• Hi,
  • Hi,

    I’m Vanessa Haywood-Sandes. People have asked me exactly what it is that I do… To define myself. It’s not that easy, because I have a passion for so many things and refuse to be put into a box!
    In short, I’m an entertainer and a businesswoman with a great love for sport. Welcome to a little piece of my world…

Blogger

Blogger

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. It started with poetry as a teenager,...
MC & Voice Artist

MC & Voice Artist

Speaking on stage also started many, many years ago, firstly as "Best Speakers" at...
Sport & Wellness

Sport & Wellness

I've been active for as long as I can remember! Sport and wellbeing are a huge part...
Film & TV

Film & TV

Until last year, I was a full time actress but found the local market and ad-hoc...
Model

Model

My modelling career started as a teenager when my mum enrolled me at a finishing/modelling...
Businesswoman

Businesswoman

After high school I studied marketing and business management. I co-owned my own...
  • Blogger
  • MC & Voice Artist
  • Sport & Wellness
  • Film & TV
  • Model
  • Businesswoman
  • Blogger

    I've been writing for as long as I can remember. It started with poetry as a teenager, then articles for various magazines and most recently blogging which I love!
  • MC & Voice Artist

    Speaking on stage also started many, many years ago, firstly as "Best Speakers" at school and then eventually more formally at corporate & sporting events. I've been a voice artist for both television and radio and it's also something I enjoy immensely!
  • Sport & Wellness

    I've been active for as long as I can remember! Sport and wellbeing are a huge part of my life and if I can influence people to lead healthier lives, then I'm happy! Being married to a professional sportsman is a huge daily motivational factor for me!
  • Film & TV

    Until last year, I was a full time actress but found the local market and ad-hoc income too frustrating and wanted to sink my teeth into business again. It is still however my passion & I doubt I will ever fully close that door!
  • Model

    My modelling career started as a teenager when my mum enrolled me at a finishing/modelling school. Not long after becoming a Miss South Africa finalist, I was signed by an awesome agency (Ice Models) and started travelling the world. I was a professional model for many years before studying drama and pursuing my career as an actress and TV presenter.
  • Businesswoman

    After high school I studied marketing and business management. I co-owned my own marketing and events company for a number of years but am now involved with Peak Sport Management - a sports marketing, PR and project management company.
  • Blogger
  • MC & Voice Artist
  • Sport & Wellness
  • Film & TV
  • Model
  • Businesswoman
  • darglogo

    DARG

    DARG is a pro-life, non-profit organisation that rescues, cares for and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs. It is our vision to be a leading example of animal sheltering in South Africa. How DARG came about. When DARG was founded in 1995 by Cicely Blumberg, Leslie McClaghlan and a group of caring volunteers, it was initially a shelterless rescue network. DARG eventually rented, at a very nominal fee, 28 dog kennels from a Mrs Harrop who ran a boarding kennel. For three years more and more dogs found their way to DARG, and almost 3000 dogs were homed. Tragedy struck with the passing of Mrs Harrop, and the property was put up for sale. A search was on to find a donor who would buy the property and let DARG continue renting the kennels. It seemed impossible, but after much wishing, hoping and prayer the miracle occurred. Early 2000, Mr Antonio Giovanini with his wife Joy, who was at that time one of the DARG directors, bought the kennels and land. This was put into a trust and can only be used for no-kill animal shelters.

  • laureus_blue

    Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

    Laureus passionately believes in sport's ability to help change the world for the better. And by supporting Laureus, you can be sure that you are helping a charity that really can make a difference to people's lives through sport. This is because the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is able to support sports-based projects in a range of valuable ways. From the funding of equipment and other costs of running a programme to offering training opportunities to the next generation of young leaders, the Foundation is uniquely placed to help bring sport to young people around the world. The active involvement of our Laureus World Sports Academy Members also means we can inspire long-term change. Change in the way governments and other organisations perceive sport and its ability to address social issues. Change in the way kids lead their lives both on and off the pitch. But it isn’t enough for Laureus to make only short-term changes. The real goal is to see changes being made, and for them to keep being made, well into the future. This is why the support you can give won't just help today, but will go on helping well into tomorrow.

aboutme1 

vanessa haywood blogger profile

Vanessa Haywood

Vanessa has been an entertainer from a very early age, appearing in her first theatre production at the age of 4. The budding actress appeared on stage throughout her childhood and as a teenager dancing and acting.

 

In 2000, she was a Miss South Africa finalist where she was spotted by one of the most sought after modeling agencies in South Africa. Her modeling career took her to various exotic destinations all over the world and she lived between London, Hamburg and Cape Town. She appears on countless magazine covers (e.g. Elle, Shape, Woman & Home, Bicycling) and has been the face of many successful campaigns.

Vanessa’s love of entertainment lead her to study drama to further her acting career in film and television, but not before gaining diplomas in both marketing and business management. She is also fluent in both English and Afrikaans.

She is a regular speaker at corporate conferences and various events, and her vivacious and friendly stage presence coupled with years of stage experience has her MC-ing and guest speaking at many functions.

Her highly successful television career started well before her film career did, having presented for Groen (Kyknet), Top Billing (SABC 3), AgriTV (SABC 1), Superdance (ETV) and Wildlife Video Cast (Asia). She has also hosted her own entertainment slot on the extremely successful and trendy 2 Oceans Vibe Radio, is an avid free-lance writer and voice artist.

Her biggest career success came in 2009 when she was cast as the leading lady for District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) which sat at number 1 at the Box Office for 3 weeks as well as taking in more than $200 000 million. It was nominated for 4 Oscars. She has also appeared in The Sweet Shop, Blood Diamond and Hey Boy.

Vanessa competed in MNET’s “Survivor Maldives – Celebs vs Plebs” in 2011, which she describes as a phenomenal life changing experience. It’s this adventurous spirit, which forms the foundation of her great love for sport. She is a keen trail runner and golfer too. She is also a water sports enthusiast who enjoys scuba diving and water skiing.

At the end of 2012 she became a semi-professional mountain biker - she had at that point been cycling socially since 2002. Over the last few years, Vanessa has re-invented herself by becoming a respected endurance athlete having completed two ABSA Cape Epic’s, the Leadville 100 miler in Colorado and many other stage races. She hopes to add the Cape Pioneer, Sani 2 C, Transalp and Swiss Epic to her list.

Although still active within the entertainment industry, recording voice overs, and filming corporate videos and TV commercials, Vanessa works for her husband Ryan’s sports marketing company, Peak Sport Management which not only represents athletes but also project manages expeditions/sport documentaries/record-breaking attempts across the world, as well as offering a full services brand, marketing & PR solution for businesses wanting reach within the sporting industry and sporting enthusiasts. This includes corporate sporting events/conferences. 

She enjoys inspiring men, woman and children to live positive, healthier, more active lifestyles through the races she competes in, and the charities she’s involved with such as The Pink Drive, Lettie Love Fund, the Laureus Foundation etc.

Some of the races she’s completed:

• ABSA Cape Epic (2012, 2013)
• The Pick n Pay Argus (MTB & Road) (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015)
• The Big 5 @ the Knysna Oyster Festival (2010)
• BSG Triathlon (2011)
• Otter Trail Run (2011)
• Grape Escape (2012)
• Double Century (2010, 2011)
• Storms River Traverse (2012)
• Wines 2 Whales (2010, 2011, 2012)
• Ride to Nowhere (2012)
• Attakwas (2012, 2013)
• Totalsports Challenge (2013)
• Cape Rouleur (2013)
• Leadville 100 miler (2013)


Due to her profile, Vanessa is regularly in the media, appearing on magazine covers and in celebrity pages. She enjoys a great deal of coverage on television, radio and in print media, as well as being a regular guest at prestigious events.

Very dangerous indeed my friend... 😜 https://t.co/7tG5YiN90Y
Don't be sad angel...in less than 3 weeks u'll experience the greatest victory of all...becoming a daddy! 😍 https://t.co/AjtVMjzbey
My heart breaks for my sweet hubby 😢 https://t.co/d1WeVuqlaZ
Thanks @UTMBMontBlanc for sorting the English commentating out on #ultratrailtv! 😁 Watching from South Africa! 🇿🇦😊
Follow Vanessa Sandes on Twitter

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How do you start your great day?

How do you start your great day?

I have to admit that with being about 98 weeks pregnant, my days start off rather S-L-O-W-L-Y now, with me resembling something close to the Oros man wobbling around and I don’t have much motivation right now other than getting this little human out of me! :-)

Most mornings start off with a cup of coffee or herbal tea in bed, which ever tickles my fancy that day, followed by a healthy breakfast and then maybe some yoga at home or a short trail run or I jump straight to work - emails, writing, meetings or a photo shoot. No two days are the same which keeps things rather interesting!

Love your gut!

Love your gut!

A few years ago, my husband, professional ultra-distance trail runner, Ryan Sandes and I, both contracted Giardia whilst hiking in the Fish River Canyon - a water-born parasite that infects the small intestine. Hundreds of people hike the canyon every year and the water in the Fish River is thought to be safe but authorities do recommend using water purification tablets. I have to admit that there were a few occasions that we were simply too thirsty to wait 15 to 30 minutes for water to purify.

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done”

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done”

  Nelson Mandela was an awfully intelligent man. Thankfully he was released from prison just before I finished high school, so that he could share his wisdom with me and the rest of the world. His release carved my future along with every other South African. His release was also ironically linked to my potential future coming to an abrupt halt…

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