A First for DHL Lifesaving SA Champs

The 2022 DHL Lifesaving South Africa National Champs broke new ground this year with a dedicated daily live streaming broadcast that showcased the ultra-competitiveness of the sport and allowed even greater reach on a global scale.

With the Treble Group exclusively managing Lifesaving South Africa’s (LSA) communications solution, there was a notion of going one better at this year’s Champs by delivering the live stream to the digital media mix.

As Covid-19 created a new normal that saw key live events being played out in front of zero spectators, there has been a high demand for live streaming for family and friends to support their loved ones, while staying at home.

With a daily highlights package produced by White Hot Media already in place, which includes SuperSport inserts, the decision to go ‘live’ was inevitable – especially with the high-quality athletes that were on show at the DHL LSA National Champs.

White Hot Media delivered three to four-hour live daily crossings with expert commentary from world surf ski paddler Dawid Mocke, renowned SuperSport presenter Dave McLeod, and LSA commentator Stanford Slabbert. which gave viewers a birds-eye view of the big finals of the premier events that happened on Kings Beach and Newton Park Pool in Gqeberha.

The results were remarkable, and the Treble team is delighted to share that as of 29 March, over 23 000 views with a total of 2 500 hours viewed with a reach of 145 000 impressions have already been recorded.

Across LSA’s social media channels, there has been positive feedback from lifesaving fans – and sports fans alike – who have enjoyed tuning into the livestreams from around the world. Their enthusiasm is reflected in the positive numbers on Facebook Live with over 26 500 views and 14 900 viewers.

Audiences from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Germany tuned in daily, and the content can be rewatched at any time on LSA’s official YouTube channel.

This is invaluable exposure for the lifesaving sport in general and shows the added value that live streaming brings to the table in ensuring your brand reaches a wider digital audience that transcends traditional boundaries.

Rugby welcomes 50% fan attendance

SA Rugby on Tuesday welcomed the announcement by State President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa that rugby venues would be permitted to accept up to 50 percent of its capacity for vaccinated or COVID-19 negative attendees.

The change in the regulations means that the requirement that only 2 000 vaccinated fans would be allowed into venues has been relaxed for Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Carling Currie Cup henceforth.

It’s just over two years since South Africa’s rugby venues were last able to host an unrestricted audience, but the revision in the existing regulations was welcomed by SA Rugby.

“This is a major relief for our sport,” said Mr Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union.

“These have been two incredibly tough years for our teams, and we are excited to welcome more people back into stadiums for all levels of the game, from the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, and Carling Currie Cup, to club level.

“We have seen in the response to the ticket launch of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September, that there is an appetite to share once again great rugby occasions with our friends and family.

“We have six Springbok test matches to look forward to across the country from July and it will be great to see the Boks running out in front of a proper crowd in South Africa for the first time since 2019.”

Mr Alexander said rugby would continue to observe the necessary protocols applicable to venue attendance in relation to public health and safety.

“We’re very grateful for the good news from President Cyril Ramaphosa tonight,” he said. “Rugby remains in ICU as we battle for sustainability but there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Springboks kick off their season with a three-Test series against Wales, starting at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 2 July.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

DHL Lifesaving South African Championships to heat up Gqeberha

The 2022 DHL Lifesaving South African Championships will take place from 20-26 March in Gqeberha, home of action and adventure sports.

With more than 1500 of the country’s lifesaving specialists competing in the surf and sand at Kings Beach, and at the pool events at Newton Park Swimming Pool, the Championships draws families from across the country in a celebration and culmination of the Lifesaving season.

The LSA Federation’s executives Craig van Rooyen (LSA Director of Sport) and Helen Herbert (LSA General Manager) together with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality; and Lifesaving SA’s sponsors and partners, DHL, Treble Group, National Lotteries Commission, Department of Sport and Recreation and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA, collectively have worked to ensure that all the championship events – both surf and pool – go ahead safely.

It will be the first time since March 2019 that the seven-day event will take place on its usual date, which occurs during the school holidays to accommodate the Junior and Nipper divisions. There were no spectators permitted last October at the 2021 Championships, but for the first time since 2019 a limited number of fans – in accordance with Government Gazetted regulations – will be allowed to cheer on their lifesaving heroes.

The competition will be tightly contested with several of LSA’s top athletes, who were part of the Proteas squad that were recently crowned as African champions at the 2022 Lifesaving Africa Championships held in February in Egypt, all in action at King’s Beach.

The bulk of the youthful LSA national squad will also gain much-needed competition with the ILS World Championships looming later this year in Italy. With a relatively inexperienced team, South Africa dominated the water events and was the main catalyst in the Proteas finishing the event in Egypt as champions of Africa, which bodes well for LSA’s high performance athletes in Italy and perhaps there may be one or two new members in that squad following the DHL Lifesaving Championships in Gqeberha.

Apart from the high-performance surf squad and elite pool squad on display at the DHL Lifesaving South African Championships, there will be stiff competition in the tightly contested Senior division, with Clifton Lifesaving Club out to defend their Senior title and further strengthen their dominance in the Junior division.

Last year’s overall champions – Gqeberha’s very own Summerstrand Lifesaving Club – will be a tough act to follow with the club’s powerful Nippers squad that completely dominated their division and will be looking to maintain their strong depth of talent, and grip on proceedings. The Nippers crushed the opposition in the surf and pool, scoring more than double the next best in totalling 710 points in the surf and 611 in the pool in the most comprehensive and complete collective display ever seen at the DHL Lifesaving South African Championships.

The absence of many KZN stars in 2021 due to Covid restrictions impacted on the overall club performance, with the KZN clubs of Durban Surf, Marine and Umhlanga finishing outside the top three. However, with the World Champs in Italy in October, the stakes will be high with several big KZN stars returning and the level of competition on display will be one of the major highlights come 20 March in Gqeberha.

Programme of Events:

20 March: Masters Surf Competition (Kings Beach)

21 March: Opening Ceremony (Kings Beach)

21 March: Masters Pool Competition (Newton Park Pool)

21 March – 23 March: Nipper Surf Competition (Kings Beach)

21 March – 23 March: Juniors and Seniors Pool Competition (Newton Park Pool)

24 March – 26 March: Nipper Pool Competition (Newton Park Pool)

24 March – 26 March: Junior and Senior Surf Competition (Kings Beach)

24 March – 26 March: Surf Boat Competition (Kings Beach)

For more information visit www.lifesaving.co.za

Bonanza of Bok Test tickets to go on sale

Ticket sales for all of the Springboks’ domestic Test matches will go on sale to the greater public at 12pm on Wednesday 9 March in a unique, coordinated launch.

Hosting venues for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Wales and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship matches have aligned their on-sale dates for the first time.

Virtual card holding clients of Springbok partner, FNB, will have an “early bird” window to snap up seats on 7 and 8 March, with public sales opening at 12h00 on 9 March for most venues.

In the past, the hosting venues have launched their ticket sales in an ad hoc manner, but this year SA Rugby and the host unions have aligned on a coordinated approach, considering the significance of the season.

The announcement offers light at the end of a long dark tunnel as rugby supporters have been barred from attending home Springbok matches in South Africa for the past two years because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The last time a Springbok fan attended a Test in South Africa was more than two and a half years ago – a 24-18 victory over Argentina on 19 August 2019 at Loftus Versfeld.

The Springboks did not play at all in 2020 because of the pandemic and in 2021 the Castle Lager Lions Series and two tests against Argentina in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship were played behind closed doors.

Fans have been permitted to return to matches in 2022 and the expectation is that the current limit of 2,000 per match will be relaxed over the coming months.

That means:

  • The Boks’ season opener against Wales at Loftus Versfeld (2 July) will be the first time in six weeks short of three years that home fans will have been able to see the team live;
  • It will be four years since the Boks played in Bloemfontein (9 July v Wales);
  • And the third Test against Wales (16 July) will be the first time the team has played at DHL Stadium in Cape Town in front of a crowd.

Those matches are followed by the double header against New Zealand – at Mbombela Stadium and Emirates Airline Park on 6 and 13 August respectively – before the home season closer at Hollywoodbets Kings Park on 24 September.

Tickets are priced within a broad range with all venues offering an entry level price of R150 (R200 at Emirates Airline Park) with top-priced tickets at R1,500 for the mouth-watering mini-series against the All Blacks.

Tickets for the three Welsh Tests in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town as well as the match against New Zealand in Johannesburg are available from Ticketpro by clicking here.

Tickets for the All Black Test in Nelspruit are available from Computicket by clicking here.

Tickets for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Durban in September will go on sale within the next month.

SA Rugby is hopeful that the current restrictions on crowd size will be relaxed in the coming weeks to bring to life the exciting prospect of seeing the Boks run out once again in front of thousands of cheering fans.

Government’s prevailing health and safety requirements at the time of the matches will be in place and rugby fans are urged to make sure they’re vaccinated to ensure entry into the venues.

Bonga Sebesho, FNB Brand Experience Head, said: “FNB has been a proud partner of the Springboks since 2017. We are super excited to offer pre-sale tickets to our clients before anyone else as part of the Castle Lager Incoming Series and Rugby Championships 2022 tickets, on 7 and 8 March.

“We encourage our customers to grab this opportunity to purchase pre-sale tickets by using their FNB Virtual Cards and RMB Private Bank Virtual Cards to show support to the Springboks and to also enjoy the games live with their loved ones.

“For the match on 6 August against the All Blacks at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, they can also buy tickets with eBucks if they go through the eBucks website,” added Sebesho.

SA Rugby and the host unions again urged supporters to only buy from authorised outlets (Ticketpro and Computicket) and no other ticketing outlets, suppliers or re-sellers, to avoid being ripped off at massively inflated prices. These tickets cannot be guaranteed.

The full local Test schedule with ticket price range is:

 Castle Lager Incoming Series fixtures (kick-off times TBC):

  • Saturday, 2 July: Springboks v Wales – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria – R150 to R1,000
  • Saturday, 9 July: Springboks v Wales – Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein – R150 to R1,000
  • Saturday, 16 July: Springboks v Wales – DHL Stadium, Cape Town – R150 to R1,250

 Castle Lager Rugby Championship fixtures (kick-off times TBC):

  • Saturday, 6 August: Springboks v NZ – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit – R150 to R1,500
  • Saturday, 13 August: Springboks v NZ – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg – R200 to R1,500
  • Saturday, 24 September: Springboks v Argentina – Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban – R150 to R800