The Stormers http://thestormers.com The official website for the DHL Stormers Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:41:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 IRB nomination for hardman Duane http://thestormers.com/irb-nomination-for-hardman-duane/ http://thestormers.com/irb-nomination-for-hardman-duane/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:48:55 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7855 The other nominees are Springbok teammate Willie le Roux, Irish flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick and Kiwi wing Julian Savea. The winner will be revealed at the conclusion of the November internationals.

Commenting on the shortlisted candidates IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The IRB World Rugby Player of the Year is one of the most prestigious accolades in Rugby and previous winners have all made a significant contribution to the international game over the past decade, inspiring new generations of players and fans.

“All of these nominees have enjoyed stellar years and the focus on who will claim this accolade will add an extra dimension to the remaining November Tests.”

The IRB World Rugby Player of the Year nominees were selected by the independent IRB Awards panel, chaired by Australia’s Rugby World Cup 1999-winning captain John Eales.

The panel, comprising Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace, has deliberated on every major Test played in 2014, starting with the RBS Six Nations and culminating with the November internationals.

“As always the panellists’ independent deliberations have produced a worthy list of contenders among a strong field,” said Eales.

“It has been a year where we have seen a levelling in competition with an unpredictability in so many games now. With a spread of a couple of outside backs, a flyhalf, a back-rower and a lock in contention it is not going to be an easy selection to determine the Player of the Year.”

In support of the initial nomination process, fans now have the chance to have their say on the shortlist via social media. The results of the public vote will be considered by the panel when finalising the winner.

Previous winners include Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Thierry Dusautoir, Shane Williams, Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Jonny Wilkinson and Richie McCaw, with the two All Black centurions the only players to have won the award on more than one occasion.

The IRB World Rugby Player of the Year is one of 12 awards categories – including the IRB World Rugby Coach of the Year, IRB World Rugby Team of the Year, IRB Women’s Player of the Year, IRB Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC, IRB Women’s Sevens Player of the Year and IRB Junior Player of the Year.

2014 IRB WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:

Willie le Roux: A strong and elusive runner from fullback, Le Roux has started all 10 of South Africa’s Tests in 2014 to take his tally to 22 Tests since his debut against Italy in June 2013. The 25-year-old, who has scored seven Test tries, is strong under the high ball and is potentially the most exciting South Africa outside back to come onto the scene since Bryan Habana.

Brodie Retallick: A towering presence in the line-out, Brodie Retallick’s partnership with Sam Whitelock makes arguably the best second row in world rugby at present. The 23-year-old’s powerful runs and work-rate across the pitch have brought him to the fore in 2014. An IRB Junior World Championships winner in 2011, Retallick has 35 Tests and one try – against South Africa in the 2013 Rugby Championship – to his name.

Julian Savea: With a try-scoring rate that few can match, Julian Savea has inevitably drawn comparisons with legendary All Black wing Jonah Lomu this year. The 24-year-old has scored 10 tries in 2014 – including a hat-trick against England in the third Test in June – to take his tally to 29 tries in just 31 Tests. Savea was named the IRB Junior Player of the Year in 2010, after helping New Zealand win a third successive IRB Junior World Championships title.

Jonathan Sexton: The oldest of the nominees at 29, Jonathan Sexton has been the standout player for Ireland in 2014 as they claimed the Six Nations title, a first series win in Argentina in June and the scalp of South Africa in Dublin last weekend. His control of the game at flyhalf and perfect record from the kicking tee earned the 49-Test veteran the Man of the Match Award against the Springboks.

Duane Vermeulen: A classic South African No.8, Duane Vermeulen has won plaudits across the world in 2014 for his work at the breakdown, power in the tackle and his destructive ball-carrying. With 26 Tests to his name, the 28-year-old was named Man of the Match in South Africa’s 27-25 victory over world champions New Zealand in October with his battle with Kieran Read worth the admission price alone. Duane has played 78 matches for the DHL Stormers and 38 for DHL WP.

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Who are the new heavies? http://thestormers.com/who-are-the-new-heavies/ http://thestormers.com/who-are-the-new-heavies/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 06:49:28 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7851 Hooker Bongi Mbonambi and props Vincent Koch and Wilco Louw linked up with the 2014 Absa Currie Cup champions at their HPC training base in Bellville on Monday and all three will be jetting out to London for the clash at Allianz Park.

Between them, the trio boast a collective weight of 353 kilograms and whilst they don’t quite have the experience to match the likes of Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris and Pat Cilliers – who they will replace in the DHL Stormers squad next year – they have wonderful opportunities to carve out their own reputations in the Cape.

Of the trio, 23-year-old Mbonambi boasts the most top-level rugby experience, having featured at Vodacom Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup level for the Bulls since 2012 – playing a combined total of over 30 games.

The powerful hooker also featured at Varsity Cup level for the title-winning UP-Tuks team, where Empangeni-born Vincent Koch – who was schooled in Wellington and played Craven Week for Boland – first made a name for himself before he joined the Pumas on a full-time basis in 2013.

Koch, 24, helped the Pumas claim the Currie Cup First Division title in convincing fashion last season, before also spearheading their impressive charge in the 2014 Premier Division which saw them just fall short of the semifinals after a golden mid-season run.

The youngest member of the DHL Stormers’ new front-row trio is SA Under-20 powerhouse Wilco Louw – a constant selection in the team that went down narrowly to England in the final of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships in New Zealand in June.

At 133 kilograms there is no doubting his size, but when you first shake his hand you have no doubt about his strength either.

Louw turns 21 in July 2015, which makes him eligible for the DHL Western Province Under-21 team next year too. However, the Ceres-born prop – who finished his schooling at HTS Drostdy – will no doubt come into contention for Super Rugby honours like many before him in the Cape; Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Oli Kebble all very young props who have flourished here in recent years.

“Tighthead prop is a crucial position in rugby and we’ve acted quickly to identify and sign quality players to step in and provide valuable depth in (and to compete for) the No.3 jersey,” WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal told www.wprugby.com earlier this week.

“Frans Malherbe is a Springbok incumbent, were it not for his injury he would be on tour with the national squad at present, so we are satisfied that we have three quality players at our disposal (in Frans, Vincent and Wilco) ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament.”

Sunday’s clash against Saracens in North London will give Cape rugby fans an opportunity to catch a glimpse of their new front row stars, a sure taste of what is to come from our new signings in 2015.

* The Sanlam Private Investments Challenge – between Saracens and DHL WP – will be televised live on SuperSport One (kick-off 15h00 – SA time).

PLAYER PROFILES:

Mbongeni ‘Bongi’ Mbonambi
Position: Hooker
Date of Birth: January 7, 1991
Height: 1,86 metres
Weight: 102 kilograms
Other rugby honours: SA Schools (2009), SA Under-20 (2011)

Vincent Koch
Position: Prop
Date of Birth: March 13, 1990
Height: 1,85 metres
Weight: 118 kilograms
Other rugby honours: SA President’s XV (2013)

Wilco Louw
Position: Prop
Date of Birth: July 20, 1994
Height: 1,85 metres
Weight: 133 kilograms
Other rugby honours: SA Schools (2012), SA Under-20 (2014)

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Koch to add beef for DHL Stormers http://thestormers.com/koch-to-add-beef-for-dhl-stormers/ http://thestormers.com/koch-to-add-beef-for-dhl-stormers/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:31:06 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7844 Koch, 24, will add significant front row depth following the overseas departures of Pat Cilliers and Brok Harris, both members of the Absa Currie Cup-winning DHL Western Province squad.

The strongly-built prop can play on both sides of the scrum, but he starred at tighthead prop for the Pumas during the 2014 Absa Currie Cup – more than playing his part in one of the tournament’s most powerful and consistent packs.

Koch, a stalwart for the Blue Bulls at Under-19 and Under-21 level, weighs 118 kilograms and stands 1,85 metres tall and will push for DHL Stormers selection along with SA Under-20 star Wilco Louw, who last week was also announced as a new signing, and Springbok Frans Malherbe.

“Tighthead prop is a crucial position in rugby and we’ve acted quickly to identify and sign quality players to step in and provide valuable depth in (and to compete for) the No.3 jersey,” WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal told www.wprugby.com.

“Frans Malherbe is a Springbok incumbent, were it not for his injury he would be on tour with the national squad at present, so we are satisfied that we have three quality players at our disposal (in Frans, Vincent and Wilco) ahead of next year’s Super Rugby tournament.”

Koch arrived in Cape Town on Monday and will form part of the DHL Western Province squad that will travel to London later this week to take on Saracens. That 24-man squad will be announced shortly.

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2014 ACC Final tickets: Phase two http://thestormers.com/2014-acc-final-tickets-phase-two/ http://thestormers.com/2014-acc-final-tickets-phase-two/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:07:24 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7838 With season ticket holders having had until Wednesday, October 22 (at 12h00) to purchase their regular seats for the final (SEE THAT INFORMATION HERE), those remaining seating tickets will now be released for sale back to the general public – from 09h00 on Thursday.

Phase two of the Currie Cup Final sales will officially commence on Thursday, October 23 at 09h00, with tickets going on sale online at wprugby.ticketpros.co.za, from selected PostNet outlets (see here) and the DHL Newlands box office in Boundary Road, Newlands (09h00 to 16h00).

TICKET PRICES FOR THE 2014 ABSA CURRIE CUP FINAL ARE AS FOLLOWS:

SEATING
Category 1 – R 350
Category 2 – R 250
Category 3 – R 150
Category 4 – R 350
Category 5 – R 200

STANDING
Category 6 – R 100

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2014 Absa Currie Cup Final: Public tickets http://thestormers.com/2014-absa-currie-cup-final-public-tickets/ http://thestormers.com/2014-absa-currie-cup-final-public-tickets/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:30:40 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7828 All the DHL Western Province teams, the Under-19s, Under-21s and the Senior side, will be involved in ALL THREE finals at DHL Newlands next Saturday – a great achievement for the union.

Tickets can be purchased online (wprugby.ticketpros.co.za), from selected PostNet outlets and the DHL Newlands box office (Tuesday 12h00 to 16h00, Wednesday-Friday 09h00 to 16h00).

The ticket prices for 2014 are unchanged from 2013, as DHL WP get set to host a second successive Absa Currie Cup Final at DHL Newlands.

TICKET PRICES FOR THE 2014 ABSA CURRIE CUP FINAL ARE AS FOLLOWS:

SEATING
Category 1 – R350
Category 2 – R250
Category 3 – R150
Category 4 – R350
Category 5 – R200

STANDING
Category 6 – R100

* URGENT: 2014 DHL Newlands season tickets ARE NOT VALID for the final. If you are a 2014 DHL Newlands season ticket holder, PLEASE CLICK HERE NOW!

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2014 Currie Cup Final: Important season ticket information http://thestormers.com/2014-currie-cup-final-important-season-ticket-information/ http://thestormers.com/2014-currie-cup-final-important-season-ticket-information/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:26:19 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7824 Thank you for your continued support as a DHL Newlands season ticket holder.

The 2014 rugby season is set to end with a bang at DHL Newlands, as the DHL Western Province team looks to go all the way in the Absa Currie Cup competition. Of course, this weekend’s victory over the Blue Bulls means we now have the right to host the 2014 Currie Cup Final at DHL Newlands.

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: 2014 DHL Newlands season tickets were valid for the home semifinal, but ARE NOT VALID for the Absa Currie Cup Final on Saturday, October 25. You do however, as the season ticket holder, have the right to purchase your seats. (PLEASE NOTE: ALL Scholar Season Tickets are valid for the final!)

Please carefully follow the steps below should you wish to purchase your seats. Note you must action this by Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12h00. Should you not take up your tickets by the cut-off date your tickets will be released for general sale.

THE TICKET PRICES ARE AS FOLLOWS (UNCHANGED FROM 2013):
(Your ticket price is determined by the category into which your seat/s falls.)

Category 1 – R350
Category 2 – R250
Category 3 – R150
Category 4 – R350

RESERVING YOUR SEAT(S) ONLINE VIA TICKETPROS before Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12h00. PLEASE NOTE this facility opens on Sunday, October 19 at 12h00.

You will need a credit card, an internet connection, your Member ID (as above your name on your season tickets) and seat numbers (please try to avoid the EFT function as certain banks do not release the money in time and you might lose your tickets due to non-payment).

Navigate to ‘Season Ticket Holder Final’ with the following link: wprugby.ticketpros.co.za – click on the ‘Season Ticket Final’ button and follow the steps to book your seats. Tickets can be collected from your nearest PostNet outlet. (See that list HERE.)

RESERVING YOUR SEATS AT WP RUGBY OFFICES, DHL NEWLANDS RUGBY STADIUM:

You will need a credit card, cash or debit card, your season tickets and a valid ID.

Times: Monday & Tuesday (October 20 & 21) from 09h00 to 18h00; Wednesday (October 22) from 09h00 to 12h00.
Venues: Ticket Office, Boundary Road, Newlands (next to official DHL Newlands Rugby Shop) Cash, Credit & Debit Cards (Master or Visa), Stadium Office Entrance (under Grand Stand in Boundary Road) only Credit Cards (Master or Visa).

STILL HAVING PROBLEMS?

Contact us at:

Telephone (office hours): 021-6594600 – have your Member number (as on your season tickets) ready, as well as the name of the Season Ticket holder.

Please remember that should you not take up your tickets by Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12h00, they will be released into the system for sale.

Thank you for your continued support as a DHL Newlands season ticket holder.

Enjoy the game!

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Pretoria opener for DHL Stormers http://thestormers.com/2015-pretoria-opener-for-dhl-stormers/ http://thestormers.com/2015-pretoria-opener-for-dhl-stormers/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:29:16 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7793 The DHL Stormers will face up to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on the opening weekend of the 2015 tournament (Saturday, February 14), before playing host to the Blues, from New Zealand, at DHL Newlands on Saturday, February 21 (kick-off 17h05).

***CLICK HERE to download a PDF version of the FULL 2015 Super Rugby draw***

Thereafter, the team will head to Ellis Park on February 28 (against the Lions), before hosting the Sharks (March 7) and the Chiefs from New Zealand (March 14) on successive weekends at DHL Newlands – where they will continue to play their Vodacom Super Rugby match fixtures at DHL Newlands, despite a media report to the contrary on Wednesday.

The Stormers will have a bye on the weekend on March 20-22, 2015, before embarking on their four-match tour of Australasia, which will see them take on the Highlanders, the Hurricanes, the defending champion Waratahs and the Force in the space of four weeks.

The Men from Cape Town will be back at home in late April, which will then see them play five matches at DHL Newlands in eight weeks ahead of the play-offs which start at the end of the June with the 2015 Super Rugby Final set for Saturday, July 4.

Commenting on his team’s draw for next year, DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “There’s no such thing as an easy match in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament. It might sound like a cliché, but I really mean it.

“We start with a tricky trip in Pretoria and then we have an equally challenging first home game against the Blues before two more SA derbies and then another difficult one at home, the Chiefs (the winners in 2012 and 2013).

“It’s a tough start,” he added, “but we’re excited about the challenge which comes with playing in a tournament like this.”

The DHL Stormers won’t be playing against the Crusaders (of New Zealand) or the Reds (of Australia) in 2015, but Coetzee dismissed the notion that it made their schedule any less demanding.

“I definitely don’t think that it makes things any easier (not playing against the Crusaders or the Reds),” he said.

“All the teams in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament are evenly matched, with all the sides – across all the conferences – having shown a huge improvement in recent years.

“That said, squad depth and experience are more crucial in a gruelling tournament like this one. Having your best and battle-hardened players fit for the big games, especially when it comes to challenging for a play-off spot, is more important than weighing up whether or not your draw is a favourable one (or not).”

The DHL Stormers’ 2015 Super Rugby fixtures:
(All kick-off times local (SA time); home games in bold)

Saturday, February 14: Bulls v DHL Stormers Loftus Versfeld (Pretoria) – 19h10
Saturday, February 21: DHL Stormers v Blues, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 17h05
Saturday, February 28: Lions v DHL Stormers, Ellis Park (Johannesburg) – 19h10

Saturday, March 7: DHL Stormers v Sharks, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 19h10
Saturday, March 14: DHL Stormers v Chiefs, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 15h00
March 20/21/22 – BYE
Saturday, March 28: Highlanders v DHL Stormers, Forsyth Barr Stadium (Dunedin) – 08h35

Friday, April 3: Hurricanes v DHL Stormers, Westpac Stadium (Wellington) – 08h35
Saturday, April 11: Waratahs v DHL Stormers, Allianz Stadium (Sydney) – 11h40
Saturday, April 18: Force v DHL Stormers, NIB Stadium (Perth) – 13h45
Saturday, April 25: DHL Stormers v Bulls, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 19h10

Saturday, May 2: Cheetahs v DHL Stormers, Free State Stadium (Bloemfontein) – 17h05
Saturday, May 9: DHL Stormers v Brumbies, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 17h05
May 15/16/17 – BYE
Saturday, May 23: DHL Stormers v Rebels, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 19h10
Saturday, May 30: DHL Stormers v Cheetahs, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 17h05

Saturday, June 6: DHL Stormers v Lions, DHL Newlands (Cape Town) – 17h05
Saturday, June 13: Sharks v DHL Stormers, Kings Park (Durban) – 19h10

Super Rugby Qualifiers:
Friday/Saturday, June 19/20 (TBC)

Super Rugby Semifinals:
Friday/Saturday, June 26/27 (TBC)

Super Rugby Finals:
Saturday, July 4 (TBC)

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2015 Vodacom Super Rugby fixtures announced http://thestormers.com/2015-super-rugby-fixtures-announced/ http://thestormers.com/2015-super-rugby-fixtures-announced/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:08:40 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7789 Seven-time champions, the Crusaders, will get the 2015 Super Rugby season underway when they welcome the Rebels to AMI Stadium on Friday, February 13, 2015. The match is the first of an opening night double-header with a fierce Australian derby between the Brumbies and Reds following in Canberra.

The Sharks and the Bulls will launch their seasons at home with derbies against the Cheetahs and DHL Stormers, respectively, on Saturday, February 14, whilst all eyes will also be focused on Allianz Stadium as the defending champion Waratahs meet the Force the next day (February 15).

***Download a PDF version of the 2015 draw.***

With the Anzac Centenary occurring in 2015, SANZAR has orchestrated the draw to ensure five matches involving Australian and New Zealand teams are played across this hugely significant weekend.

Back-to-back fixtures between Chiefs v Force and Brumbies v Highlanders on Friday April 24 see the round commence with clashes on either side of the Tasman before a pair of key derbies take centre stage on Anzac Day.

The Blues travel to Christchurch to renew their rivalry with the Crusaders before the Waratahs host the Rebels at ANZ Stadium in a battle between two traditional Australian foes who will vie for the Weary Dunlop Shield, a trophy bearing the name of a hero whose name resonates loudly throughout rugby and the armed forces.

SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters said: “A great deal of thought and planning has gone into the 2015 draw and we are absolutely thrilled to have produced an outcome that sees Australian and New Zealand teams all in action across the Anzac Centenary weekend.

“It will be a tremendous occasion for people to come together to reflect on the significance of the day beyond the rugby field and we expect this will be a highly poignant and memorable occasion.”

All five matches of the 2014 Super Rugby Finals Series will recur during the 2015 Regular Season – including a rematch of the record-breaking final when the Waratahs and Crusaders return to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium in Round 15.

The season commences on the same weekend of February, but concludes one month earlier to allow national teams adequate time to prepare for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which kicks-off on September 18. As a result, there will be no June Test window in the 2015 Super Rugby season.

With some venues unavailable due to a clash with other events, New Zealand teams are taking the opportunity to consider delivering their Super Rugby fixtures to alternative locations, particularly in regional areas.

Peters concluded: “The 2015 season marks the final year of Super Rugby in its current format before the competition expands into a bold new era from 2016.

“As we plan for the future, we also eagerly look forward to seeing how the coming season pans out following one of the most competitive years in the history of Super Rugby.”

TEAM-BY-TEAM 2015 SUPER RUGBY FIXTURES:
(Each team plays home and away derbies within their own conference, plus the following cross-conference matches in the 2015 Super Rugby season)

Brumbies: Chiefs (A) Cheetahs (H) Blues (A) Highlanders (H) Stormers (A) Lions (A) Bulls (H) Crusaders (A)
Force: Hurricanes (H) Bulls (A) Sharks (A) Cheetahs (H) Stormers (H) Chiefs (A) Blues (A) Highlanders (H)
Rebels: Crusaders (A) Lions (H) Hurricanes (A) Chiefs (H) Blues (H) Stormers (A) Sharks (A) Bulls (H)
Reds: Highlanders (A) Lions (H) Bulls (A) Cheetahs (A) Hurricanes (H) Crusaders (A) Sharks (H) Chiefs (H)
Waratahs: Highlanders (A) Blues (H) Stormers (H) Hurricanes (A) Sharks (H) Crusaders (H) Lions (A) Cheetahs (A)

Blues: Stormers (A) Cheetahs (A) Lions (H) Waratahs (A) Brumbies (H) Force (H) Rebels (A) Bulls (H)
Chiefs: Brumbies (H) Stormers (A) Sharks (A) Cheetahs (H) Force (H) Rebels (A) Bulls (H) Reds (A)
Crusaders: Rebels (H) Lions (H) Cheetahs (H) Bulls (A) Sharks (A) Reds (H) Waratahs (A) Brumbies (A)
Highlanders: Reds (H) Waratahs (H) Stormers (H) Brumbies (A) Sharks (H) Lions (A) Cheetahs (A) Force (A)
Hurricanes: Lions (A) Bulls (A) Force (A) Rebels (H) Stormers (H) Waratahs (H) Reds (A) Sharks (H)

Bulls: Hurricanes (H) Force (H) Crusaders (H) Reds (H) Blues (A) Chiefs (A) Brumbies (A) Rebels (A)
Cheetahs: Blues (H) Crusaders (A) Chiefs (A) Brumbies (A) Force (A) Reds (H) Highlanders (H) Waratahs (H)
Lions: Hurricanes (H) Blues (A) Crusaders (A) Rebels (A) Reds (A) Highlanders (H) Brumbies (H) Waratahs (H)
Sharks: Chiefs (H) Force (H) Crusaders (H) Highlanders (A) Hurricanes (A) Waratahs (A) Reds (A) Rebels (H)
DHL Stormers: Blues (H) Chiefs (H) Highlanders (A) Hurricanes (A) Waratahs (A) Force (A) Brumbies (H) Rebels (H)

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Super Rugby match fixtures at DHL Newlands http://thestormers.com/super-rugby-match-fixtures-at-dhl-newlands/ http://thestormers.com/super-rugby-match-fixtures-at-dhl-newlands/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:02:55 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7780 The 2015 Super Rugby fixtures will be released by SANZAR tomorrow and will be published on www.iamstormer.com by 07h00.

DHL Newlands will host the Absa Currie Cup encounter between DHL Western Province and Griquas on Saturday (kick-off 15h00), whilst the September 27 Castle Rugby Championship Test between South Africa and Australia will also be taking place at DHL Newlands.

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DHL Stormers beading for Madiba http://thestormers.com/dhl-stormers-beading-for-madiba/ http://thestormers.com/dhl-stormers-beading-for-madiba/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:14:24 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=7734 Yes, this was not a battle on a rugby pitch; it was instead a ‘bead-off’ for Cape-Town based social enterprise Relate Bracelets at the IKamva Labantu Noluthando 1 Seniors Club in New Cross Roads as a fun event to highlight the importance of South Africa’s elders in the run-up to Mandela Day.

Six of the senior centre’s fastest bracelet beaders went head-to head with members of the media and some very good sports from the DHL Stormers, Juan de Jongh, Nic Groom, Kurt Coleman and Cheslin Kolbe in the bead-off, which was hosted by Smile FM presenter Tracey Lange. It kicked off at noon, after which the participants threaded beads as fast as they could for 33½ minutes. This was then doubled up to see how many they would have threaded in 67 minutes.

The idea behind the timing was that 33½ minutes doubled equals 67 minutes – the number of years Nelson Mandela served this country so selflessly. The halving of the time was not for the sake of the seniors, but for the rugby players, because finger fatigue is a problem for those who aren’t used to threading beads.

Lauren Gillis, co-founder of Relate Bracelets, said: “As the first Mandela Day since Tata Madiba’s passing, we believed it was right to highlight these remarkable seniors who, like Nelson Mandela did, are still contributing so much to their country, their communities and their children and grandchildren.

“Rugby players are some of the most lauded – and physically powerful – people in South Africa society. The fact that they were beaten hands-down in this event demonstrates the power and the value of these senior citizens, and in fact all senior citizens, who, like Tata Madiba did in his golden years, do so much for the society at large.”

The seniors of the IKamva Labantu seniors clubs are the ones who bead the miles and miles of elastic string used to make the Relate Bracelets and in the last four years they’ve threaded more than 50 million beads, which has raised R17.5-million towards investment in earnings and skills training for bracelet-makers, the creation of enterprise development initiatives in South Africa, and funds donated to 56 charitable causes.

When blitz-beader and overall winner Nozolile Mjodo held up her string from the bead-off race to show how much she’d done in 33 ½ minutes, the measurement came to 4.2m. In contrast, the fastest rugby beader Juan de Jongh managed only 1.7m.

A smiling De Jongh told the official DHL Stormers website afterwards: “These ladies… they’re amazing! I have huge respect for their work ethic but also to Relate Bracelets for giving these senior citizens an opportunity like this and for doing so much good with this project.

“For us, as DHL Stormers and Western Province players, it’s just a small way to make a difference and, of course, doing our bit for Mandela Day.”

The Bead Off event was held a few days ahead of Mandela Day this year to inspire others to do their bit on Friday. Every year on July 18, the Nelson Mandela Foundation asks people around the world to devote 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mr Mandela’s public service – to something that helps and serves others. The bead-off enabled everyone involved to do something good and acknowledge the importance of these valuable but often overlooked members of society – our elders.

Most of the 200-odd seniors who thread for Relate Bracelets at Ikamva Labantu’s centres are elderly women who are living on government pensions but support entire families – in numerous cases raising their grandchildren alone. The bracelets, which carry individual pewter ‘R’ beads of authenticity, provide the threaders with extra income. It also gives them an opportunity to get together with other elders of their community and talk, laugh and make connections.

Neil Robinson, COO of Relate Bracelets, said: “In our quest to make a difference and change lives, we make many different bracelets. But the thread running through all the bracelets is the people, mostly senior citizens, who string all the beads at townships around the Western Cape.”

Relate is a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise that creates opportunities to change lives through the making and selling of handmade bracelets. Relate’s uniquely sustainable business model sees approximately one third of bracelet proceeds* donated to specific causes, one third providing earning opportunities and skills training for local bracelet-makers and supporting local enterprise development initiatives, and one third covering material and running costs. (*Approximate portions are based on our wholesale price excluding VAT.)

* Visit www.relate.org.za for more information on Relate Bracelets.

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