The Annual Varsity Athletics Cup which was scheduled for 20 March has been postponed. Varsity Sports SA explained in a statement that this was due to “University Sports South Africa Athletics being suspended by Athletics South Africa (ASA) in December 2019 […] and as a result none of the USSA Athletics events for 2020 are sanctioned by ASA, including Varsity Athletics”.
This decision was made before all sporting events were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Pretoria was to be the host for this year’s competition. The Cup annually involves eight universities.
The eight universities which were to participate this year are the University of Pretoria (UP), University of Johannesburg, North- West University (NWU), University of Free State, Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Western Cape and Tshwane University of Technology.
As UP was to host this year’s edition of Varsity Athletics, PDBY spoke to Head of Programme at TuksAthletics, Danie Cornelius. Cornelius explained that, “ASA was suspended by the USSA Athletics in December 2019 and was only reinstated the week before the Varsity Athletics meeting was to take place. Due to the time constraint, Varsity Sport decided to postpone the event.”
He also explained that, “the event would have been postponed in any case as the President announced the limitations of more [than] 100 people gathering at the same place at a specific time”, in response to COVID-19.
PDBY asked Cornelius about his views regarding the postponement of the varsity cup. His response was, “As [of] yet, it has not been cancelled but only postponed and will this be re-assessed in April by Varsity Sport and the USSA National Executive Committee community (NEC) as per the guidelines set by the SA government relating to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
According to Cornelius, following the regulations introduced by President Ramaphosa to curb COVID-19, which include the national 21 day lockdown, and the banning of a gathering of 100 people or more, there is a possibility of the Varsity Cup being rescheduled to another date later in the year.