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18 Jul 2013

This newsletter is filled with great pride and gratitude - pride for what our boys are achieving and gratitude to all that make such a special program - the continuous hard work and generosity is truly helping our kids in broadening their horizons and achieving dreams while having fun!

"Half" goodbyes & hello

It's with mixed emotions that the family said good bye to Ange at the beginning of the month!  We are so happy and excited for her as she follows love and new adventures in moving to the UK but we are extremely sad as Ange has worked tirelessly, with great passion and unwavering dedication to bring to where we are today. The great news is that although from further afield, Ange  is not lost to us and will continue being involved in contributing with her wealth of experience and enthusiasm. In Ange's own words "You are by no means losing me forever…. I look forward to figuring out how I can help make songo more global while still offering support locally."

I am very excited to introduce myself, Kathy Crabbe as General Manager at The growth of the organisation has created the opportunity for myself to be brought on board in a full time basis and I look forward to playing my part in ensuring that big bold dreams and opportunities are opened up for not only the kids in Kayamandi but further reaching.


A little bit about me…

Holding a diploma in Advertising & Marketing Communications Management, I spent over 10 years in the Advertising & Communications industry, working on diverse accounts including FMCG, Retail and Financial Institutions. Following my passion for brand building, I found myself at brandhouse, one of the leading premium alcoholic drinks companies in South Africa, where I have held the position of Heineken Brand Manager and more recently Brand Manager of the Primary Whisky Portfolio.

My dream has always been to be in the fortunate position to do something that combines my passion for brand building & sport that I love, with the opportunity to contribute to making a real difference in South Africa.

With the foundations firmly in place, my vision for Songo is that we continue growing it from strength to strength with my key focus being to ensure sustainability. Having witnessed the amazing work and successes has achieved over the years, I am truly honoured and proud to become a part of a very special team of people within an organisation which has an immense amount of soul.

SA Marathon Champs - Sipho’s adventures

At the end of May, Ange took Sipho across South Africa to the town of Hazyview to race in SA Champs. This followed his outstanding results at the Tulbagh and Wellington MTN National MTB Series where he is truly showing his talent as a young endurance racer. While it was a grueling race in blistering heat and intense humidity, we are extremely proud of this young man's great tenacity and determination. The race offered a great opportunity to gain critical experience in tough long distance racing conditions. All this experience will be pivotal for when he takes on the Cape Bridge Pioneer with Oli Munnik in October this year - thanks to the fantastic support of Nizaam and his team from Asrin. 

All that have crossed his path will agree that Sipho is a very special young man. Not only is he the most dedicated and committed racer, he spends all his free time giving back to others in the program from coaching the young guys providing mentorship and support, to helping out girls learn how to ride a bike and build fitness. 

With Hazyview being located near the border of the famous Kruger National Park, it meant that we could share a little of some of South Africa's treasures with Sipho. An early morning game drive with amazing animal sightings as well as the opportunity to meet the majestic African Elephants at the Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary made for a fantastic trip. A week before we left for SA Champs Sipho had no idea that such a place called the Kruger National Park existed - we were so pleased that we could enrich his experience through seeing our incredible indigenous animals in their wild and natural habitat! Without all unwavering support of our sponsors, sharing these experiences with our kids would not be possible.

BMX Nationals - PMB

At the end of last month, Songo and 4 of our very excited BMX'ers (Zola, Songezo, Kamvalethu, Sikhumbule) set out on their adventure to Pietermaritzburg to take part in the BMX National Competition. The boys had great fun and got the opportunity to see the varying South African landscape.

On Friday the boys went for a leg stretch and practice which gave them the opportunity to get acquainted with the track which was a lot bigger than what they are used to back at home.

Saturday morning, the boys got into the swing of things, having great fun and racing well with Zola taking gold & Songezo taking bronze in the age group 16yrs+. Not to be outdone, Kamvalethu took silver with Sikhumbule finishing in 4th in the 13 yrs+ age group.

Sunday's Provincials competition brought a new level of nervous excitement and the boys did us extremely proud with all the boys giving their best and racing like champs! Zola finished in 1st followed by Songezo in 2nd in the semifinals but unfortunately both crashed in the finals. Kamvalethu took a clean win in the finals of the 13yrs+ age group followed by Sikhumbile in 4th.

In Songo's words "The boys made me very proud! They've made lots of friends and they had lots of fun. Thank you all for the great support, the kids were so grateful and did not want to come back as they were having a great time."

A huge thank you to all who made this trip possible, the boys had a great adventure with the opportunity for them to broaden their horizons, compete and have fun! Without your support this would not have been possible!

We'll be sure to keep you posted on the boys next adventure to Johannesburg for BMX Nationals taking place on the 21-22 September.

Dreams coming true - Theo to represent South Africa!

We are extremely proud to announce that Theo Ngubane, our Downhill warrior, has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, taking place in Pietermaritzburg  from 26 August to 1 September.  Theo will be competing in the junior men DHI category.

Theo's hard work and dedication is something to be admired and we look forward to supporting him leading up to Champs as well as being his loudest supporters on the sidelines!

A huge thank you to Chris Nixon and Pieter Du Toit for all the support you give to Theo as well as all the other special people who have played part in coaching, mentoring and inspiring Theo to reach for his dreams!

Please join the team in wishing Ange all the best in her new adventures & please feel free to contact me at any time relating to .