Kevin Evans to race in Durbanville

strong international contingent will compete for top honours at the African Continental Mountain Bike Championships, in Durbanville, Cape Town, from Saturday.

The lineup includes riders from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Mauritius, and a competitive team from hosts South Africa.

South Africa will have at least 30 participants each in the men’s junior, under-23 and youth classes. The junior women’s group is the largest to date, at 15 riders.

On Saturday, 209 South African riders will compete in the XCO.

Max Knox and Kevin Evans line up with the Elite men for fast and furious short-course racing on a revamped track at the Willowbridge shopping centre.

Local Mariske Strauss has set herself a high target in her first year as an Elite.
“I am super excited about the race, but being in a new class I am just taking it as it comes,” she said.

“My coach Jeroen [Swart] is a great mentor. The track has a few more new jumps this year, and the technical standard has certainly been lifted in preparation for a technical World Championship track later this year in Norway.”

The junior women start at 11am, followed by elite women (12.30pm), under-23 women (12.35pm), junior men (2pm), elite men (3.15pm) and under-23 men (3.20pm).

On Sunday, the downhill competitors race their final runs in a contest for the African Championship title at Contermanskloof, on the outskirts of Durbanville.

– Sapa
– See more at: •



Monday 3rd February 2014
– Downton Abbey : Series 4 ( Part 1 of 8 )
February 1922 : Six months later
Lord Grantham and Tom Branson disagree over
the management of the estate
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Tuesday 4th February 2014
– Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 5th February 2014
– Magic, Medicine & Madness on the
Antarctic Peninsula
Dr. Joan Louwrens relates her latest saga of
working as a doctor in the Antarctic
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Wednesday 5th February 2014
– U3A Plett Social Bridge Club
General lessons for improving players, help
and supervised Bridge in a friendly atmosphere
13H45 at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator: Michael Webb 082-226-7280

Friday 7th February 2014
– French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 7th February 2014
– Mah Jong
Learn and play this ancient and fascinating game
14H00 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Amelia White 044-533-0113


“I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.” Walter Chrysler

It is easy to dismiss the above quote from the founder of the Chrysler motor corporation because you believe that your work is uninspiring. Before reaching that conclusion take time to observe others at work.

When attending to necessary but mundane tasks whether at an institution with notoriously long queues, or at check out points in stores, it is a win to be served by the person that seems to enjoy interacting with the people that they are serving. Many of you have no doubt been in a queue where a reluctant worker seems to take pleasure out of prolonging the interaction with each customer. You begin silently hoping that you will not have to suffer the apparent indignity of being harassed by a person who seems to begrudge the sun having risen that morning.

Similarly there are those people that take delight in being as efficient and friendly as possible while carrying out their work. They smile and seem to be eager to assist in resolving matters efficiently and cheerfully. People who have the good fortune to be served in this manner quickly forget the long wait and leave the interaction feeling uplifted.

In each situation the person who really gains at the end of each day s the person that is cheerful and enthusiastic – a personal choice. No matter how mundane a job may be the satisfaction that you derive comes from HOW you do the job, not what job you do.

People blessed with pursuing their ideal career or calling feel as burnt out and frustrated as anyone else if their attitude is not one of enthusiasm and excitement. We all have bad days when it is a challenge to maintain high levels of work satisfaction, however it is what we believe that decides how effective and content we are.

The power of being passionate about what you do is that regardless of the financial reward you receive, the promotions or other external benefit that come your way; the true value of enthusiasm is to live each day with a sense of purpose, peace and joy that only a job well done can bring. •

Dog Obedience Training – Is It What Your Dog Needs?

Are you getting disheartened because your dog jumps up on people when you are visiting your friends? Can’t understand why your dog runs away from you at the park while everyone else’s obediently comes back? The hard truth is that your dog may require obedience training. Obedience training is a simple, effective and enjoyable activity to undertake if you have the right demeanor and a lot of patience.

The basics of dog obedience training are teaching your dog to sit, stay, come, heel, and roll over. These basic training commands will be extremely beneficial to you later on in your dog’s life. When you go out with your dog you don’t want him to be running wild in the street, you want to show him off for the great dog that he is! Dog obedience training can be achieved in a matter of weeks with the right attention, dedication and patience.

There are many different obedience classes available. So, if you can’t instruct your dog by yourself there are plenty of professionals willing to help. If you go with professional training will you be training your dog as well as socializing him with other dogs. Dogs are kind of like children to an extent, except with a lot of fur! In other words, they need to be taught the difference between right and wrong.

I always find that treats are a great method of dog obedience training. You simply award them with a special treat when they have done something you have asked them to do. If they don’t respond, they don’t receive a treat. There is no point in yelling at your dog as he will only become wary of you and you don’t want that. You want to form a happy, loving relationship with him. After all, a dog is a man’s best friend!

When teaching your dog obedience try and keep him away from distractions (like toys), and take him to an empty field or park where there aren’t many people. The ideal surroundings will be only you and him. Tell him firmly but nicely that you want him to sit, then take your hand and place it on his back and gently guide his bottom down. When he is sitting down say “sit”, and tell him he’s a good boy and then present him with a treat. Repeating this over and over again will make him realize that when you say “sit”, you mean for him to sit. When he gets rewarded, soon enough he will know to sit when you tell him to and the treats will no longer be necessary.

Getting him to stay is a completely different matter. You’ll probably need another person to help you with that. Get him to sit (now that he has learned how), and get a friend to hold him. Walk away from him slowly while telling him to “stay”, and using your hand hold it up firmly (doing this will make him understand that when you hold your hand up in the future you want him to stay as well, not just when you instruct him to). Then, give it a few seconds and let your friend release him. When he comes to you, make him sit and tell him how awesome he is! Don’t forget to reward him! While using this technique you are also teaching your dog how to come to you as well. Don’t forget to say the word “come” to him, not just his name.

When dogs are born they are like soft putty, they need to be molded and shaped. You can teach your dog from any age, but the younger you start the easier it will be. Remember, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, they just might be a little slower to learn! •


Myths and Misconceptions: Muscle Soreness

There is a common misconception that muscle soreness through exercise is inevitable and necessary to see results. For many, soreness acts as an indicator of a great workout. But this is a shortsighted view of exercise benefits and can have detrimental effects in the long run. To clarify, this is not about the minor muscle stiffness that can be felt the day after a workout. This is about excessive soreness—the kind of soreness that lasts for a few days, has you avoiding stairs and dreading everyday activities such as putting on pants, getting in and out of a car, and even sneezing. Some people actually strive to experience this. And while a little soreness is safe and may motivate even the most sensitive among us, when it crosses the line toward debilitating movement, your body is telling you that you went too far.

The Science In short, all muscle soreness is a result of microscopic tears that take place through workouts, followed by swelling as part of therepair and rebuilding process. This may sound like a violent way to treat your body, but it is a necessary process to stimulate changes that improve strength and fitness. But how much is enough? To answer this accurately, lets look at the available research and remove any anecdotal biases from the equation.

Cause and EffectMany people argue in favor of soreness because they have experienced positive results and associate soreness with the results. But soreness does not necessarily equate with a cause and effect for the improvements. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that proves soreness gets better results. While there is a lack of research in this specific area, there is no shortage of research indicating that progressive challenges are responsible for improving fitness. The question then becomes, can we progress effectively without soreness? And the answer is a resounding YES.
Consider world-class athletes. No athlete, after falling short in competition, has ever said, “I should have trained to be more sore.” Yes, athletes do sometimes experience sore muscles from training. But it is neither the purpose nor the target of their training. In fact, workouts are often modified for athletes if they are experiencing excessive soreness. The measuring stick used to track success for an athlete has nothing to do with the level of soreness derived from day-to-day training and everything to do with the longer-term outcome of their training program and competition goals. In fact, too much soreness will negatively impact training and competition.

OverloadTo improve fitness, it is true that an “overload” is required. This means you need to apply a challenge that is greater than what your body is accustomed to. However, this “overload” can be applied aggressively or it can be applied gradually. Many assume the more aggressively you overload, the faster you will see results. But the body is more complex than that and pain is its way of telling us to slow down with the overload.

Law of Diminishing Returns Most improvements follow a basic premise of “the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.” However, there is a tipping point that suggests a certain level of extra work does not yield any additional benefits. In short, it means you are working overtime and not getting paid for it. This can be illustrated through the concept of exercise dosage. Much like medical prescriptions, too high of a dose does not provide additional benefits nor increase the speed of benefits. Additionally, repeated “overdosing” can invite negative consequences. Extreme soreness is often just that—an “overdose” to the body. Why it is Important to Avoid Muscle Soreness?The Hot Iron syndrome… Most kids only need to touch a hot iron once. If you simply don’t like to feel pain, soreness is more likely to be a deterrent to exercise, not a motivator. In fact, it may be a subconscious reason it is so difficult to start up or get back to that first workout after a layoff.
Fitness should make everyday life easier, not harder… Extreme soreness naturally alters choices for activity outside of workouts. If your weekly leg workout leaves you feeling sore for three days, and you choose escalators over stairs, it defeats the functional purpose of being more fit.

Tighten up those muscles…This phrase, which is often used to describe a positive outcome, may literally mean “tighten” in this case. Consistent states of soreness can easily reduce range of motion and lead to permanent changes to your movement patterns.

Overtraining and overuse injuries… Overtraining and overuse injuries take time to develop. Unfortunately, by the time they are noticed, you are too deep to reverse the process quickly. Aiming for and achieving soreness week in and week out is inviting either or both.

Distraction from more important goals of exercise…Exercise and fitness success needs to have a far more sophisticated evaluation tool than the level of soreness. By aiming for soreness in the short term, we may be ignoring the true measurements of success for exercise, such as fitness, strength, functionality and longevity, among others.

How to Avoid Muscle Soreness and Still Achieve Great ResultsAvoiding soreness is not the same as avoiding high intensities. High intensities and maximum effort can be reached through sensible and progressive overloading strategies. You just don’t want to start there. Gradual progressions are very effective and are a far more reasonable and comfortable way to improve fitness and reduce short- and long-term risks. This can be accomplished by understanding your current levels of fitness and strength, and applying small and frequent increases in intensities and volume according to where you are now—not the level you someday hope to reach.
Remember, fitness is built. It is not injected. Build it wisely…

Researched By :
Kátia C. Rowlands – PLETT PILATES ; SPINNING & FITNESS STUDIO – 082 513 4256 •


With buyer sentiment growing and more balance, the residential real estate market is on solid, although still somewhat fragile ground as we head into 2014. Given the macro-economic landscape, the market is naturally likely to remain under pressure, but coming off a good year, we anticipate stable conditions and business as usual for buyers and sellers.

Trading conditions in the primary urban sectors of the market over the last year have been at the best levels since the economic down-turn. Provided that the economy remains stable, we anticipate a good year for real estate with buyer sentiment and the willingness to buy continuing to strengthen.

Encouragingly, serious sellers have started heeding the call of real estate professionals to adjust their pricing expectations in line with market dynamics. This has meant that some of the oversupply of stock in the primary urban areas has started clearing with stock shortages becoming a challenge for agents. This in turn paves the way for those looking to sell to get their properties listed and now is indeed an opportune time for serious sellers.
Vital though, if you hope to succeed in selling, is that you understand the prevailing market conditions and work with a credible real estate agent to ensure that your home is priced just right. The economic conditions are simply not conducive to price increases beyond the prevailing modest growth levels that are set to persist this year. Having said this, sellers in many areas are seeing good offers, sometimes even multiple offers and getting closer to their asking prices.
On the whole, the favourable buying conditions will remain and dominate the year. The historically low home loan borrowing costs combined with the flat house price growth will continue to boost home affordability. Prudent though, will be for buyers to shop around and ensure they buy below their means and pay fair market value. Investing a deposit and careful budgeting for the costs of home ownership will, as ever, remain vital.

Visit for more information or contact us on 044 533 0311 or email •

San Park warns of Red tide

Johannesburg – Fishermen must not fish for shellfish and mussels in the Knysna estuary at the moment as a possible red tide is approaching, SA National Parks (SANParks) said on Tuesday.

“Common types of red tide can kill shellfish, abalone, white mussels and black oysters,” said Garden Route National Park Knysna section senior ranger Owen Govender.

“Other blooms can be stored in mussels until they become poisonous if eaten by humans,” he said.
“It is for this reason that we are cautioning against fishing mussels in the estuary until it is safe to do so.”

In a SANParks statement, local estuary expert Prof Brian Allanson said water samples collected from two key points in the estuary confirmed the presence of phytoplankton in the water.

While the low numbers were highly unlikely to cause a bloom, the authorities nonetheless cautioned against fishing there until it was declared safe.

According to Marine and Coastal Management guidelines, phytoplankton are microscopic, single-celled organisms that float in the sea.

One type lay dormant on the seabed until being lifted to the surface, where it germinated. It was associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning, which occurred one to five hours after eating contaminated seafood.

– See more at: •

Two apprehended following separate incidents this week

Two suspects were apprehended in separate incidents and handed over to the local South African Police Service for arrest earlier this week.

At about 22h55 on Sunday 05 January, a resident of Longships Drive, Plettenberg Bay, contacted ADT Security to report an intruder on the premises. Armed Response Officer (ARO) Thembelani Fatuse was dispatched and arrived at the address within three minutes. There he found and apprehended the suspect who still had in his possession tools he had used to tamper with vehicles parked at the property.

On Monday the 06th, ARO Wiseman Mkatali responded to three call-outs from residents of Beacon Isle Crescent and Beachy Head Drive who also reported suspicious persons at their properties. The third call came from a homeowner in Beachy Head Drive at about 23h30; they explained that their security system triggered when the front door was forced open by an intruder who fled with a flat-screen television. Mkatali inspected the premises and it was not long before the ARO found the television – that had been dropped in the garden – and discovered and apprehended the suspect who had hidden in bushes nearby.

“If you suspect there is an intruder on your property, do not go out to investigate or confront them directly because you do not know if they are armed or how many there could be,” said Arno Hattingh, Manager of ADT Security’s Garden Route Branch. “Contact your security company or the police immediately, and provide them with as much detail as you can. If possible, stay on the line with them until help arrives.”

Hattingh added that even if the intruders have left, it is advisable to remain indoors and only go outside after security officers or the police have arrived and indicated that it is safe to do so.

– See more at: •

How To Identify And Treat Food Intolerances In Dogs

Around 5-10% of dogs are thought to suffer from some form of food allergy or intolerance. The former usually to something that they commonly eat, the latter to new foods.

Common Allergens

The most common allergies are to wheat and surprisingly beef, with other allergens including pork, chicken, dairy, eggs, maize, soya and fish.

It can be difficult to recognize food intolerance in a pet, obviously they can’t tell us how they feel and symptoms are often attributed to minor ailments such as eczema, dermatitis or vomiting. Allergy tests carried out by vets can aid diagnosis, but can be costly.

Symptoms of Food Intolerances

If your pet commonly exhibits any of the following symptoms regularly, you should consult your vet:

• chronic vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea

• failure to gain weight or weight loss

• poor or dull coat

• General lethargy

• Itchy skin, eczema, red, inflamed skin, loss of hair

Once the vet has ruled out common causes of irritation or diarrhoea such as fleas, dermatitis, hay fever, infections or parasites, they will try to pinpoint the main culprit as most food-allergic dogs are hypersensitive to only one or two ingredients. This will be done by an exclusion diet which involves putting the dog on a specialist diet and allowing the dog to eat nothing else. If the symptoms disappear, this indicates that the dog may well have a food allergy. The ordinary food is then reinstated and if symptoms reappear, this confirms that the diet was causing them. The exclusion diet will then be used again but introducing different ingredients until the culprits are found.
Treating Food Allergies

Unfortunately, once identified it can be tricky to treat food allergies as currently pet food manufacturers in the UK are currently not obliged to name actual ingredients and some pet food labels use general terms such as ‘meat by-products’ and ‘cereal or animal derivatives’. You can either feed your dog a homemade diet or luckily there are a few dog food makes ( makes that are designed with food intolerances in mind.

Brands such as Arden Grange ( which contains no beef, dairy, soya, wheat Gluten, artificial colours, artificial preservatives or artificial flavours, James Wellbeloved and Nature Diet are all hypo-allergenic foods designed to be eaten by the most sensitive of dogs and can be obtained from larger pet supply stores.

With a little bit of time your dog will be back to the healthy, happy dog he deserves to be. •


Have You Been Misinformed on Exercise Form?

If you hit the gym regularly—and have friends that do, too—you’ve probably heard a number of tips about how to perform certain exercises to maximize safety and effectiveness—but have you been given the right info? Find out which common cues might not be quite entirely accurate, and learn what tweaks you can make to enhance your fitness experience.


Common Cue: “Keep the back straight.”Enhance Your Form: Allow your torso to lean just slightly forward. Why: A rigid, upright torso during this movement can inadvertently create undue stress in the low back, especially for those of us who spend most of our day in a seated position. Keeping the torso completely vertical causes excessive arching in the back—also referred to as increased lumbar lordosis—especially if you have tight hip flexors. Allowing the torso to learn forward just slightly—similar to your body position as you climb up a flight of stairs—protects your back and better engages your core when performing lunges.

Common Cue: “Hold as long as you can to challenge your core.”Enhance Your Form: Hold the extended position for only seven to eight seconds.Why: This movement is designed to build endurance and effectively train the body how to stabilize the low back during movement, while also providing a great challenge to the abdominal muscles. For this reason, researchers such as Dr. Stuart McGill of the University of Waterloo recommend limiting the hold time in bird-dogto no more than seven to eight seconds and focusing on increasing the number of repetitions to build endurance as opposed to increasing the amount of time you hold the fully extended position.

Lateral Raises

Common Cue: “Open the arms with palms facing the floor.”Enhance Your Form: Turn your thumbs up just slightly.Why: As your arms draw near shoulder level, turning your thumbs slightly upward and slightly externally rotating the shoulders helps reduce the risk for impingement in the shoulder joint. Also, make it a point during lateral raises to keep the wrists in a neural position as you rotate the hand.

Common Cue: “Don’t let the knees go past the toes.”Enhance Your Form: Keep the knees aligned with the second toe.Why: While it is true that you want to avoid excessive forward movement of the knees, depending on your exact build, especially if you have long limbs, it’s very likely—and natural—that your knees may move slightly forward or just beyond the toes. The key to safety and effectiveness when squatting is to aim to keep the knees aligned over your second toe so that the knee is moving in the same direction as the ankle joint. Pair this with initiating the squatting movement by pushing your hips back—what is commonly referred to as a hip hinge—before lowering the body toward the floor, and you’ll reduce the stress on your knees as well.

Researched By :
Kátia C. Rowlands – PLETT PILATES ; SPINNING & FITNESS STUDIO – 082 513 4256 •