representing South Africa
1st Singles Rubber, Friday, September 14, 1:00 p.m. ET Vasek Pospisil Izak Van der Merwe
2nd Singles Rubber, Friday, September 14 Milos Raonic Nikala Scholtz
Doubles Rubber, Saturday, September 15, 1:00 p.m. ET Daniel Nestor and
Vasek Pospisil Raven Klaasen and
Izak Van der Merwe
3rd Singles Rubber, Sunday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. ET Milos Raonic Izak Van der Merwe
4th Singles Rubber, Sunday, September 16 Vasek Pospisil Nikala Scholtz

“It’s unfortunate that South Africa will be without their top two players, but it doesn’t change our approach to this weekend’s tie,” said Laurendeau. “Their team can play and we are preparing for a tough battle. We’ve had a good week of training and our team is looking forward to a great weekend of tennis.”

A win over South Africa will allow Canada to keep their place in the elite 16-team World Group for 2013 while a loss would relegate them back to the Americas Zone Group I.

Play will begin at 1:00 ET on Friday, September 14 with two singles matches. The opening ceremonies will be held at 12:30 p.m. ET. The doubles match will take place Saturday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET and the remaining two singles matches will be on Sunday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Live coverage of all matches can be seen on Sportsnet East, West, Pacific and Ontario (Friday and Sunday) as well as TVA Sports. Saturday’s doubles match will be aired live on Citytv.


Johannesburg, South Africa – Tennis is alive and well in Mpumalanga “place of the rising sun”. And in celebration of the game of a lifetime the PK Tennis Academy, based in Ermelo will be hosting a Tennis 10’s Fun Day on Saturday, 15 September 2012.

Over 400 players all aged 10 years and under will be in action on the day playing in a fun round robin tournament with lots of prizes, lucky draws and goodie bags to be handed out. “Our aim and objective is to give all the kids a fun and memorable day on and off the court” said tournament organiser Petrus Koekemoer. “As competitive as tennis is, it has a great fun element to it and by giving the kids this memorable day will hopefully inspire them to stay in the sport and encourage their friends to join them on court.”

The day will be presented by PK Tennis and LET’S PLAY in order to give players, parents and coaches the opportunity to see what is happening in the world of U/10 tennis.

Petrus Koekomoer and his PK Tennis Academy have joined forces with SuperSport Let’s Play initiative on the day. Let’s Play operates through close relationships with activation partners, who run on-the-ground programmes in schools and communities. These programmes are structured to teach basic movement and co-ordination as well as develop sporting skills, age-specific activities and regular monitoring of physical development. Most importantly, Let’s Play encourages all programmes and events to focus on play and fun, without competitive pressures. Every week though coaching clinics around the country, Let’s Play reaches tens of thousands of kids.
Vaughn Bishop, Manager CSI & Enterprises at SuperSport said “It’s not so much what children learn through play, but what they won’t learn if we don’t give them the chance to play. Through play, children can pace themselves appropriately, make choices and develop self-confidence. Play encourages cooperation; it keeps children physically and mentally fit and creates a sense of belonging”.

On the day, players will play on smaller courts, with softer balls and in teams of 4 players. The event will take place on the sports fields of Ermelo High School.

The limited 400 entries have already been filled and registration for those who entered is from 07:30 Saturday morning with procedures starting sharply at 09:00.

John-Laffnie De Jager, South Africa’s Davis Cup Captain and former Ermelo resident sent a special message to the juniors participating on Saturday, “I am sorry that I can’t join you all at my former High School for this wonderful fun day but I am with our Davis Cup team in Montreal where we are playing an important tie against Canada this weekend. This fun day is a great way to enjoy tennis and you must all go out on to the courts with your friends, give up your best, learn from the coaches, make new friends and have a great time.”


Johannesburg, South Africa – In today’s modern world, computers are essential in schools. Not only for the day to day running of them, but for teaching children how to be prepared for life. No school can ever have too many computers, which are useful in so many ways.

Cindy Vorster from Mustek Technologies with pupils from Atlholang Primary School, the winners of last year’s school prize.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

Now SPAR, Mecer and Brother are offering girls an opportunity to win computer equipment worth thousands of Rands for their school, while having fun at the same time.

The 21st Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge is taking place at Old Parktonians Club in Randburg on October 14, and the schools with the most entries will win laptop computers with Win7 Starter software and School Image.

The school with the most entrants will also win a Brother Flatbed Print, Scan, Fax and Copy printer, and the schools with the second highest number of entrants will win a Brother Mono Laser Scan, Copy, Print and Fax printer.

Entries must all be submitted together and entries for the schools competition close on September 28.

Girls taking part in the 10km Challenge must be 15 or over, but there is also a 5km Fun Run which is open to girls who are nine and over, which means primary schools also stand a chance of winning the computers. Some girls, inspired by the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, may want to run, but walkers are welcome in both the 10km Challenge and the Fun Run. Many girls will welcome this as an opportunity to chat with their friends and catch up on the latest news.

Schools could add to the fun by having internal competitions – perhaps house against house, or grade against grade. The boys at the school also have a role to play – they can come along to Old Parktonians or line the streets to provide moral support for their schoolmates.

There is also a serious side to the day – a portion of the proceeds from both races will go to Reach for Recovery, which is a support group for women with breast cancer. All Reach for Recovery volunteers are breast cancer conquerors, so they are well aware of what newly diagnosed breast cancer patients are going through. They provide support, counselling and a shoulder to cry on.

And that’s not all! There are a number of fabulous prizes on offer, including New Balance shoes and for entrants over 18, the chance to win a brand new Nissan Micra. The first 12 000 pre-entrants will receive a free race t-shirt, and the first 12 000 across the line will receive a medal and a goody bag.


Johannesburg, South Africa – SuperSport your World of Champions and Tennis South Africa are pleased to announce that this weekend’s all important Davis Cup World Group play-off tie between South Africa and Canada will be broadcast live on television.

SuperSport confirmed that they had negotiated a live feed from the Canadian broadcasters and will bring the tie live to South Africa and also show highlights of the tie on Monday, 17 September 2012.

The tie will be played at the Stade Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Canada from Friday, 14 September to Sunday, 16 September 2012.

Ian Smith, CEO of Tennis South Africa said that his association were grateful to SuperSport for broadcasting the tie, “Television plays a major role in the development of tennis and sport in general and will allow all the fans in South Africa and Africa a chance of seeing our team in action” said Smith.

South African Captain, John-Laffnie De Jager said his team were delighted that their tie will be shown live in South Africa. “The whole team applaud Supersport for taking the feed from Montreal; we are very excited about our prospects in this tie even though we face a strong challenge from a best ever Canadian team away from home. Knowing that our efforts on court will be broadcast to the tennis sporting public back home including our loved ones means the world to us”.

The Canadian team will comprise of Frank Dancevic, Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil, and Milos Raonic and will be captained by Martin Laurendeau.

The South African team, Captained by John-Laffnie de Jager is Izak Van der Merwe, Rik de Voest, Raven Klassen and Nikala Scholtz.



Johannesburg, South Africa - The SPAR national netball team embark on the toughest challenge yet next month, when they take on some of the top netball countries in the world – Australia, New Zealand and England – in the Quad Series in Australia and New Zealand.

The SPAR Protea team selected at the training camp on Sunday 9 September 2012 at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.
From left to right: (back) Elize Kotze (coach), Lana Krige (assistant coach), Melissa Myburgh, Thuli Qegu, Karla Mostert, Adele Niemand, Vanes-Mari du Toit, Maryka Holtzhausen; Zanele Mdodana (vice-captain). (Front): Lindie Lombard; Bongiwe Msomi, Nadia Uys, and Chrisna Bootha. (Absent; Amanda Mynhardt (captain)).
Picture by Reg Caldecott

The Netball South Africa (NSA) selectors have chosen a team that blends youth and experience, with captain Amanda Mynhardt and vice-captain Zanele Mdodana boasting nearly 100 caps between them. At the other end of the scale, Melissa Myburgh, who made her debut earlier this year, has just one cap, Karla Mostert has five and Vanes-Mari du Toit eight.

Coach Elize Kotze said it was a great compliment that South Africa, ranked sixth in the world, had been invited to take part in the tournament rather than third-ranked Jamaica. “After our performance in the World Championships in Singapore last year, where we came fifth, the top countries have recognised that we are a very competitive team,” she said.

“We have been making steady progress since then. We were able to beat Jamaica for the first time in 45 years when we toured there earlier this year, and then we had a very good series against Northern Ireland. Since then, we beat Malawi (ranked fifth) to win the Diamond Challenge and netball in South Africa is definitely on an upward trajectory.

“When we play against the top four teams, we are playing on a totally different level. The standard is so much higher and we will learn so much from the Quad Series. At the end of it, we will know exactly where we stand, and what we need to do to compete with the best at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The only way to grow is to play against the top teams.”

The Proteas attended a rigorous training camp at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport at the weekend, during which they continued their work with eye-training specialist, Dr Sherylle Calder. Kotze was overjoyed with the results of Dr Calder’s work. “We have been working with her for a couple of months, and the improvement is amazing,” she said. “The players have all been working very hard on their Eye Gym exercises, and you can see the effect on their speed and their decision-making. You could see it during the Diamond Challenge, when they were finding spaces they had never seen before.”

The team selected for the Quad Series is as follows: Chisna Bootha; Maryka Holtzhausen; Melissa Myburgh; Lindie Lombard; Nadia Uys; Bongiwe Msomi; Thuli Qegu; Zanele Mdodana (Vice Captain); Vanes-Mari du Toit; Karla Mostert; Amanda Mynhardt (Captain), and Adele Niemand. President Netball South Africa Mimi Mthethwa said she was pleased with the team that had been selected, but will not overlook three of the top players that are unable to take part in the Quad Series due to unavailability. “Precious Mthembu, Simnikiwe Mdaka and Nontle Gwavu all had brilliant performances during the trials, and were in the top 10 players. One of our top players Erin Burger is still injured, but we expect her full recovery by the end of the year to begin with training for the forthcoming World Netball Championships in 2015.”

The Quad Series will take place in three Australian cities and three New Zealand cities, with double-headers at each venue. The tour starts in Adelaide on October 14 and ends in Hamilton, New Zealand on November 1.


Johannesburg, South Africa – There will be a strong South African tennis representation at next week’s Super-Senior World Team and Individual Championships in Croatia.

Ten teams will be jetting out of Johannesburg on Monday evening for Umag and Novigrad, Croatia to participate in the premier Senior tennis event for 60 and over players.

The ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships will be played from 10 15 September and will cater for the men’s and women’s 6080 age groups. Following this event, the ITF Super-Seniors World Individual Championships will take place only in Umag from 16-23 September where there will be events in the men’s 60-85 age groups and women’s 60-80 age groups.

South Africa will join 32 other countries from around the world for both events.

The South African teams are as follows;
• Danie Botha (EP)
• Ronnie van ‘t Hof (SWD)
• Daan Spengler (SWD)
• Miles Foxcroft (GC)
• Peter de Vaal (GN)
• Billy Kehl (EP)
• Hannes van Wyk (NWP)
• Oscar Marino (GC)
• Mervin Watson (WP)
• Michael Wolffe (WP)
• Giulio Salottolo (KZN)
• Derek Lawer (GN
• Callie Matthee (SWD)
• Ralph Burls (FS)
• Brian Smith (GC)
• Francois van der Merwe (BOL)
• Carine Puckrin (GN)
• Cora Roux (GE)
• Elsabie Ferreira (GE)
• Leonie Grondel (GC)
• Petro Kruger (BOL)
• Maeve Samuels (WP)
• Elmarie Lategan (SWD)
• Trudé Muller (EP)
• Kathy Nevay (GE)
• Reiko Murase (GC)
• Marie van Rensburg (BOR)
• Jackie Zylstra (KZN)
• Audrey van Coller (KZN)
• Agnes Pauw (BOL)
• Gertia van Blommestein (GN)
• Aurora de Villiers (BOL)


Johannesburg, South Africa - South African Davis Cup tennis star, Rik De Voest, survived a 7.6-magnitude earthquake which struck north-western Costa Rica late yesterday (Wednesday).

De Voest and his wife Carolyn are on holiday in the Central American isthmus located country. Their Villa in the province of Guanacaste was in the heart of the quakes epi-centre on the peninsula Papagayo.

Our whole Villa shook, things falling off the shelves. We rushed outside onto the golf course and waited it out, our hearts were pounding, but we are fine” De Voest posted on Twitter.

De Voest had decided to take a holiday break after the US Open before travelling to Montreal where Rik will do duty next weekend for South Africa in the all-important Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Canada.

The Costa Rica earthquake yesterday caused landslides, collapsing bridges, and resulted in one death, officials said. Two moderate Costa Rica earthquake aftershocks have continued to rattle the country, centered near Nicova and Samara. But they were far lesser than the massive 7.6 quake earlier.

Chile’s navy declared a tsunami alert warning for the country’s coastline following Costa Rica quake.


Montreal, Canada – Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the Miele Canadian Davis Cup team nominated to compete in the upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group playoff tie between Canada and South Africa.

Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ontario) were named to the squad by Captain Martin Laurendeau to compete on outdoor hard court on Court 1 at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal from September 14-16, 2012.

Tennis South Africa also announced the team that will be in Montreal to take on Canada. They selected Izak Van Der Merwe, Rik De Voest, Raven Klaasen and debutant Nikala Scholtz. The South African Captain is John Laffnie De Jager.

This tie is extremely important. We have the chance to remain in the elite World Group, so we have to make the most of this opportunity,” said Martin Laurendeau. “Our team learned a lot from our loss to France in February. We are very excited about taking on South Africa especially since we once again have the advantage of playing in front of our fans.”
“We could not believe that a tennis nation with such strong tennis traditions like South Africa would give up a home tie. It was a welcome bonus and now that Kevin Anderson has been confirmed as not being part of the South African outfit, we feel real confident that we can beat the visitors and remain in the World Group and move upwards and onwards. We have made sure the conditions suit us and that’s first and foremost. The court we have chosen is similar to that of the US Open and the hard court surfaces leading into New York. It made sense to stick to the surface our players have been playing on for the past few weeks.”
Laurendeau said that the Canadian team was the “best we have had for years” and that “no team in the world would sleep well” when facing this Canadian team. But he said that Canada respected South Africa and said even though they were without Kevin Anderson they were a “tricky side” that played with lots of “heart and soul” and he expected South Africa as they always do to put in a real great effort. “South Africa are traditionally aggressive players whether it’s at the net or on the baseline. I think Canada play a similar game but our advantage is we are playing at home and we have more depth than our opponents” continued Laurendeau.

Dancevic has competed for Canada’s Davis Cup team every year since 2002 except in 2008 when he was hampered with a back injury. He holds an impressive 11-4 record in Davis Cup matches played on home soil. Earlier this season he won the $125,000 Dallas Challenger. In 2011, he became the first player ever to qualify for all four Grand Slams in ranking is No. 65, achieved in 2007.

Nestor holds the record for most years played by a Canadian in Davis Cup at 19. He also holds the record for most wins (44), most doubles wins (29) and most ties played (41). Nestor is currently the no. 1 ranked doubles player in the world. This spring he was crowned champion at Roland-Garros for a third consecutive year and second straight triumph with his partner Max Mirnyi. The pair have won three additional ATP World Tour titles in 2012. Nestor holds 79 ATP World Tour doubles titles and holds a career Golden Slam (all four Grand Slam trophies and an Olympic Gold medal).

Pospisil was the only member of Canada’s Davis Cup team to compete at all three ties in 2011. He was the hero in their World Group play-off versus Israel, capturing both of his singles matches and the doubles match with Nestor to advance Canada back to the World Group. He has won two National Bank Challenger titles in Rimouski and Granby this season in addition to reaching a career-high ranking of no. 85.

Raonic is the highest ranked Canadian male singles player of all-time, currently sitting at no. 16 in the world. He just reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open where he fell to Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray. He has won two ATP World Tour titles this season, bringing his career total to three. Raonic also reached the quarter-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati. In 2011, he helped Canada defeat Mexico by winning his two singles matches as well as the doubles rubber alongside Pospisil. He defeated Julien Benneateau in straight sets to earn Canada’s lone point in their World Group first round tie against France in Vancouver in February.

This tie will mark the second Davis Cup meeting between the two countries with Canada winning the only other encounter in 1913. The winning nation in Montreal will qualify for the World Group in 2013 while the losing nation will be retrograded to its respective zonal group.

All of the Davis Cup rubbers will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas match schedule for Canada vs. South Africa
(Canadian Eastern time)

Friday, September 14, 2012 12:30 p.m. Singles
Saturday, September 15, 2012 1 p.m. Doubles
Sunday, September 16, 2012 11 a.m. Reverse Singles


Johannesburg, South Africa - The past few weeks have been full of excitement for South African sports fans.

Marketing Director of SPAR South Rand Mark Hedderwick with top runners (from left) Rene Kalmer, Ronel Thomas, Poppy Mlambo and Irvette van Blerk at the launch of the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge, on Tuesday 4 September at Buitengeluk, Broadacres.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott

It all started when the SPAR South African netball team beat Jamaica for the first time in 45 years, before whitewashing Northern Ireland 3-0 in the Challenge series in Cape Town and beating Malawi to win the first Diamond Challenge in Pretoria.

Golfer Ernie Els had a brilliant victory in the British Open, and the same weekend, Hashim Amla became the first South African to score a triple Test century, as the Proteas annihilated the world number one side, England, by an innings and 12 runs in the first Test at the Oval in London. The Proteas went on to win the series two-nil, and take over the mantle of the world’s top Test team.

At the Olympic Games, South Africans rejoiced over the exploits of Team South Africa. There were seven medals, including three gold medals, a world record, and personal bests for many of the athletes and the world celebrated when double amputee Oscar Pistorius made history by qualifying for the semi-final of the men’s 400 metres. And after all that came the wonderful performances by the South African Paralympic team.

So, forced indoors by unexpected snow and bitterly cold weather, many South Africans spent the last part of winter glued to their television sets, watching their compatriots succeeding on the international stage. But it is warmer now, the days are longer and Spring is here, and we all need to leave our television sets and get back into action. What could be better than preparing for the annual SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians in Randburg on Sunday October 14.

For a number of years, the Joburg leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge has marked the start of Spring in Johannesburg, as thousands of women of all shapes and sizes take to the streets to prepare for the race. The doyenne of road-running in South Africa, Sonja Laxton, will provide training tips, and sportswear giants, New Balance, will provide advice on how to choose the best shoe for you and your style of running.

As always, there are awesome prizes to be won. This year, for the first time, a lucky runner stands the chance of winning a Nissan Micra simply by taking part in the race. The schools with the most entries will win Mecer laptops and accessories and there is the ever-popular Bring-a-Friend competition, where you and a friend who is competing for the first time can each win New Balance shoes worth R1000.
The first 12 000 women to enter will be given a free race t-shirt on registration, and the first 12 000 to finish will receive a medal and a goodie-bag.

The SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge coincides with Breast Cancer month, and proceeds from the race go to Reach for Recovery, a support group for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The Reach for Recovery volunteers have all had their own encounters with the disease, and so they are in a perfect position to talk to and counsel women who have just heard those ominous words “you have breast cancer.” A few of Joburg’s local celebrities will also be taking part in the Torch of Hope Relay to raise funds and awareness of cancer.

Olympic marathon runner Rene Kalmer has secured the SPAR Grand Prix title by winning the first four Challenge races, but she has vowed to become the first person to win all five races, and other top runners like fellow Olympian Irvette van Blerk, Zintle Xiniwe, Christine Kalmer and Portia Ngwenya will be vying for important Grand Prix points to secure the lucrative cash prizes for the top runners on the Grand Prix ladder.

But while there is fierce competition among the top runners, the race is really about the thousands of women who take part for the fun of it, and to meet new people and make new friends. For those who are daunted by the thought of 10kms, there is a 5km Fun Run, and walkers are welcome in both races.

Entry forms are available at all SPAR, KWIKSPAR and SUPERSPAR stores, or online at or

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