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  • Writer's picturedirtyheart

Industry Powerhouse : Hannele Steyn - Passion4Wholeness

If you haven’t heard of Hannele Steyn in mountain biking circles I suggest you brush up on one of South Africa’s finest talents. Her sporting C.V. is an impressive one and she has achieved so much throughout her years of professional and competitive racing. Hannele is still making her mark in the mountain biking world. She is currently one of the ABSA Cape Epic “Last Lions”. These amazing athletes have completed every Cape Epic since its inception 14 years ago, and Hannelie is the only female in this prestigious group of four. Beyond her athletic achievements Hannelie is also a thriving business woman. She has created a health food brand; Passion4Wholeness and is actively involved in teaching athletes about the benefits of correct eating and nutrition.

Hi Hannele. Thanks for chatting to us. Wow! You really have embraced the “wholeness” of your sporting brand. Tell us what you are currently involved in.

Hi Dirtyheart, great to meet you guys. Well, I am one busy bee. As you know I have a line of nutrition products but I am also writing training and eating programs for people after consulting with them. I have about 8 people whose programs I do as well as coaching a young lady one on one. I also do bike set-ups and consultations etc. I am really engaged in the “wholeness " part of sport, you know ( body, mind, spirit) and

(training, nutrition, equipment). My passion however, is to help people with daily lifestyle eating for optimum lean muscle mass and to advise on race eating, supplements and vitamins. I do a lot of research on these subjects. I give talks all around the country about nutrition and training and that keeps me pretty busy.

I started developing health products for companies and then started my own ; Passion4Wholeness product line which has now grown to 6 products. I have just completed the process of re-branding , like any business, I had to learn the hard way and because I am not business orientated, but rather a scientist, my labels are really not looking the part. I have learnt so much about business and it is great to be able to combine my love of sport, nutrition and research to create a business out of all of that.The products now have a fresh spin on their marketing and we are so excited to have them on the shelves.

As we know you are a fantastic sportswoman, give us a short history to your sporting career.

After my studies, I started working in the University Microbiology lab, but was addicted to Triathlon and in 1993 I got the opportunity to go professional. I literally sold what I could and went to the USA . I lived and raced in America and France for almost 5 years. I have had a wonderful career, got a top10 Elite World ranking and won my age group at the World champs in 1994. I returned to RSA to retire and start to work :-) That was not meant to be because as soon as I got introduced to mountain biking, I went fanatical about that again. I was an absolute perfectionist in eating and addicted to training. I met my now ex husband, who has been my mentor in cycling since I started and still is. I had an amazing career in mtb and did many World Champ and World cup races overseas. Then, I discovered the multi-day events and as you know, the Epic of which I have done all 14 and am the Last Lioness standing with 3 other lions. I am so blessed to have received a custom sprayed Momsen bike with the SRAM gold groupo. The bike has a lioness on it with paw prints,. I have been blessed with amazing support.

How did the Passion4Wholeness journey begin?

I retired from competitive racing in 2011 and started Passion4Wholeness in 2010 on a very small scale by mixing 15 kg of product in my kitchen with apron and plastic gloves and hat and a buff over my mouth and nose as I was inhaling cinnamon like a pancake.I mixed, packed, sealed and stuck every label on myself. I moved to Knysna then and had a friend helping me from 2012 , selling it on the farmers markets. My first salary was R434.00 and today it has grown to the point where I have a amazing manufacturing and distribution company behind me and my products with the crazy looking labels are selling in the Wellness warehouses ( in store and online), Spar shops Western Cape, the Gold Start Checkers stores, a few health shops and bike shops, NRG in Tokai and in the decant containers in Fruit 'n Veg. It will soon go onto the DisChem shelves too. My business is still a one women's company but I have wonderful friends and silent partners because I am extremely adult ADHD and need a lot of advice most of the time :-) I believe you have to have a passion for something to be motivated to hit that 10 000 balls for success.

Give us some insight into what makes your nutritional products special.

My strap line is, “Every ingredient has a reason"and that is why I mix ingredients together that are healthy, nutritious, delicious and with either a health or nutrition or taste benefit. There are no added sugar or preservatives in my products. All are wheat free and some even Vegan and Gluten free. I have just finished my latest breakfast for Training and Racing. I believe in NO specific diet except if it is for a health reason or a belief and I believe that all good diets have some truth to it, but at the end of the day, a balanced diet is the best. BUT...a balanced diet is NOT everything in moderation, but rather the correct amount of each of the 3 food groups per kilogram body weight per day!

Try some products today by ordering online ( or look out for products available at select retailers now!

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