STRONG SOUTH AFRICAN ENTRY EXPECTED FOR DIGICALL FUTURES

Stellenbosch, South Africa - Next month, international tennis returns to Stellenbosch in the Boland when three consecutive weeks of Digicall Futures will be played from 31 October to 22 November.

South African Fed Cup player Madrie Le Roux.

South African Davis Cup squad member Nik Scholtz.

South African Davis Cup squad member Nik Scholtz.

Pictures credit: Tennis South Africa


The tournaments are international men’s and women’s events to be played at the University of Stellenbosch. Players participating will earn all important world rankings.

A strong entry of local and international are expected to enter and already confirmation has been received that two of South Africa’s Davis Cup squad members namely Nik Scholtz and Lloyd Harris will be playing. Harris is South Africa’s top ranked world junior player and is seen by many as the brightest prospect in our country.

In the women’s draw South African Fed Cup player Madrie Le Roux will be in action.
The final entry list for the men’s and women’s Digicall Futures 1 will be announced on Thursday 22 October.

The Digicall Futures will serve as an important platform for South Africa’s top junior players to launch their professional careers. Tennis South Africa have decided to host two international junior tournaments sponsored by the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport the two weeks prior to the Digicall Futures. The tournaments to be played at the same venue of the Futures will allow the junior players an opportunity to remain in Stellenbosch and take of the challenge of the Futures tournaments.


DRAWS ANNOUNCED FOR JUNIOR DAVIS CUP AND JUNIOR FED CUP BY BNP PARIBAS FINALS

• South Africa drawn with second seeds Australia

Madrid, Spain - The ITF has announced the draws for the 2015 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals, held for the first time at the Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain on 29 September - 4 October. Sixteen boys and 16 girls teams will take part in the competition.

The South African Junior Davis Cup team From left; Bertus Kruger (GC), Joshua Howard-Tripp (GE), team Captain Allan Karam and Richard Thongoana (GC).

Picture credit: Tennis South Africa


South Africa qualified for the Junior Davis Cup and are represented in the final in Spain by Richard Thongoana, Joshua Howard-Tripp, Albertus Kruger and team Captain Allan Karam.

Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, now in its 31st year, is the ITF’s official team competition for players aged 16-and-under. A total of 168 teams from 94 countries took part in regional qualifying in 2015, with 15 boys and 15 girls teams joining hosts Spain in the Finals. USA is defending champion in both events. Since the launch of the event in 1985, many of the world’s leading names have taken part in the competition, including current stars Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Finals see boys and girls teams divided into four groups of four on a round-robin basis, with the top team in each group qualifying for the semifinals.
.

Girls Group A

1-Czech Republic (1)
Australia
Argentina
Netherlands

Girls Group B

4-Canada (4)
Great Britain
Japan
Colombia

Girls Group C

3-Russia
Brazil
Chinese Taipei
Italy
Girls Group D

2-USA
Spain
New Zealand
Egypt
Boys Group A

1-Canada
Czech Republic
Hong Kong, China
Poland

Boys Group B

4-Russia
Argentina
Chinese Taipei
Sweden
Boys Group C

3-USA
Japan
Brazil
Spain
Boys Group D

2-Australia
Alex de Minaur
Alexei Popyrin
Blake Ellis
Captain: Ben Pyne

Germany
Nicola Kuhn
Marvin Moeller
Maximilian Todorov
Captain: Guido Fratzke

Colombia
Sergio Hernandez
Alejandro Hoyos
Nicolas Mejia
Captain: Juan Felipe Mateus

South Africa
Richard Thongoana
Joshua Howard-Tripp
Albertus Kruger
Captain: Allan Karam


BE PART OF THE SPAR WOMEN”S JOBURG CHALLENGE AND SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER

South Africa, Johannesburg- The Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg, will be a hive of activity on Sunday October 11, when thousands of women gather for the annual SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run.

On Sunday morning 11 October at the Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo, Joburg the SPAR Women’s Challenge will take place. Proceeds from the Challenge will go to Reach For Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer, providing them with practical and emotional support. Pictured from left to right are Reach For Recovery survivors (Left) Fernando Lang, (Middle) Dorothy Lewis and Vicki Garbutt. Although online and pre entries have closed, you can still be part of the 10km or 5km Challenge by entering the race on 8, 9,10 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club between 09h00 and 16h00.

Picture Credit: BLD Communications


The women are flocking there for a morning of sunshine and fun, but there is a more serious side to the race as well. Proceeds from the Challenge will go to Reach For Recovery, a support group for women with breast cancer, providing them with practical and emotional support.
It is a sobering thought that about one in nine women in South Africa are likely to suffer breast cancer at some stage in their lives.
It is no respecter of boundaries, and affects women of all races and classes.
But the good news is that breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, and definitely no longer a death sentence. Treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, in involves either the removal the lump or a complete mastectomy.
It can be a traumatic experience, especially if the treatment involves a mastectomy, but that is where Reach for Recovery comes in.
All the counsellors are trained breast cancer survivors, who are able to understand the feelings of the newly-diagnosed patient.
The Reach for Recovery counsellors visit patients either at home or in hospital to talk to them and to provide them with support.
“We explain what is going to happen, and what they can expect,” said Beulah Jankelowitz, Chairperson of the Johannesburg branch.
“We also provide pretty floral bags for them to carry their drains, and very soft cushions to put under their arms so they can be more comfortable.
“While we can’t provide medical advice, we are also available to answer questions both during and after their treatment,” she said.
“We have all been there ourselves, so we know what they are going through.”
Many of the Reach for Recovery counsellors will be taking part on October 11. They can be recognised by their pink t-shirts and the sound of laughter that accompanies them.
For the first time, the organisers have introduced a Tree of Hope.
“So many people have been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly,” said SPAR sponsorship manager Belinda Nel.
“We will make cards available for them to place on the tree, with a message for someone they know who has been touched by cancer of any kind. It is a way in which they can acknowledge those who have gone, or who are currently battling cancer.”
Although online and pre entries have closed, you can still be part of the 10km or 5km Challenge by entering the race on 8, 9,10 October at The Wanderers Sporting Club between 09h00 and 16h00.


RUNNING WITH THE BEST

Johannesburg, South Africa- Get ready for the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10 km Challenge at the Wanderers on Sunday October 11 – you can rest assured, you will be running with the best South Africa has to offer.
The SPAR Challenge races take place in five centres around the country, and are recognised as the third most recognised road race in South Africa, after the Comrades Marathon and the Two Oceans Marathon. Thousands of women of all ages, shapes and sizes take part in the races, which are held in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Most confine themselves to running in their hometowns, but a group of elite runners travel from venue to venue, running in as many of the SPAR races as they can. The races offer good prize money, but for the top South African runners, there is an additional incentive in the SPAR Grand Prix, with the top runners earning Grand Prix points according to their performance in the various Challenge races.
The best runners say they enjoy the SPAR races, which are all about women.
“When you win a SPAR race, you are the first person across the finish line, and that is special,” said Rene Kalmer, who has won more SPAR races than anyone else.
“If you are running in a mixed race, you often get to the finish surrounded by men, and you are definitely not the first across the line.”
There has been a real battle for that honour this year – there has been a different winner in each race. The vivacious Mapaseka Makhanya won the Cape Town race, Diana-Lebo Phalula won in Port Elizabeth, her twin sister, Lebogang was first home in Durban and Rutendo Nyahora was the winner of the Pretoria race last month. They are all in top form, and the battle for line honours will be fierce.
There will also be others breathing down their necks – runners such as Nolene Conrad, Cornelia Joubert, and the Kalmer sisters, Rene and Christine, which means the cream of South African road running will be taking part.
So put on those training shoes and start preparing for the SPAR Women’s Challenge on October 11 – you’ll always be able to boast that you ran with the best.


THREE SUCCESSIVE FUTURES TOURNAMENTS FOR STELLENBOSCH

Johannesburg, South Africa - Tennis South Africa (TSA) have announced that Boland Tennis will be hosting three Futures events carrying prize money in excess of R800 000 during November 2015. The three events will be sponsored by Digicall and will run consecutively at the Maties Tennis Club, Coetzenburg Sport Grounds and at the University of Stellenbosch. There will be singles and doubles draws for both men and women.

Making his point during the panel discussion at the launch of the Digicall Futures is Tennis South Africa Vice President Riad Davids (far right) with fellow panellists from left, Altmann Allers Chairman of Digicall, Le Roux Conradie of Caylix Sport Management (Tournament Director) and Rob Barnardie Director Stellenbosch Academy of Sport looking on. The Digicall Futures International tennis series will be played at Stellenbosch University from 31 October to 22 November 2015.

Announcing the Digicall Futures International tennis series in Craighall Park Johannesburg Wednesday are from left; Le Roux Conradie of Caylix Sport Management (Tournament Director), Altmann Allers Chairman of Digicall, Riad Davids Vice President Tennis South Africa and Rob Barnardie Director Stellenbosch Academy of Sport. The Digicall Futures international tennis series will be played at Stellenbosch University from 31 October to 22 November 2015.

Picture credit: BLD Communications


Each of the mens and womens events will comprise prize money of $10 000 (R134 000). That means with all three events the Digicall Futures circuit is worth $60 000.
The main draw for the first of the Digicall Futures will begin on Tuesday 3 November with the final played on Sunday 8 November. All the main draws will comprise 32 competitors. However, the qualifying tournaments will begin on 31 October. The mains draws for the second event begin on Tuesday 10 November with the finals on Sunday 15 November. The final Futures begins on Tuesday 17 November until Sunday 22 November. “With the and under pressure it makes events like this Digicall Futures circuit so vital for all our local players because it gives them the opportunity to gain ranking points on home soil,” said TSA President and acting CEO Gavin Crookes.
“It also gives them the opportunity to play against some international competition to gauge how strong the competition is out there.”
There is no doubt Kevin Andersons recent success at Wimbledon and the US Open has raised the profile of tennis in South Africa, something that as
not gone unnoticed by Digicall Chairman Altmann Allers. “Following the recent successes of Kevin, the timing is right for South African tennis to again start making a meaningful contribution to the sport on the international stage. “Digicall believes that by developing and investing in a local tennis circuit which provides our players an ability to earn international points and measure themselves against tough competitors, we hould hopefully soon see more of our players performing and winning on the centre courts in major tournaments. By getting involved in the Digicall Futures, we hope we can provide opportunities to assist our young players to reach their potential and fulfil their dreams.”
The Western Cape is always an attractive part of the world to stage a sporting tournament and these three events will give Boland Tennis the chance to show off their province.
ITF future tournaments are the first steps any professional tennis player needs to start a career,” said Dr Danie Morkel, President of Boland Tennis. “We would like to thank title sponsor, Digicall as well as Associate sponsors Curro and Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, for seizing this opportunity to partner with us in bringing professional tennis back to the Western Cape. The support of the Western Cape Department of Culture and
Sport is also acknowledged.”


HAVE A BALL AND HELP YOUR SCHOOL

Johannesburg, South Africa- Do you want to win some brownie points at school and have fun at the same time? It is all so easy – all you have to do is take part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge at The Wanderers Sporting Club in Illovo, Joburg on Sunday October 11 and you can help your school stand a chance of winning Mecer laptops and all in one printers.

There are two parts to the Challenge – you can either take part in the 10km Challenge or else you can opt for the 5km Fun Run and the great news is that walkers are welcome in both races. The school with the most finishers on race day will win the grand prize of a Mecer laptop with software and an all in one colour printer, copier, scanner and fax. Schools with the second and third highest number of finishers will each win a Mecer laptop with software; and the second place school taking away an all in one mono printer, copier, scanner and fax. Schools must have at least 20 entries to qualify for the prize.

That’s not all, there are some really great prizes on offer – the best is groceries for a year in the form of SPAR vouchers worth R15 000 – can you imagine your mother’s face if you come home with a prize like that.

Just think of the fun you can have while helping your school. You could organise a competition within a competition – why not try to see which class can get the most number of girls to take part, or you could have an inter-house competition – perhaps the winning class or house could be the ones to get first use of the computer?

The race itself is great fun – thousands of women out to enjoy themselves. You and your friends can catch up on some important talk time, with no-one telling you to keep quiet or walk in line! There is always great entertainment at the finish, and there’s a real party atmosphere.
The first 15 000 people to enter the race will receive a free race t-shirt at registration, and the first 15 000 to finish will receive a medal and a goodie bag. This year’s t-shirt are coloured a lovely pink that will look good on anyone, so it is well worth entering the race just for the t-shirt.

It is very important to get your school’s entries in before the closing date of September 26 – that’s next week! Only pre-entries will be considered for the laptop and printer prize and just as important, only pre-entries will receive the free t-shirt.


AGAINST A DEPLETED KEVIN ANDERSON, WAWRINKA ROLLS

In the first major quarterfinal of his life, Kevin Anderson looked like he needed another day of rest.
The 29-year-old South African seemed a step slower and a shot behind the Swiss star across from him, Stan Wawrinka, a two-time major champion playing in his 11th major quarterfinal. As a result, Anderson’s celebrated quarterfinal contest was over quickly. In less than two hours, Wawrinka rolled, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

Kevin Anderson in action against Stan Wawrinka in a men’s singles quarterfinal match.

Picture credit: USTA/Pete Staples


“For sure the best match of the tournament for me. I was really happy the way I play,” Wawrinka said.
Anderson, the No. 15 seed, started the match with his tank on low, if not empty. He had spent a tournament-high four hours and 18 minutes on court Monday, beating No. 3 seed Andy Murray in four grueling sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6. The emotional contest was Anderson’s first major breakthrough in 27 majors.
Against Murray, Anderson had hung with the Brit during rallies, combating one of the game’s finest baseliners. But against Wawrinka, Anderson sought to limit rallies and end points quickly. He tried get his usual tally of free points off his serve, hitting 12 aces, and he also sought to serve and volley. But the South African struggled to land his first serve, making only 57 percent of his attempts. Wawrinka then feasted on the second serve of Anderson, who won only 37 percent of those points.
Anderson also hit nine double faults, including at least two on break points, helping Wawrinka break him five times.
When Anderson did land his first serve, Wawrinka often picked it up cleanly and struck deep returns that kept Anderson behind the baseline. Wawrinka kept him there with a mixture of skidding backhand slices that stayed low, forcing the 6-foot-8 Anderson to crouch and take a few extra steps.
“I was trying to be really aggressive on the return and make him play a mix or some slice, some aggressive play from the baseline,” Wawrinka said.
Other times, Wawrinka would push Anderson side to side, forcing the big man to lumber more steps than he cared to take.
Anderson ended the match with 42 unforced errors compared to Wawrinka’s 15. During the 25-minute third set, Anderson won just five points.
“Obviously wasn’t meant to be today. Stan didn’t make it easy. He was taking time, I felt, away from me. He was swinging out, and, you know, I was just a step slow,” Anderson said. “It’s a very tough lesson for me today and, you know, it’s difficult not to think about it, but obviously I have got to take what I can. This week has been a great week for me, the last two weeks. There is a lot of positives.”
Wawrinka reaches his second US Open semifinal in three years. He will face his Swiss countryman Roger Federer in a rematch of their French Open semifinal. Wawrinka won that match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

The two have played 19 times lifetime, though, and Wawrinka has won just three of them. Federer looked perhaps better than ever against Richard Gasquet of France on Wednesday, but against Anderson, Wawrinka submitted his finest match in New York this year as well.
Anderson leaves the greatest major of his life, and hopefully more people know his name. A CNN headline earlier this week referred to him as “unknown.” Now he’s a Grand Slam quarterfinalist.

By Jonathon Braden usopen.org

U.S. OPEN
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Kevin Anderson
Press Conference
S. WAWRINKA/K. Anderson

6-4, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your sentiments after that one?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was really tough out there. Was maybe a little bit nervous just with the occasion and a lot of waiting around, switching courts. Obviously something that you deal with, but just getting out there and everything seemed to be going pretty quickly.

I thought conditions were, you know, quite quick and quite live, especially compared to my last match out there. One poor serve game in the first set and I wasn’t really making too many inroads on his serve.

I thought I sort of got it back a little bit in the start of the second set. Another poor serve game, and then things sort of went downhill a little bit.

I mean, after taking the — changing my clothes and having that bathroom break, I was just trying to compose myself and reset myself. I didn’t feel, you know, that out of sorts, but going back it sort of snowballed a little bit.

He started free flying, swinging, and I was trying to find my way a little bit. Obviously it was not a good one to be in.

Q. Did you struggle to come up after the defeat of Andy? Any letdown factor there?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Not really.

Q. Physically?
KEVIN ANDERSON: No. I felt fine. Obviously it was a big moment for me, but I felt I did a good job of resetting myself and getting ready for this next match.

But just obviously wasn’t meant to be today. Stan didn’t make it easy. He was taking time, I felt, away from me. He was swinging out, and, you know, I was just a step slow. Wasn’t going to bode well. I needed to be on top of my game today.

Q. Did it feel like he was on some sort of a mission the way he was playing?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, I think he stuck to his guns and what he needed to do. He did that very well.

You know, I can’t talk especially for how he felt, but obviously he did what he needed to do today. As I said earlier, he’s a very experienced player, especially at this level. He knows what it takes.

You know, it’s a very tough lesson for me today and, you know, it’s difficult not to think about it, but obviously I have got to take what I can. This week has been a great week for me, the last two weeks. There is a lot of positives.

I always try to look at that to obviously keep motivated and keep improving.

Q. That is the point, though. I mean, you have made that breakthrough. You finally got into the quarterfinals and knocking on the top 10 door. So those are the big positives for you to keep going with confidence?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, that’s what I’ve got to look at. It’s not that easy to do right now obviously just because of, you know, just the way I felt out there. It just really wasn’t my day.

But, you know, it’s the thinking that I’ve just got to take those feelings that I have had, the way I have played throughout the last few weeks, especially in my round of 16 to beat Andy there, and used it as extra motivation to give myself another chance.

I definitely know I can do better than I did today.

Q. Did you start the season with the goal of breaking the quarterfinal mark in mind and was there any other goals that you had going into…
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was definitely on my mind. I had been in the round of 16 a few times and put myself in that position a few times even this year.

My goal is always to give myself opportunities. I was able to capitalize on one of them, big one, getting to the quarters in this event. That’s definitely something I can take with me.

So, yes, it was a goal. It was a goal to put myself in this position through the quarters and then obviously take it from there, one step at a time. I was able to achieve that. I want to put myself in this position again, because as I was saying, I think just today I didn’t feel like I gave myself the best shot of maybe going a little bit further.

Q. Talk about the sportsmanship award. What does that mean to you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was great. I mean, I didn’t expect it. Nobody had mentioned anything. I’m very, you know, honored to receive that and to be acknowledged with that. I always try my best to, you know, behave the best I can out there.

You know, especially for the many people coming to watch and always been very appreciative of their efforts, especially, you know, the younger boys and girls who come here with high aspirations. I remember when I was in that position.

So to be recognized, I have always tried to do that throughout my whole career. It’s the first time I have actually officially been recognized this way, so I guess that’s a nice little ending for me.

Q. Stan’s attempt at the SABR tactic on return of your serve, what are your thoughts about it? What might we see, do you think, between Stan and Roger?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah. I mean, definitely didn’t start out like that, but, I mean, towards the end I think when you’re in that position obviously gives you a bit more freedom in terms of what he was doing.

You know, I think it will be an interesting matchup in terms of those sort of tactics, taking pretty aggressive second serve cuts. Definitely probably expect to see a few. Seems to be pretty consistent. So, you know, we will just have to wait and see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


KEVIN ANDERSON SHOCKS ANDY MURRAY AT US OPEN

Neil Schlecht – usopen.org; Serving big, keeping his cool and holding his own against No. 3 Andy Murray in rallies, South African-turned-American-citizen Kevin Anderson pulled off a major upset Monday to advance to his first Slam quarterfinal.

Kevin Anderson in action against Andy Murray in a men’s singles fourth-round match.
Picture credit: USTA/Garrett Ellwood


The 6-foot-8 Anderson, who rocketed serves as fast as 137 mph and fired 25 aces, motored past Murray, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, in 4 hours, 18 minutes.
Anderson, 29, now plays another two-time Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who quashed the upset dreams of Donald Young on Labor Day.
After racing to a two-sets-to-none lead, Anderson, seeded 15th, surrendered the third set in a tiebreak. Murray appeared to grasp the momentum, but the stoic Anderson calmly continued to smack big serves, rally impressively with the Scot – who possesses one of the game’s best ground games – and attack the net to finish off points. Anderson won the final tiebreak by blitzing Murray, 7-0.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Anderson said on court after his surprise victory. “I just managed to keep my composure throughout, and honestly played probably one of the best matches of my life. Obviously to get through to the quarterfinals for the first time here in New York feels just amazing.”
The first set was toe-to-toe until the tiebreak, which Anderson snatched in spectacular fashion, blistering a 108-mph forehand that painted the line.
Anderson calmly jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set. He served for the set twice and finally won it on his fifth set point, hitting an ace down the middle and on the line to take a two-sets-to-none lead.
An agitated Murray dug in and sneaked off with the third set. The fourth set was neck-and-neck, but every time Murray threatened to break, Anderson held his nerve and his serve.
“I think I served very well, which obviously helped me a lot in the fourth set, especially serving first and being up each game,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better tiebreak. I wish I could play every tiebreak like that.”
WHAT IT MEANS: At the age of 29, Anderson is suddenly playing the best tennis of his life and he is now up to a career-high ranking of No. 14. Coming into the match, the lanky, late-maturing Anderson had only won one match against Murray in six tries, and he had lost four of their last five meetings.
Anderson is known for having one of the biggest serves on tour, but on Monday he was able to hold his own against the Murray ground game, too, as the South African played an extremely focused and contained match.
Murray was seeking his second US Open crown, and while he appeared to be playing well coming into the Open – defeating No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win in Montreal – he also had played the most matches on tour this year, which may have taken a toll by the time he reached the year’s final major.


TIME TO PREPARE FOR THE SPAR JOBURG CHALLENGE

Buittengeluk, Johannesburg- Spring is here, which means it is time for the women of Joburg to take to the roads to prepare for the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at the Wanderers Sporting Club on Sunday October 11.

Top athletes, Lebo Phalula, Rutendo Nyahora, Caroline Wostman, Mapaseka Makhanya and Lebogang Phalula during the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge race launch at Buittengeluk on September 08, 2015 in Johannesburg.

Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott


The 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run have become an important part of the Joburg social calendar, with thousands of women of all ages, and from all walks of life, taking part.
While Joburg cannot boast sparkling sea views, the Sonja Laxton-designed course winds its way through some of the City of Gold’s most beautiful suburbs.
The 10km route takes the runners along Corlett Drive and Oxford Road as far as Riviera Road in Killarney, before zig-zagging back through some of Joburg’s leafiest suburbs.
The 5km route meanders through the plush suburbs of Illovo, Melrose, Birdhaven and Atholl-Oaklands, giving runners and walkers a chance to peek at some of the most beautiful gardens in Johannesburg.
As always, there are some wonderful prizes on offer, in addition to the substantial cash prizes for the top 10 runners. There is a lucky draw for a SPAR voucher worth R15 000, the very popular Bring-a-Buddy competition, generous offers of computers and equipment for schools with the most entries, but the most exciting of all is that one lucky runner will win a brand new Suzuki Celerio motor car.
But everyone is a winner on the day, with medals and goodie bags for the first 15 000 to cross the finish line. The first 15 000 to pre-register for the race will receive a free race t-shirt.
“Our Women’s Challenge race is very important to us,” said SPAR South Rand Marketing Director Martin Webber.
“We love our elite runners who are vying for Grand Prix points, and making sure that our races are truly competitive, but we believe the most important part of the races are the thousands of women of Joburg who take part just for fun.
“Women do the bulk of shopping at our stores, and we are very happy to be able to say thank you to them by providing them with a really enjoyable day out.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and proceeds from the Joburg Challenge will go to support awareness of cancers affecting women. Many women who have conquered breast cancer take part in the race every year, proudly sporting their pink ribbons.
The Joburg Challenge will be the final leg of the national five race SPAR Grand Prix series. Already this year races have been run in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pretoria and the fight is on for the top season ending spot which will be finalized after the race in October. Leading the Grand Prix is Lebogang Phalula who with a solid Joburg finish should walk away with the R150 000.00 top prize. However with a bunch of athletes challenging for second place on the Grand Prix leaderboard, nothing is guaranteed until after the Joburg race making the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge a race to watch.
There are just a few weeks before the race, but there’s still plenty of time to prepare for it. So jump out of bed, put on your training shoes, and get ready to take part in Joburg’s celebration of Spring.


LEBOGANG PHALULA APPEARS SET TO WIN GRAND PRIX TITLE

Johannesburg, South Africa- With only one race left in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge series, Lebogang Phalula appears to have all but wrapped up the Grand Prix title.
Phalula has finished in the top three in all four races so far, coming third in Cape Town and Pretoria, second in Port Elizabeth and first in Durban, and her consistency has earned her a total of 75 points – 14 more than her nearest rival. Although Phalula could still be beaten, particularly if one of her rivals wins the Johannesburg race on October 11 in record time, she appears the likeliest candidate to take home a substantial cheque for R150 000.
Cornelia Joubert is in second position, with 61 points from four top ten finishes. Rene Kalmer, who was lying in second position after the first three races, has dropped down to seventh place after failing to finish the Pretoria race because of a hip injury that has plagued her since the Vienna Marathon in April.
2013 Grand Prix winner Mapaseka Makhanya, who topped the log for the first two races, after winning in record time in Cape Town, has bounced back from fifth place to third, with 57 points, while Phalula’s twin sister, the 2014 winner Diana-Lebo, has moved from seventh to fourth place, with 54 points, as a result of finishing second in Pretoria last Saturday.
Christine Kalmer and Nolene Conrad are still neck and neck, although they have dropped from joint third to joint fifth place, with 53 points.
Irvette van Zyl is in ninth position on the log, with 30 points, but she did not run the Pretoria race on Saturday – she is expecting a baby in three weeks, and opted to jog the 5km Fun Run instead.
Nedbank, who were ousted from the top spot on the club ladder by Boxer last year, are comfortably in the lead with 302 points. Boxer are in second place, with 282, followed by Transnet, with 96.

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