Double the Dakar - Double the Smiles
15 December 2011
After a disappointing withdrawal in the 2011 Dakar earlier this year, Comsol CEO, Iain Stevenson, has committed once again to get that finisher’s badge in the 2012 edition. This time around however, he brings National Enduro champion, Chris Birch (Comsol-AlfieCox-KTM) with him.
Both Iain and Chris will be raising awareness for the Cipla Miles for Smiles foundation on their KTM 450s. The Cipla Miles for Smiles foundation was formed to assist Operation Smile in creating awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates and raise funds to perform corrective surgery on them. The foundation has a fundamental aim, to inspire and challenge individuals to go out and make a difference in the lives of those around them, by challenging themselves to achieve the impossible and by doing so, make a difference.
Birch, former Redbull Romaniacs and three times Roof of Africa champion will be one to watch out for in the rankings. While his first priority remains to merely complete the race, a top 20 finish will be very welcome, and is quite possible. The team, along with other South African participants, have been practicing all year round and recently tackled the dunes of Namibia to fully prepare for the journey that lies ahead of them. The duo will set off on the 28th of December to Argentina where they will then prepare for the race start on the 1st of January 2012.
To follow their progress or make a donation, you can go to any of these websites:
Alternatively, you can follow Chris, Iain or ComsolEnduro on Facebook or Twitter.
Comsol Contributes to Mandela Day
25 July 2011
On Friday the 22nd of July Comsol delegates decided to make their contribution to
Mandela Day by spending time with the kids of the Botshabelo Children's Home and iKaya Baby Clinic.
During the month of July Comsol staff members were urged to donate any spare blankets, toys, books, clothes etc. in aid of those less fortunate. The initiative was labelled the "Comsol Snowball Project" reflecting the idea that good deeds should act as a snowball and grow bigger as they reach more people.
The staff really came to the party and their generous donations were welcomed by the Home. Contributions included eight black bags filled with toys, books and clothes as well as a monetary donation to the establishment.
After a brief tour of the Home and a peek through the window at the Home's newest
tenants (two tiny little babies of only 8 and 10 days respectively) everybody had
a picnic on the porch and the guys received a lesson or two in soccer from the
A beautiful, sunny winter's day could not have been spent in a better way.
Rietvlei Soccer Club Update
6 June 2011
The Rietvlei Liverpool soccer team in KwaZulu-Natal has thrived since Comsol’s last visit in September 2010. The team members were each supplied with full soccer gear including boots, soccer balls and kitbags. Comsol received an e-mail from the team recently, their enthusiasm and gratitude was as always evident.
“...We appreciate what you have done for us last year. We are what we are today because of you we came 2nd in the league, but we managed to win the spar tournament and now we are going to represent our region in a provincial spar tournament that will be held in Durban around June...”
Comsol would just like to extend a great “good luck” to this determined team. We’ll be supporting your progress all the way and will celebrate all your victories with you!
11 January 2011
Iain Stevenson has unfortunately had to withdraw from the Dakar. After hitting a rocky lip, the back wheel kicked out to the right, and he came down, with the bike landing on his left knee, as well as twisting his back in the process.
He damaged the tendon in his knee so badly that he was unable to get out from under the bike and some spectators had to come to his aid. After several attempts to continue, the pain was too severe for him to even stand on the pegs of the bike and subsequently he had to withdraw at checkpoint 2.
Darren Morgan, Sales Manager of Comsol says “We are tremendously proud of Iain’s accomplishment and the sheer courage that went into undertaking this feat. It was a bit tense when we first heard that he damaged his back, especially after the injury in 2008 that rendered him bed-ridden for 3 months. But when we received word that all was okay, we were just relieved. Knowing Iain if there was any way that he could continue, he would.”
“We will continue to support Iain’s mentor, Alfie Cox, who is also raising awareness for the Miles for Smiles foundation, for the remainder of the Dakar” says Elriza Paul, Marketing Coordinator of Comsol. “Iain did an amazing job in creating awareness for the project, and hopefully plenty of smiles will come from this.”
Iain’s wife, Hayley, collected him from the bivouac and his family and friends supporting him there are glad to have him accompany them for the rest of the road trip.
You can read more about the rest of their journey on www.iain-stevenson.com . To support the Cipla Miles for Smiles project, please go to www.milesforsmiles.co.za
Iain Stevenson: Dakar in support of Miles for Smiles
26 December 2010
Iain Stevenson, CEO and founder of Comsol Wireless Solutions, has taken up the challenge of creating awareness and raising funds for the Miles for Smiles project, by competing in the 2011 Dakar on a KTM690.
The Cipla Miles for Smiles foundation was formed to assist Operation Smile in creating awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates and raise funds to perform corrective surgery on them.
The foundation has a fundamental aim, to inspire and challenge individuals to go out and make a difference in the lives of those around them, by challenging themselves to achieve the impossible and by doing so, make a difference.
When asked why he is doing the Dakar, his response was:
"Certain events transpired in my life that lead me to make the decision to enter the 2011 Dakar Rally –my father passed away and I turned 40! Also – a serous back injury and emergency surgery in 2008, left me immobilised for three months. This was a life-changing experience. I needed a goal that was going to take total commitment and something that was going to test my courage. "
"After recovering from back surgery, I got back on a bike, purchased a KTM990 Adventure and started scouring every navigable track in the Natal Midlands with my good friend, Kevin Wallis.""After a trip down to the Natal Coast during January 2010 on my 990, I stopped by Dakar veteran and multiple champion, Alfie Cox’s shop in Pinetown. We had chat about the Dakar and I asked Alfie “is the Dakar a possibility?”
The ever-optimistic Alfie said to me if I put mind to it and approach it seriously then it’s not impossible. Alfie had a spot available and I had to give him my final decision by June 2010, this was the date when entries were opened."
"I put my head down, got back on my bush bike, whipped myself in the gym and entered in July.
My mind was made up – I’m going to the 2011 Dakar Rally.”
Iain has been actively training for the Dakar under the guidance of William Gillitt aka Wild Will, for about 4 days a week on average.
“William has helped me with my riding skills and accompanied me on many of my long rides, some of which have taken up to eight days.”
In order to maintain the right fitness level, he has enrolled the help of Russel White.
“Russell has set me a training program that has had a varied amount of different disciplines; Mountain Biking, stationary spinning, swimming, pilates, yoga and gym work. All of which have helped get my fitness and endurance levels to a point where I can go to Argentina knowing that I could not have done any more than I have done.”
To support Iain’s campaign for Miles for Smiles, please go to www.milesforsmiles.co.za to donate, stating your own, as well as Iain’s name and surname as a reference.
You can also follow Iain’s progress on www.iain-stevenson.com .
02 December 2010
This year, many “Comsollians” participated in the Comsol Movember Challenge 2010 in order to raise funds and awareness for CANSA and prostate cancer. According to this challenge, participants are asked to grow a moustache for the entire month of November.
Finally, after weeks and weeks of strenuous hair growth, public mockery and sheer show of willpower, the winner of Comsol’s Movember Challenge was announced!
The event was kicked off on Wednesday 01 December 2010 at the Comsol year-end prize giving. After issuing the staff awards and booby prizes, the moment of judgement finally arrived. MoBros were asked to assemble in a row and were then judged on basis of the following:
- Growth period (contestants who did not begin their journey from the 1st of November were disqualified)
- Rule adherence (contestants had to stick to the rules of Movember, i.e. no goatees, beards etc.)
The final winner was selected by means of loudest crowd ovation.
Congratulations Yusuf Chiluli for being crowned Comsol MoKing 2010!
Comsol supports Rietvlei Football Club
06 September 2010
On 2 September 2010, four delegates from Comsol Head Office in Johannesburg met with players and coaches from Rietvlei Liverpool FC in the Umzimkhulu Municipality of KZN, to handover a generous donation of football equipment.
Proceedings kicked off with Youthzones's Schalk van Heerden conducting life-skills sessions. The focus of these sessions was teamwork, responsibility and communication. Thereafter, it was time to hand over the equipment. As the players received their tracksuits, football kit, socks, bags and Puma football boots the excitement was tangible!
“We didn’t expect so much” was the first thing the team coach Thozamile ‘Skwiza’ Lugayeni managed to say. Doctor Mabila from the Foundation for a Safe South Africa, the force behind the Youthzones project, gave a short motivational speech and thanked the employees from Comsol, not only for the donation, but mentioned that them taking their valuable time to come and visit made everyone feel very respected and special.
After receiving snack-packs, it was time to conclude the proceedings with a football match: Rietvlei Liverpool in their new kit against the Comsol Masters! The youthfulness and new kit was too much for the masters to handle and despite the game being one way traffic, all involved really enjoyed themselves. “This is great of them, now we will take good care of the kit and invite them back in one year after we get promoted” said Lungelo Khumbula, one of the Rietvlei players.
The impact of the event was summarised well by Doctor Mabila as he said: “this is what South Africa should be like, no flashy events and media, just friends helping each other in humility, making our country better.”