South African Ironman legend and renowned triathlon coach, Raynard Tissink, is returning to the start line of Ironman South Africa in April 2014 courtesy of his nutrition sponsor GU Energy Labs South Africa. He is to take part in the 10th anniversary edition of the race to raise funds for the Ironman 4 The Kidz Charity Trust.
Tissink, a long time GU Energy Labs South Africa fuelled athlete, has been competing in the sport of triathlon for more than 22 years, completing 33 Ironman races and taking 8 Ironman titles in the process. Amongst these titles, Tissink achieved four Top 10 finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii; and he won Ironman South Africa three times in 2005, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Tissink, whose last competitive race as a professional was at Ironman Kona in 2011, said on Twitter… “Had my rubber arm twisted into doing Ironman South Africa in 2014. Thanks to GU Energy Labs South Africa for the opportunity to help support the Ironman 4 The Kidz Charity Trust.”
Tissink has continued working in the industry as a top-level coach with Velocity Sports Labs, amongst others, coaching GU Energy Labs South Africa fuelled triathletes Kyle Buckingham and Kelly van der Toorn to multiple race wins. He has thus never been far from the sharp edge of the triathlon scene.
The Ironman 4 The Kidz Charity Trust began in 2005 when the founders, ex Springbok rugby players Garth Wright and Gary Stephenson, realised that they could raise money for needy children in the Port Elizabeth area by participating in Ironman South Africa. Even though Ironman South Africa does seem like a daunting task, “raising funds for the children is a great motivator” said co-founder Stephenson.
The charity’s founders would never have guessed that in 2014 they will be participating alongside Raynard Tissink in Ironman South Africa for the 10th consecutive year with a target of 2 Million Rand (US$180,000)!
The Ironman 4 The Kidz Charity Trust is looking for other athletes to follow GU Energy Labs South Africa and Raynard Tissink’s example and partake in Ironman South Africa 2014. GU Energy Labs South Africa has appealed to companies to show their support by sponsoring an athlete’s vest at the event; and to individuals to visit Ironman4thekidz.co.za to add their support.