MAXINE TWADDLE

TuksSport offers a wide variety of sport, ranging from mainstream sports like rugby to lesser-known sports like underwater hockey. Although rugby, athletics, cricket and football are priority sports at Tuks, alternative sports are becoming more popular.

Alternative sports do not require as much athleticism as more traditional sports. Not every student is built for contact sport, and alternative sports provide options for those who still want to participate in organised sport.

Archery’s popularity in South Africa is growing fast. The sport involves shooting arrows from a bow at a target. It requires discipline, skill, precision and stamina. TuksArchery offers recurve-target archery and compound-target archery, depending on which type of bow you have. It caters for competitive and social participants.

Aikido is a form of martial arts. The word can be translated to “the way of harmonious spirit”. Aikido allows practitioners to defend themselves without injuring their attacker. TuksAikido practices three times a week and aims to “contribute to the quality of our society by encouraging a chivalric and moral code of behaviour,” according to its page on the TuksSport website.

Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world. It is played on a court with a net and participants hit a shuttlecock. TuksBadminton hosts the annual TuksBadminton Open, in which South Africa’s top badminton players compete.

TuksCheerleading was the first cheerleading programme offered by a South African university. TuksCheerleading has produced Blue Bulls Babes and offers classes in conditioning, dance and spirit techniques.

Chess has been revived as a popular activity at Tuks. Chess is one of the world’s most popular games. It requires tactical thinking and great concentration.

Exploration is an alternative sport for people looking for adventure. It includes rock climbing, hiking and adventure racing.

Lifesaving is a competitive sport where participants compete in skills, speed and teamwork challenges. Participants must be good swimmers and must be able to keep calm in pressured situations.

Taekwondo is another martial art offered by the university. It originates from military combat techniques. The sport focuses on speed, accuracy and strength, so participants have to match mental strength with physical fitness.

Underwater hockey is a non-contact sport played underwater. Players wear diving masks, fins and snorkels while they try to manoeuvre a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into a goal.

For more information about all the sports Tuks has to offer, and for details regarding fees and membership, visit the TuksSports website (www.up.ac.za/sport) or visit Sport campus, on South Street, Hatfield.

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