This initiative to unearth and develop talent in university students commenced in 2012 when Varsity Sports was initially launched with two sports disciplines: sevens rugby and beach volleyball. 2013 welcomed the inclusion of football, athletics, hockey and netball to Varsity Sports and in 2015 the addition of Varsity Cricket. 2017 marks the fifth year that these sporting codes are going to take place, and the third season of Varsity Cricket.
Over the years there have been some standout performances from certain universities in various sporting codes. Most notably, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) men’s and women’s hockey teams who have dominated the Varsity Hockey with three titles to their name from 2014 to 2016. Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Varsity Football women’s team have enjoyed great success in the football competition having also won the past three editions of Varsity football (2014-2016), losing out to UJ in the inaugural competition. UP have previously been crowned champions of Varsity Athletics in 2013, 2014, 2015 (shared with North West University (NWU-Pukke)) and most recently in 2017. The third season of the Varsity Cricket saw NWU-Pukke defeat two-time champions, UP.
2017 also marks the celebration of ten years of rocking Varsity Cup rugby since the first inception of the tournament in 2008, and this league continues to expand with the addition of the Young Guns under-20 competition and Koshuis rugby (residence rugby). This years’ edition featured a total of 16 teams participating in the league, with nine universities competing in the Varsity Cup and seven in the Varsity Shield.
Aside from the enticing sporting action that Varsity Sports provides, there is an emphasis on academics as well. Therefore, athletes are encouraged to pursue their degrees while competing at the high level of Varsity Sports. In order to compete, a student has to have obtained a minimum amount of credits the previous year.