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Resilience the mantra as champion women add special touch to IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs













Tried and tested: Katherine Kelly Lang, popularly known as soapie character Brooke Logan, kneeling in front on the right and the Executive Director for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Noxolo Nqwazi at the back on the far right.


Tomorrow (1 September) female triathletes will be lining up to race in the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, hours after Women’s Month came to a close, but the mantra of Women of Resilience will ring true long after the race.

Some might even say that every single competitor emerged as a winner, including a resilient organising team of distinctive females from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

From Katherine Kelly Lang, a triathlete and actress known for her role as Brooke Logan of Bold and the Beautiful, visionary women unified under Women for Tri, world-class triathletes to Noxolo Nqwazi, municipal Executive Director for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, are providing a fitting end to Women’s Month.

Nqwazi, assisted by Rebecca Gatang’i (Project Manager), Charmaine Williams (Director of Sport), Kithi Ngesi (Director of Beaches and Resorts) and Mandlakazi Skefile (CEO: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism) managed the bidding process from 2016 for the hosting of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

These hard-working professional women were later joined by the livewire Metro Police Chief Yolande Faro, who already made a name for herself as an inspirational leader and efficient commander. Faro and her team’s effort play a pivotal role in the hosting of the event.

Lang, an ambassador for Women for Tri, facilitated a panel discussion themed Women of Resilience at the Dolphin’s Leap today. South African professional triathlete Jeanni Seymour’s story stood out amongst that of the star-studded female panel.

Originally from Johannesburg, Seymour conveyed her story of grit and determination.

"I left for the USA where the best triathletes are, to test my skills against them. I had to do dog-walking and other menial jobs to stay afloat. After a while I got an American coach and a sponsor.

"Without money it is a difficult route to take, but luckily my parents were open-minded and allowed me to follow my dream. I would not have been here if it was not for them. Now, I am competing in a World Championship race in my home country,” she said.

Nqwazi’s road to this major spectacle also came with an exhaustive character test.

"We had several changes in government since submitting the bid in May 2016 and managed to oust Nice (France) and Budapest (Hungary) after a shortlisting process in September that year.

"Although we hosted the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship for more than a decade, strategic planning was done in all earnest, as we knew this event is on a much larger scale than the continental event.”

"I managed to pull through thanks to the women surrounding me,” Nqwazi added.

The 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is the second jewel in the Ironman World Championship crown with the full Ironman taking place in Kona, Hawaii.

Women for Tri, an organisation that supports triathlon clubs globally, donated US $2 500 to local tri-club Ketsh Up, an initiative aimed at improving the participation of local women in triathlon.

At the end of the discussion one message stood out clearly. It is not just about triathlon; it is about the challenges participants overcame through their resilience in the sport.

A fitting end to Women’s Month activities.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (041 506 1500 / 082 780 2726 / kbaron@mandelametro.gov.za/ @kupidobaron).

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