Karkloof Country Club | New Sponsor Comes On Board

by | May 7, 2024 | Press Releases

Karkloof – South Africa’s top-ranked trail park received a major boost this week with the announcement that Karkloof Country Club has signed a three-year agreement and will now be known as the Absa Karkloof Country Club.

The Absa Karkloof Country Club trail network has twice been voted among the best trails in South Africa by Tread Magazine, and later this month will be hosting the SA Marathon Championships, the country’s premier mountain bike championships, as part of the 30th Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival on May 25-26.

The extensive trail network is one of the country’s oldest and the wide variety of routes has been developed to become a favourite with the hard-core racers as well as the leisure users who are looking for recreational riding and running or walking. The trails include easy routes for weekend walkers up to extreme technical sections used for enduro and downhill mountain biking events.

The Sappi Karkloof Classic, which began in the mid 1990s, was one of the earliest major mountain bike races in the country. It has grown to incorporate a trail running element into what is now a trail festival of eight events over two days, ranging from the 85km SA MTB Marathon Champs for the country’s top elite riders, to a 9km fun trail run for recreational runners and walkers.

Karkloof Country Club | New Sponsor Comes On Board

The new Absa deal is however not only aimed at providing more and better options for mountain bikers, trail runners and walkers who use the trails regularly. Absa has also committed its support to surrounding communities.

“Prior to formalising our partnership agreement, Absa has proudly leveraged the outstanding amenities and trails of Karkloof Country Club since 2022, serving as the Team Absa Training Camp for the annual Absa Cape Epic mountain-bike race”, says Daniel Munslow, Managing Executive of Group Communications at Absa. “This partnership has been growing from strength to strength and the new three-year agreement affords us the opportunity to further uplift the communities in which we operate.

“Our cycling events, such as the Team Absa Training Camp, are more than sporting calendar days. It’s an opportunity to support the local community, business owners and farmers in the region.”

“During the 2024 training camp activities, Absa provided upgrades and refurbishments at Yarrow Intermediate School,” adds Munslow. “This is the same school where Absa donated a stationary Absa Bus, now transformed into a library capable of simultaneously accommodating up to 60 children from Grade R to Grade 7. We pride ourselves on empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together … one story at a time, by contributing to the success of our country’s literacy rate.”

Andrew Nicholson, Chairman of the Absa Karkloof Country Club, is delighted with the new partnership.

“We are extremely excited about the new partnership, which will allow us to continue to expand the incredible work we already do in the community. The club now employs 18 local full-time staff members, as well as two teachers at the Early Childhood Development Centre and a local school.

“Our schools programme has expanded to provide additional support to the Yarrow School, in support of Absa’s efforts. Several development plans are on the cards for this year at the club and this process has been significantly enhanced by Absa’s partnership.”

“We look forward to the next three years, as our new partnership with Absa is going to change people’s lives in our community,” concludes Nicholson.

The Sappi Karkloof Classic Festival takes place on May 25-26 with Saturday’s action focused on trail running with 21km and 9km events, while Sunday sees five MTB races and a fun trail run.

The 85km MTB is reserved solely for all elite riders and sub vet and veteran men’s mountain bikers competing in the South African MTB Marathon Championships. The 60km and 40km events include the SA Championship events for various age groups from youth to grand-masters, while the 20km caters for nippers, sprogs and sub-juniors in a non-championship capacity. Sunday’s schedule of events also includes a 10km fun ride and 9km fun trail run. E-bikes can enter all MTB events up to 60km but will not be permitted in any championship or racing batches.

Karkloof Country Club | New Sponsor Comes On Board

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