BATTLE OF THE SPORTS Challenge

The BrightRock Battle of the Sports event will see 12 of Mzansi’s leading cricket, rugby, running and soccer icons, 3 per team, as well as expedition-leader, Erik Vermeulen, go head- to-head in an all-out 200km endurance race against time – unassisted, unsupported and challenged by an expedition clock that never stops – on the dry salt pans of the Verneukpan in the Northern Cape. The entire event is being staged with these iconic sportsmen and woman to inspire others, through this event to raise funds for “COVID CARE AND CRITICAL TREATMENT”.

We are challenging every sports icon – national, provincial or amateurs from every sport possible, as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life, sports fans and corporates – whether in South Africa or across the globe – to engage in any form of physical activity and to be part of the BrightRock Battle of the Sports event which our sports icons are participating in, on the Verneukpan.

RACE of a lifetime

UNSUPPORTED and unassisted

4

Per Team

200

KM

4

Days Per Trek

The Crossings

1

06 – 09
September

Team Rugby

2

17 – 20
September

Team Running

3

28 – 02
SEP/OCT

Team Soccer

4

09 – 12
October

Team Cricket

TEAM RUGBY

#TeamRugby:  John Smit, Schalk Brits, Hanyani Shimange and Butch James first to take on the 200km challenge around the Verneukpan, Northern Cape and aim to settle a solid defendable time against the three teams to follow

JOHN SMIT

50th captain of the Springboks / Played a record 46 consecutive games for SA / At retirement, most capped South African player/ At retirement, most capped captain

SCHALK BRITS

Played in 2015 & 2019 Rugby World Cup squads / 15 Tests for the Springboks between 2008 – 2019 / 216 games for Saracens between 2006 – 2018

HANYANI SHIMANGE

Springboks debut in 2004 / 9 tests for the Springboks / Played for the Sharks, Free State Cheetahs and Western Province in the Currie Cup

Butch James

Andrew David “Butch” James is a former South African union rugby player who represented South Africa 40 times and was a member of the team that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

TEAM RUNNING

#TeamRunning: Bongmusa Mthembu, Jenna Challenor, David Gatebe and Bruce Fordyce aim to set a record breaking 200km pulling a cart, in order to inspire millions to raise money for Covid care and critical treatment.

DAVID GATEBE

Broke down-run record at the 2016 Comrades Marathon/ Won 2016 Comrades Marathon / 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon

BONGMUSA MTHEMBU

3-time Comrades Marathon winner / Two Oceans Marathon winner / 2nd and 3rd at the IAU 100km World Championships

JENNA CHALLENOR

2 x Two Oceans Gold Medalist/ Represented SA in 2014 & 2017 IAAF/ 2019 Comrades Gold Medalist

Bruce Fordyce

Bruce Noel Stevenson Fordyce (Born 3 December 1955 in Hong Kong) in a South Africa marathon and ultra-marathon runner athlete.

TEAM SOCCER

#TeamSoccer: Siyabonga Nomvethe, Matthew Booth, Teko Modise, Neil Tovey take on the 200km challenge to raise funds for vulnerable populations and defend soccer’s honour in the BrightRock #BattleoftheSports.

SIYABONGA NOMVETHE

Represented SA in 81 games / Played in 2 Soccer World Cups / Highest all-time goal scorer in PSL

MATTHEW BOOTH

Played 28 matched for Bafana Bafana including the 2010 World Cup / Captained the SA U23 Team at the 2000 Olympics / Played for Cape Town Spurs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town

TEKO MODISE

66 appearances for South Africa / Represented SA at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations / 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup / 2010 FIFA World Cup tournaments

Neil Tovey

Neil Robert Tovey (born 2 July 1962) is a South African football coach and former player, and brother of former footballer Mark Tovey.

TEAM CRICKET

#TeamCricket: Makhaya Ntini, Lance Klusener, Monde Zondeki and Jonty Rhodes are competing for the BrightRock #BattleoftheSports glory to prove that cricket has what it takes to finish this grueling race and to raise funds in support of Covid relief.

MAKHAYA NTINI

Third South African bowler to take 300 test wickets / Second place in the ICC Test match bowling ratings / First South African to take 10 wickets at Lord’s

LANCE KLUSENER

1999 World Cup – Man of the Tournament / Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000 / One of the best & most feared allrounders in world OD

MONDE ZONDEKI

Leading wicket-taker in the 2007–08 South African season / Played five Tests and seven ODI’s for South Africa / Played three One Day Internationals for the African X

Jonty Rhodes

Jonathan Neil Rhodes (Jonty) is a South Africa cricket commentator and former Test and One Day International cricketer.

TEAM LEADER

ERIK
Vermeulen

Erik Vermeulen, adventurer, explorer, endurance athlete and BrightRock Battle of the Sports expedition leader, has summited and guided teams to some of the world’s highest mountains, including Aconcagua (6965m), the second highest of the 7 summits.

 

He pioneered, the Munga Trail, a 400km trail run that is featured by Runners World International as one of the toughest races on the planet.

The Route

The Battle of the Sports takes place on the desolate and flat Verneukpan in the
Northern Cape. It is approximately 53km long and 11km wide and found its place in
automotive history in 1926 when Sir Malcolm Campbell attempted to break the land speed record in his dragster named Blue Bird.
Teams will have to battle not only the geography, but also weather conditions that vary
from severe heat to bitter cold – typical desert conditions, amplified by the almost
incessant daytime winds. The pan is completely flat meaning that there will be no respite for tired muscles.
Teams will start at the North Western corner and complete an anti-clockwise trek before finishing where they started. The route zig-zags to avoid fences.

BATTLE OF THE SPORTS CHALLENGE

HOW DO YOU GET INVOLVED?

Decide what physical activity you want to do in support of the BrightRock Battle of the Sports event on the Verneukpan. Any physical activity of any duration will be accepted.

  • Go to www.battleofthesports.co.za to enter and donate.
  • Film your event/s – you can do more than one and upload them onto our social pages.
  • Use the hashtag #battleofthesportschallenge #lovechange when posting to your social media platforms and tag:
  • Challenge as many friends, corporates or schools as possible by tagging the name of those you want to challenge

 

TITLE PARTNER
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EVENT PARTNERS
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EVENT PARTNERS
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PRODUCT SUPPLIERS
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Northern Cape Tourism Authority

The Northern Cape is South Africa's largest province and a must-see destination, whether you prefer the ocean, the desert, the bush or quirky towns rich in history and culture. The Northern Cape is an authentic leisure tourist and competitive business
events destination that offers value-for-money tourism experiences.
Visit www.experiencenortherncape.com for more information.

Biogen

The Biogen brand was founded in 2004 and is now one of the premium wellness brands in South Africa. For well over a decade now, they have taken great pride in offering consumers high quality vitamin and supplement products across a wide range of categories: Well Range | Platinum Range | Core Muscle Range | Slim Fit Range | Black
Range | Perform X Range | Competitive Athletes | Halaal Friendly
Biogen are a product sponsor for the event taking great pride in offering all our teams nutritional support for this gruelling 200km race.  Visit Biogen for more
information. https://www.biogen.co.za/

Monate Coffee

Monate Coffee is a proudly South African owned brand dedicated to supplying teams and crew with authentic African coffee with a Purpose.  Visit their website for more information www.monatecoffee.com

NATUREHIKE AFRICA

Gearing up for the outdoors can be both expensive and daunting. That’s why Naturehike Africa sells a wide range of quality hiking and camping products at affordable prices, so you can become the adventurer you’ve always known you were.
Naturehike Africa sponsored all technical hiking and camping products for the BrightRock Battle of the Sports event. The extensive range included duffel bags, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, cooking utensils, water bottles, walking poles, head lamps, anti UV dry hats and quick dry bath towels. Visit https://www.naturehike.co.za

XCO

XCO first started out as a retail store in 1987. Today, more than 30 years later, they have a proven track record of supplying schools, corporate clients, tertiary institutions, government departments and top athletes. Their offering compromises of corporate wear, promotional items, exposure, workwear, sport team wear and equipment. The online catalogue contains more than 230 000 products and 130 brands. XCO’s manufacturing, printing and embroidery units enable them to control the turnaround time as well as the quality of products.
XCO have sponsored and provided technical clothing and apparell for the teams and crew ranging from Puffer jackets, short sleeve t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, buffs, shorts and long pants. Visit https://xco.co.za

Land Rover Centurion

Land Rover Centurion are the official vehicle sponsor for the BrightRock Battle of the Sports and have provided Land Rover Discovery and Land Rover Sport vehicles for the duration of the event from 6 September to 12 October.
As one of the leading franchised retailer groups in South Arica, partnering many of the world's best brands including, Ford, Mazda, Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, and a wide range of approved used cars from most major car manufacturers, we're passionate about ensuring our customers come first, every time.
Even after you drive away, they are with you for every step of your car's journey by providing tailored aftersales services, including servicing and even accident repair. All work is carried out by their highly skilled and professional technicians using manufacturer approved parts. Visit https://www.laz.co.za/land-rover

Fireblade Aviation

Fireblade Aviation is a world-class facility for business aviation at O.R. Tambo International Airport providing the BrightRock Battle of the Sports event with air charter return services from Johannesburg to Kenhardt, Northern Cape.

Fireblade Aviation is an independently owned, state-of-the-art luxury Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at O.R. Tambo International Airport. As a purpose-built facility, they offer a seamless passenger and aircraft handling service for corporate and business flights. In addition to their full services terminal, they offer a charter division that caters to every client’s needs. Expect only the best. Visit https://www.firebladeaviation.com

Brightrock

BrightRock operates in the South African life insurance market, offering clients and their financial advisers, unique solutions that better meet their needs. BrightRock’s world-first, needs-matched individual risk product precisely matches each client’s specific needs on
day one of their policy, and over time. By dynamically shaping the trajectory of a client’s cover over time to match their changing needs, BrightRock eliminates waste and inefficiency, delivering significantly more cover for the same premium (up to 40%, on average). It also operates in the group risk market, where it has extended its proprietary needs-matched product design to employee benefits. In the life assistance market, BrightRock partners with large funeral parlour businesses around South Africa, providing underwriting management and other insurance services. BrightRock Life Ltd is an authorised financial services provider and registered insurer. Visit
https://www.brightrock.co.za

Jonty Rhodes

Jonathan Neil Rhodes (Jonty) is a South Africa cricket commentator and former Test and One Day International cricketer. He is considered the greatest fielder of all time. He played for the South African cricket team between 1992 and 2003. Rhodes scored his first Test century during the first Test of a three match series against Sri Lanka at Moratuwa during the 1993-1994 season. Batting on the last day, Rhodes scored 101 not out and along with Clive Eksteen salvaged a draw. South Africa went on to win the series 1-0 by winning the second match and drawing the third. Rhodes is currently working as a fielding coach in the IPL.

MONDE ZONDEKI

Monde is a fast bowler with his best International return being 6/39. In his first Test, against England in 2003, injury restricted his bowling to just a few overs, but he hit 59 in the first innings and put on 150 for the eighth wicket with Gary Kirsten. In his second Test, he took 3 for 66 and 6 for 39 being named Player of the Match. He was the leading wicket-taker in the 2007–08 South African season, with 62 wickets at 19.17.

LANCE KLUSENER

Nicknamed “Zulu” because of his fluency in the language, Lance was regarded as one of the best & most feared allrounders in world ODI. He played in 171 ODI’s scoring 3,576 runs and taking 192 wickets. He was voted Man of the Tournament at the 1999 World Cup. He was also voted as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000. He also played in 49 Test’s making 1,906 runs and taking 80 wickets. He currently coaches Afghanistan.

 

MAKHAYA NTINI

Makhaya was the first black player to play for the Proteas & reached 2nd place in the ICC Test bowling rankings and was the third South African cricketer to take 300 Test wickets. He played in 101 Tests, taking 390 wickets, 173 ODI’s, taking 266 wickets. Voted as SA’s most favourite sportsman in 2006 & 2007, he played his 100th Test on 17 December 2009, becoming the only black South African cricketer to reach that mark.

Neil Tovey

Neil Robert Tovey (born 2 July 1962) is a South African football coach and former player, and brother of former footballer Mark Tovey. He was born I Pretoria and holds the record for the most appearances in the National Soccer League. He made 174 appearances for Durban City, 117 appearances for AmaZulu and 341 appearances for Kaizer Chiefs. Neil currently holds the position of technical director of the South African team, a position he has held since 2015.

TEKO MODISE

Regarded as one of the greatest PSL players of the modern era, he won 2 PSL Footballer of the Year Awards. Teko is known as “The General” for his ability to direct play. He has won no fewer than six trophies, including two PSL titles, the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup – all while playing for Mamelodi Sundowns. He made 66 appearances (fastest to reach 50 caps) for Bafana Bafana, scoring 10 goals.

MATTHEW BOOTH

Played for Cape Town Spurs (92 caps), Mamelodi Sundowns (152 caps), Ajax Cape Town (40 caps) & Wits (19 caps). Captained the SA U23 Team at the 2000 Olympics & played 28 matches for Bafana Bafana, including 2010 World Cup, as a defender. He also played in Russia between 2002 – 2008. This 2m tall legend, who was a vital player against tall opponents, was greeted by fans with the familiar “BOOOOOOOOTH” chant.

 

SIYABONGA NOMVETHE

Siyabonga has played for Kaiser Chiefs (79 caps), Orlando Pirates (14 caps), Moroka Swallows (149 caps) & AmaZulu (70 caps) as well as 4 European Clubs between 2001 – 2009). He is the highest PSL goal scorer (138 goals) & has represented SA in 81 games scoring 16 goals. He played in both the 2002 and 2010 FIFA SWC Tournaments & scored SA’s only goal at the 2002 SWC.

 

Bruce Fordyce:

Bruce Noel Stevenson Fordyce (Born 3 December 1955 in Hong Kong) in a South Africa marathon and ultra-marathon runner athlete. He is best known for having won the South African Comrades Marathon a record nine times, of which eight wins were consecutive. He also won the London to Brighton Ultramarathon three years in a row. He is the former record holder over miles and the former record holder over 100km.

JENNA CHALLENOR

Jenna represented SA at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen (Denmark) and again at the IAAF in 2017 in London (UK). In April 2017, Jenna made her ultra marathon debut at the Two Oceans and was the first SA athlete to finish in an incredible 2nd place. She picked up another Gold at the Two Oceans for 5th position in 2019. She is also a 2019 Comrades Gold Medalist.

 

BONGMUSA MTHEMBU

He is a 3-time Comrades winner (2014, 2017 and 2018) and an 8-time gold medal winner, finishing in the top 10 between 2009 and 2019. In 2019 he added to his racing honours by winning the Two Oceans Marathon.
Mthembu finished 2nd and 3rd at the World 100km Championships in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

 

DAVID GATEBE

David stormed to victory in the 2016 Comrades Marathon in a new down-run course record time of 5hrs 18min & 13sec’s, breaking Leonid Shvetzov’s 9-year record & having already cemented his place as one of SA’s top Ultra Marathon runners after winning the Two Oceans marathon in 2013. He also won the 2008 SA 42,2km Marathon Championship in Durban.

BUTCH JAMES

Andrew David “Butch” James is a former South African union rugby player who represented South Africa 40 times and was a member of the team that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup. An inspirational fly-half, he helped to nullify the influence of Jonny Wilkinson, England’s danger man, in the Rugby World Cup final in Paris, which the Springboks won 15-6.

HANYANI SHIMANGE

Hanyani made his Springbok debut in 2004 and played 9 tests before retiring from rugby in 2010. He has represented the Sharks, Cheetahs, Stormers and SA “A”. While his default position is hooker, he also has a Test cap at Flank. He has a total of 82 caps for the various teams in which he’s played. He has coached at the highest level of the sport and today he is a very popular and well-liked SuperSport rugby analyst.

SCHALK BRITS

Schalk was part of the RWC 2019 winning Springbok team during which he Captained the team in their match against Namibia playing 8th Man and scoring a try.
He played in 15 Tests for the Springboks between 2008 – 2019 as hooker scoring 3 tries, and 216 games for Saracens between 2006 – 2018 scoring 185 points. Schalk also played for Western Province and the Stormers

ERIK
VERMEULEN

Erik Vermeulen is a Behavioural Strategist by day, but when he’s not consulting, he is an adventurer and explorer. He has summited some of the world’s highest mountains, and taken his mountain bike to places like Tibet and to Everest base camp. In 2018 he lead a 15 year-old to the summit of Aconcagua (6965m), the second highest of the 7 Summits. As an adventure sport athlete, he has been asked to lead national teams in the Raid Gauloises in 1996, then the world’s premier Expedition Race.

Erik is an avid multisport endurance athlete who is drawn to explore the outdoors and test human potential along the way. He is a partner in The Munga, a crazy 1060km single stage MTB race traversing some of the toughest terrain south of the equator. He pioneered, and Directs, The Munga Trail, a 400km trail run that is featured by Runners World International as one of the toughest races on the planet. As a partner in Xplore, the business facilitates and leads other expeditions on foot and on MTB to extreme and oftentimes inhospitable corners of the world. In June 2018, Erik launched 7.2º, an ambitious project to reach both North and South Poles & all 7 Summits (the highest peaks on each continent) in a world
record breaking time of less than 138 days.

In 2017 Erik anchored the media coverage of the men’s team who set a new South African 9 Peaks record – summiting the highest peak in each of SA’s 9 provinces in a new record time which meant completing the challenge with the team. In 2018 he lead a Mixed Team on the same attempt but was pulled off the attempt by them medical team with pneumonia..

John Smit

ohn captained the Springbok’s to victory in the 2007 World Cup in France, as well as to victories over the British & Irish Lions and the Tri-Nations in 2009. He led the Springboks to victory in 46 of 64 games and is South Africa’s most capped captain. He has anchored the Springboks’ scrum more times than any other player and also appeared in a record 46 consecutive Test matches between 2003 - 2007. John was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011.