UP’s sports campus, Hillcrest campus – or LC de Villiers – is usually only seen as a home for student-athletes. While this is true, the campus has more to offer than just athletic fields. Here is a glimpse into the lesser- known treasures within the campus that are sure to be helpful to any first-year or senior student looking to explore its offerings.

 

High Performance Centre

First on the list is the heart of the campus, the High Performance Centre (HPC), which is situated adjacent to Burnett Street. The HPC is one of the most advanced sports science facilities in Africa, with a wide range of services and facilities to support athletes. It is a facility equipped for accommodation, formal events and functions, including training. The HPC hosted the South African football team, Bafana Bafana, last year prior to the World Cup qualifiers. The centre has a strong track record of success, with many athletes achieving international success after training there. It is a true world-class facility, right here at UP.

 

SEMLI

The Sport and Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), which is found within the HPC, is another hidden gem. It is a specialised medical centre that provides services like injury prevention, screening and rehabilitation for athletes. SEMLI has a team of doctors, physiotherapists and other health professionals who are experts in their fields. This institute is a vital part of the HPC, and it helps to keep athletes healthy and injury-free and has been a key player in the HPC’s success.

 

TuksSport High School

Reread it again if necessary, but yes. UP has a High School within its premises. It is situated next to the sports centre on South Street. TuksSport high school is for learner-athletes. This independent school affords young athletes the opportunity to pursue their sporting career while maintaining an academic balance to life.

 

Uitspan recreation area

The Uitspan, which is near the tennis courts behind the HPC on Hillcrest campus, often goes unnoticed. This is a shame because the greenery and little pond are such refreshing elements to experience after a long week of university grind. It is a perfect spot to unwind and soak in nature. It is also equipped with braai facilities when students want to enjoy a chop on the coals with friends.

 

Experimental farm

Hillcrest might be a sports campus, but it accommodates more than just athletes. It accommodates livestock too. The experimental farm is situated opposite TuksSport High School and is the base for the Innovation in Africa @ UP programme. The programme provides a focused investment platform for research and capacity development for the future of agriculture in Africa, catering for joint initiatives between business, governments, and research organisations.

 

Rag Farm

The Rag Farm is known for hosting cultural events, fundraising events and festivals. The wide open space and stage set up at the very bottom of Hillcrest campus is the home to many pivotal events in the UP experience. This place last year witnessed a historic gathering during the World Cup semifinal and final games, when thousands of students gathered and cheered on the victorious Springboks team (which had eight TuksRugby alumni).

 

Future Africa

Located on the far corner of the campus, Future Africa is a postgraduate research hub focused on transdisciplinary research. Students from all over the world come together to live and work on pressing global issues from various angles and fields of study. In addition to a cutting-edge research campus and vibrant postgraduate life, this place also has forageable and edible gardens, family-friendly housing for students, conference facilities and a film studio. As you explore the sports campus, remember that it is not just for student-athletes or registration queries at the beginning of the year. Hillcrest campus is a vibrant hub of athletic, educational and social experiences. The different parts of the campus work together to create a rich, diverse tapestry of activities that first-years should dare to be a part of. It is much more than a training ground, and PDBY hopes students explore it in its abundance.

Sandisiwe Msibi
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