Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brands promote ‘Play Fair’ campaign

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Worldwide Skins chairman Jamie Fuller’s name has become synonymous with anti-doping and “fair play” campaigns – and it was therefore logical for Skins in South Africa, as well as the other running brands distributed by Brand ID, Mizuno and Nathan, to become involved with the “I Play Fair” team of SASCOC president Gideon Sam.

Evert Ferreira (left) and Du Toit Botes (right) of Brand ID with SASCOC president Gideon Sam.
They supplied the Dry Tee shirts and shorts that the “I Play Fair” team ran with in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon – with Madiba’s face on the front and Skins, Mizuno, Nathan, Play Fair, Drug Free Sport and SASCOC branding on the back.

Victor Ramathesele, chairman of the SA Institute of Drug-free Sport, emphasised how drugs gave athletes an unfair advantage.
Evert Ferreira, who worked with Elana Meyer at the Jag Foundation and ran the London marathon with her before becoming Mizuno and Skins' promotions manager, ran the half marathon with Sam’s I Play Fair team.

Evert Ferreira with the race t-shirt displaying Madiba’s face.
Among the Two Oceans team members were sports phycisian Jeroen Swart, Mkhaya Ntini, Cape Argus Cycle Tour organiser David Bellairs and former Springbok Ashwin Willemse. Sam wants to get prominent athletes and sports personalities to take part in various events to raise awareness of the dangers of doping. He said that he wants young athletes to ask “what are these old guys doing running in these team colours?”

He recounted how the first South African athlete he caught doping, a boxer, said “But my father said it was OK.” That made him realise how important it was to educate athletes about illegal substances and when they may take medication.

Ashwin Willemse told how injured players are targeted by agents wanting to convince them to use drugs that will help them recover sooner – and that he was able to resist the pressure because he knew how he had struggled to recover from a drug addiction as a youngster.

Gideon Sam, Dave Bellairs and Ashwin Willemse explained why they believe in “playing fair”.

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