Business of Sport

Sports stars raise R280 000

2011-09-23 10:45
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Johannesburg - There was an unusual twist of events during the lunchtime break at the majestic Legend Golf and Safari Resort on the second day of the Vodacom Origins of Golf final. Vodacom Blue Bulls centre Wynand Olivier and lock Flip van der Merwe were invited to “captain” some golf pros in a host of challenges, raising money for the Birdies for Kiddies campaign.

Media personality Dan Nicholl hosted the Power Minute challenges, which tested the players’ balancing abilities, power, accuracy and patience – but in a far more unusual format than in a round of golf or a rugby match.

Two teams – consisting of a rugby personality, two professional golfers and one amateur – raced against the clock in a series of one-off challenges varying in difficulty in a bid to raise as much money as possible. Team one consisted of Wynand Olivier, Jake Redman, Wallie Coetsee and the Managing Executive of Vodacom KZN region, Alberts Breedt. Team two, captained by Flip van der Merwe, was comprised of Braam van der Reep (Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa), Brandon Pieters and day two tournament leader, Trevor Fisher Jnr.

The tasks were divided into team and individual events, with up to R30 000 up for grabs per challenge and ranging from building a golf ball castle in the fastest time, to a club balancing contest. The final challenge saw each player having to hit the ball while on their knees, with the furtherest combined total rewarded with R100 000 for the Birdies for Kiddies campaign. This particular challenge was won by the team of Flip van der Merwe, with them reaching a total of 585 metres. They also claimed the overall prize of R100 000 – resulting in a total donation of R175 000. Wynand, Jake, Wallie and Alberts did not disappoint as they still managed to raise a total of R105 000.

The contest provided a welcome break for 28-year-old Olivier, who scored a try in the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ 28-20 win against Western Province in an Absa Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld recently.

“Hats off to Vodacom and everyone who participated in this Power Minute because it was a laugh-a-minute from start to finish. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to raise funds for the Birdies for Kiddies campaign. I wasn’t very good in the majority of the challenges, but managed to hold my own when it came to having to hit the ball while on my knees.”

Perhaps the most testing task was the ribbon challenge whereby teams tried to snatch the red Vodacom ribbon, which was lodged between a golf tee and a ball, without dropping the ball.

Springbok lock Flip van der Merwe only managed to remove three of the six ribbons, while Olivier removed all six ribbons without displacing one ball.

“It was all in the name of fun, with totally unexpected challenges I might add, but we were just delighted to have won some of the challenges and play a role in raising funds for charity.”

The driving range challenges provided the perfect dose of amusement, barrels of laughter and unpredictability for all in attendance, capped by Vodacom’s announcement that R280 000 had been raised by this Power Minute Challenge.

The professional and amateur golfers are determined to achieve the target of R3.4 million during the tournament, where R1 000 is being donated per birdie.

Flip van der Merwe does his bit for charity


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