CARLO COCK

TuksSport prides itself on its rich sporting heritage, first-class facilities and the national rugby and cricket heroes it has produced over the years. It is perhaps TuksSport’s worst kept secret that rugby is the priority sport, while athletics, cricket and football are also prominent. However, there is a growing group of new and interesting sports for those of us who aren’t that into the traditional mainstream sports. If you’re not much of a fan of conventional sports, Tuks may have just the right alternative for you to fill those tedious free hours.

TuksTaekwondo is one of the more established sports at Tuks. In fact, Tuks hosted the National Taekwondo Festival last year. Taekwondo is a full-contact Olympic sport which has greatly progressed from its humble martial-art origins in South Korea. It originates from traditional military combat techniques used by soldiers and warriors in ancient Korea – mainly during the Three Kingdoms Period. These sleek self-defence techniques have been meticulously refined over the centuries into a competitive, elegant and efficient full-contact sport. So if you’re into self-defence, taekwondo might just be your thing.

Tuks also offers a second martial-arts option you may not have heard of: aikido. It is a traditional Japanese system of self-defence involving throws and joint-lock techniques. Aikido teaches you to defend yourself against many opponents simultaneously. To be able to do this requires discipline and the polishing and perfecting of the executed techniques to the finest detail. If you’re interested in taekwondo or aikido, contact Paul de Beer on 083 636 1764.

Another intriguing addition to the TuksSport catalogue is underwater hockey. This non-contact water sport involves two teams of six (with four substitutes) who compete to manoeuvre a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into goals. Players wear a diving mask, swim fins and a snorkel. Tuks underwater hockey is linked to various other clubs in the community where players can train and compete. The fun in the water doesn’t end with underwatre hockey. Strange as it may sound, lifesaving is an increasingly popular sport and is also on offer at Tuks. This sport sees lifesavers compete in skills, speed and teamwork. It is based on swimming while also including extra techniques and obstacles during the race. Lifesaving incorporates elements of water-safety education, life support, first aid, aquatic lifesaving and lifeguarding. You never know when those skills may come in handy. If you’re interested, contact the TuksAquatic office on 012 420 6148 or the aquatics manager Steven Ball at steven.ball@ up.ac.za.

If these non-contact sports don’t quite do it for you and you’re more the physical type, why not try wrestling? A full-contact sport full of blood, sweat and tears, wrestling is a great and surprisingly safe way to get rid of all your aggression. Contact Martie Savrda on 082 512 1526 or msavrda@medihelp.co.za if you’re interested.

Hopefully you will find at least one sport at Tuks which caters to your needs and provides some much-needed relief from your studies.

Images: www.britishtaekwando.org & www.tukswrestling.co.za

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