2017 has so far been a highly successful year for sports clubs at UP. Among those which have experienced and accumulated success in recent times is TuksVolleyball. In 2016, the club experienced success on the Beach Volleyball scene, claiming silver in the women’s Varsity Sport Beach Volleyball Tournament, as well as presenting both male and female athletes to represent the u/23 Gauteng Beach Volleyball team. On the indoor court, however, is where players from the club experienced the most success. In the USSA (University Sports South Africa) tournament, the women’s team came second, falling just short to UWC (University of the Western Cape) in the final with a score of 33-29. At the Tshwane Volleyball indoor league, both the men’s and women’s teams claimed gold, while the women went on to win bronze at the National Club Championships.
The year got off to a turbulent start when women’s team captain and winner of the ‘most valuable player award’ for three years running, Margrit Springer, obtained her doctorate and as a result was no longer permitted to represent the club. With new captain Vanessa Sardinha da Silva taking over the role, the team were especially hopeful of going all the way in this year’s Indoor USSA Championships. However, the team suffered disappointment in the quarterfinal rounds, as they were eliminated. Nevertheless, they continued to dominate on the Beach Volleyball scene, claiming both gold and silver positions in the women’s USSA Beach Volleyball Championships.
Psychology Honours student and club outside hitter, Shani Klopper, gave her thoughts on the club’s performances thus far in the 2017 season. Klopper spoke of the team’s initial dissappointment with their elimination from the indoor tournament at the USSA Championships, but went on to say that dominating in the Beach Volleyball competition had restored a sense of drive and fulfilment in the team.
With TuksVolleyball affiliated with the Tshwane Volleyball and Gauteng Volleyball Unions, the following players from the club represented the Tshwane Volleyball Union at the May Inter Regional Tournament: Lise Chapelier, Margrit Springer, Dominique Gachet, Alina Diestelkamp, Magalie Bourblanc, and Nicky Wenhold. Additionally, the following players from TuksVolleyball went on to represent the club at the South African Inter Provincial Tournament in Bloemfontein: Nicky Wenhold, Magalie Bourblanc, Dominique Gachet, Heiko Damaske, and Vanessa Sardinha da Silva.
With the club boasting a strong coaching programme and some of the best facilities in the country, the team now sets its sight on the upcoming GVU League matches, the VSA (Volleyball South Africa Club Champs), as well as hosting the October High School Beach Volleyball Tournament
Club administrator, Takalani Mfamadi, says that the club offers opportunities for various levels of players to attend training sessions, ranging from beginner, intermediate and advanced players. TuksVolleyball also runs a league for the TuksRes students starting which began in July and will continue into September.Coaches and players at the club are also encouraged to attend coaching and refereeing workshops and clinics.
Still to come in 2017, the club is expecting strong performances by players in the Tshwane Volleyball Union League, the December Varsity Sports Beach Volleyball Tournament, a string of Beach Volleyball competitions organised by the Gauteng Volleyball Union, and a September Club tournament hosted by Volleyball South Africa from 17 to 23 September.