2014 Unogwaja Challenge Team Announced

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The 2014 Unogwaja Team Announced

On behalf of the Unogwaja Challenge we salute every single one of you 35 people who have had the courage to step forward to be part of Unogwaja Challenge 2014. This is no small feat and we would like to recognise you all and thank you for your generous contribution to kickstart our 2014 charity campaign. We are embarking on a mission to raise R1million in 2014 and each of your R1,000 donations have shown immense commitment and selflessness.


Applicants included:

1. Stafford Peche (34), of Pretoria
2. Guy “Gayland” Allen (33), of Durban
3. Robert “Brundle” le Brun (24), of Cape Town
4. Josh “McNight” Okoth Ogada (41), of Cape Town
5. Tarryn “Poves” Povey (27), of Cape Town
6. Rene “Renekie” Fourie (30), of London
7. Greg James (49), of Cape Town
8. Gary “Gazza” Bannatyne (32), of Pretoria
9. Mark “Muddy” Ferreira (30), of Cape Town or Johannesburg, “all depends which has the best weather”
10. Nathaniel “Nat” Mabetwa (42), of Johannesburg
11. Sean Paul Jones (aka Jonesy, or The Welshman) (35), of Durban
12. Charles Richard “Zoog” Haynes (36), of Pennington, KZN
13. Trevor “Trelsh” Mills (34), of Pretoria
14. Blake “Deuce” Dyason (26), of Cape Town
15. Fares Gabriel Hadid, (38) of Berlin
16. Bernice October (50), of Cape Town
17. Dean “Dean-O” Brons (30), of Johannesburg
18. Adrian Vincent “Saffdog” Saffy (44), of Bloemfontein
19. Danielle “Dani” Mascher (29), of Cape Town
20. Kim “Mom the Bomb” Stephens (34), of Cape Town
21. Nato Amaral (39), of Sao Paulo, Brazil
22. Xolani “Cup Cake” Hlatshwayo (31), of Johannesburg
23. Daniel Hatfield (36), of Johannesburg
24. David “Savey Wil” Williamson, (33), of the US/Northern Ireland
25. Tiago Mendez Silva Bossa “Pope” Dionisio (39), of Lisbon
26. Rita Morais Costa “The Fighter” Manso (39), of Lisbon
27. Craig John Warr (38), of Pietermaritzburg
28. Alana Jane “Doylie” Doyle (28), of Durban
29. Miguel Antonio “Mig’s” Netto (27), of Cape Town
30. Alan “Beef” Pope (43), of the UK
31. Willem “Wiltril” van der Merwe (37), of Cape Town
32. Andrew-John Spieringshoek (27), of Cape Town
33. Florian Holstein (29), of Nuremberg, Germany
34. Steven “Wingnut” Wolhuter, of Somerset West
35. Emil “Choppies” Viljoen, of Port Elizabeth

After a thorough and deeply moving application and selection process, led admirably by George Eadie and his team, we now have the honour to announce the team of 12 Unogwajas who will be tasked with taking the Unogwaja baton forward and writing the next chapter of this magical story.

Unogwaja Team 2014

Nato Amaral (39)

“The answer is in my heart and, with humility, I am confident that I can help the team to spread the values and mission of Unogwaja to the other side of Atlantic.”

Tiago Dionisio (39)

“Taking part in the Unogwaja Challenge would be a great opportunity to give back my love to the South African people and to experience an unparalleled event around Comrades.”

Blake Dyason (26)

“I am extremely passionate about making a difference, and believe that as long as we have a pulse we are able to make that difference. I want to be part of a selfless team, pushing limits and changing lives.”

Mark Ferreira (30)

“The belief i have seen this challenge give to other people is immeasurable. and I want to be part of that. i want to inspire and guide people to chase a personal dream.”

Rene Fourie (30)

“I feel inspired to be part of such an honorable journey in the country I call home, where my heart is and where we are faced with sunrises and sunsets in our red socks. No doubt this journey will be challenging but in a team, the sky’s the limit!”

Xolani Hlatshwayo (31)

“The challenge would be an opportunity to do something bigger than myself, an opportunity to do something for someone else. I would like to bring a smile on someone else’s face…and the challenge would give me an opportuinity to do so.”

Florian Holstein (29)

“I want to be around those special inspiring people to help them achieve our common dream and share the experience for the rest of our lives. I really love to work hard and help others strive.”

Rita Manso (39)

“In a world dominated by greed and selfishness the Unogwaja Challenge is a light that evidences the power of a special group of people. It would be an honour to be selected to be part of this team that has the power to inspire human beings and companies to act differently.”

Danielle Mascher (29)

“I want to help show as many people as I can, what the hell, why not the whole world, what’s possible if you surround yourself with positivity and happiness, live life the “Red Love Train” way and always GO WITH YOUR HEART!”

Trevor Mills (34)

“The Unogwaja experience is not just an outstanding personal achievement but seeing the faces of the kids on day 10 who benefited from the funds raised thought out the journey left me in awe that a small group of selfless Individuals can change so many lives by just going with their heart.”

Josh Ogada (41)

“I see Unogwaja as an important step on my personal journey. Everyday I wake up a better person than I was the day before. Everyday, I realise that bringing out the best in myself begins with bringing out the best in everyone and everything I touch.”

David Williamson (33)

“I feel compelled to do all in my possible power to spread this story, journey and the message it holds world wide. There is no can’t, there is no following a path because of convention. Take risks, put your heart and soul into and out into the world and enrich your live and the lives of others.”

Non travelling reserves:

Greg James (49)

“I have seen how it inspires people, lifts the human spirit and makes people realise that anything is possible. This a challenge that i would like to be part of to inspire and encourage people from all different walks of life.”

Sean Jones (35)

“The Unogwaja stirs something deep within – I am excited by the combination of the physical challenge and the spiritual journey that begins the day the team is announced. I see the Unogwaja as an opportunity to inspire, to learn, and to give.”

Nathaniel Mabetwa (42)

” Unogwaja appeals to me as it combines the ideals of the conquering spirit that human beings are imbued with at a physical level as well as at a spiritual level. The race speaks to ascending the highest physical levels and to the selflessness of contributing towards making the lives of others better.”

Miguel Netto (27)

“Giving and helping others is something that is very close to my heart! Changing other people’s lives and especially those in need is something which lies very close to my heart and want to do every opportunity I get.”

Tarryn Povey (27)

“The Unogwaja journey is exactly that, a journey. I intend to take in every beautiful, amazing, and possibly sad or painful second if this amazing route and want to share it with as many people as I possibly can.”

Adrian Saffy (44)

“I felt an immediate kinship with the 2013 Unogwaja crew as I was privileged to run part of the Comrades with them. Their infectious spirit inspired me to follow my heart and I want to inspire everyone I meet in the same way. “

It is our intention this year to accommodate a 13th member of the team.

“This team is truly representative of our country and of our world, and is a great celebration of how the spirit of Unogwaja and the spirit of shoOops is touching people’s hearts far and wide. We are deeply excited about seeing this group come together and create their own destiny and in doing so forming an important part of spreading the essence of our journey which is to encourage people who come across this story to follow their own hearts no matter what that is, and no matter where they are from or who they are.” John McInroy, Unogwaja Founder.

Carel Nolte, Head of Brand and People as headline sponsor and partner, Etana Insurance, offers the new team an inspiring message, “Good luck to all applicants and thank you for your courage, and regardless of the outcome you are champions. We need more people in the world like you,”

Official Apparel Sponsor, New Balance SA who are also now the official footwear and apparel sponsor to the Comrades Marathon, are excited to launch a joint campaign with Unogwaja inviting other Comrades Marathon runners to run with team Unogwaja in the “red love train”, news of which will be coming soon.

The journey will start on Thursday 22 May 2014 at the Southern Sun, Waterfront part of the Tsogo Sun Group of hotels. Jeff Rosenberg, the General Manager of the hotel, says “We cannot wait for our hotel to be gripped by Unogwaja and shoOops fever again. The place and the people come alive!”

On the other end, in Durban, the Garden Court Marine Parade awaits the team as they cycle in the day before Comrades Marathon 2014. Andre Greeff, General Manager of Marine Parade, “We are excited to be the Durban home of Unogwaja and shoOops!”


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