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)

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Prescient Freedom Paddle

The Treble Team is proud to announce that Prescient remains firmly committed to the eagerly anticipated 2021 Prescient Freedom Paddle, which is set to take place later this month on Freedom Day (27 April).

Now in its fourth year the Treble-owned property, in which sponsorship, event management, marketing and operations of the Prescient Freedom Paddle are fully managed by our award-winning team, sees competitors paddling 27kms around the iconic Robben Island – a symbol of South Africa’s triumph of democracy and freedom.

We are excited that this partnership, which was exclusively brokered by the Treble Group in 2020, has seen us being awarded the added value of a leveraging budget to deliver the sponsorship and association with the Prescient Freedom Paddle brand.

This includes delivering world-class brand activations for Prescient that will serve to enhance their client’s experience on event day, while also working with traditional media services to champion the Prescient brand within the competitive paddling arena.

“After the immense success of the event in 2020 after a postponement from April to October in 2020 and the inclement weather on the day, which resulted in a 5-hour delay in the start paddle race. Approximately 250 paddlers were in their surfskis at the start line. At Prescient, we resonate with the paddler’s perseverance and commitment for success,” said Wisahl Ganief, Head of Marketing at Prescient.

Prescient’s core values align with the resilience and team comradery required for competitive paddling.  Ultimately, Prescient is about partnerships, which has underpinned every aspect of their business since its humble beginnings over two decades ago.

While their global footprint has expanded, their focus remains as concentrated as ever: to deliver maximum value for their clients and leverage their expertise, experience and innovation to help secure the certainty of success their clients desire, even in uncertain times.

B&I Lions tour to SA confirmed

SA Rugby and the British & Irish Lions confirmed on Tuesday that they were aligned on delivering the Castle Lager Lions Series in South Africa in the scheduled playing window.

The Lions Board confirmed its preference to SA Rugby on Monday evening, prior to follow-up meetings earlier today.

“After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios being considered, I can confirm that the Board’s intended position is for the Tour to go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” said Mr Jason Leonard, Chairman of The British & Irish Lions.

“We acknowledge that there is a significant amount of work still to be undertaken to deliver a robust COVID-19 countermeasure plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour. SA Rugby will have our full support to help implement this plan.”

Mr Mark Alexander, President of the South African Rugby Union, said he would inform the Executive Council of SA Rugby of the alignment.

“We appreciate the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,” said Mr Alexander.

“We have been in regular contact with our government to make that a reality against the backdrop of the pandemic and its predicted progression over the coming months.

“There are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, should the event take place without any supporters in attendance, and we cannot ignore that in our considerations. But we are determined that the eventual outcome will deliver the best occasion and experience for players, supporters and our commercial partners.”

Mr Alexander said that the original tour schedule was subject to review because of those considerations. Should any changes be required they will be communicated as soon as possible.

SA Rugby assured everyone who had purchased tickets through the ticket ballot or as part of the official hospitality programme that they would be entitled to a full refund, with the mechanic to be communicated in due course once any revised schedule was confirmed.

Those who had bought official travel packages through SA Rugby Travel would be contacted by a company representative in due course.

Mr Leonard added: “Every British and Irish player dreams of wearing the famous red jersey, and players from the southern hemisphere aspire to be part of a Lions series. We owe it to the current players vying for a place in both squads to ensure they can become part of Lions history.

“We are very much looking forward to taking on South Africa for what promises to be a highly-competitive Series against the reigning World Champions.”

Mr Alexander thanked the Castle Lager Lions Series’ commercial partners as well as the British & Irish Lions and ticket holders for their patience during the extended period of uncertainty.

“As hosts and ‘owners’ of the Castle Lager Lions Series no one has been more affected or more challenged by the current circumstances than SA Rugby,” said Mr Alexander.

“However, with the support of our government and good planning we can navigate the pandemic to nonetheless create a most memorable event for players, fans and partners.”

The British & Irish Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight with one drawn. Their overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

All hands on deck for the Freedom Paddle

The Treble Group is excited to share the news that the Freedom Paddle will be staged on 24 October 2020. The announcement took place on Friday 4 September after the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already in its third year, the Freedom Paddle has become a firm favourite on the paddling calendar and is normally held on Freedom Day (27 April). It sees competitors paddling around Robben Island – South Africa’s symbol of “Freedom” and celebrates our country’s unique journey to a free and open society that includes all South Africans.

Treble Group MD, Kyle Nel, is excited that the Freedom Paddle will be staged in 2020 after its initial postponement.  “Treble is very proud of what this event represents and how it has grown to become a firm favourite in the SA paddling community,” says Nel.

“It’s been a tough couple of months in the sporting industry, and CSA and the Freedom Paddle team have been hard at work to try and put us in a position to stage this year’s event.  With Level 2 restrictions we are seeing a gradual return to a semblance of normality and look forward to being one of the first events to be staged.

“As partners of the Freedom Paddle team, we at Treble look forward to making this year’s event on the 24 October very special.  There are a few exciting announcements and initiatives in store for the Freedom Paddle 2020. Look forward to seeing you on the water!”

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