UP-Tuks proved once again to be one of the top performing institutions in the University Sports South Africa (USSA) rankings as they placed within the top three of multiple sporting codes which were on display over the mid-year semester break. The USSAs are one of the premier intervarsity championships in South Africa as university institutions across SA showcase their sporting skills.

The UP-Tuks Football team were the first code to set the tone as they were won the postponed USSA tournament in March. Their victory allowed UP to secure the title for the third time in three years. Coach Jan “Mabuza” Motaung had this to say about the tournament: “Our preparation went well for this tournament. One can give credit to the boys for the hard work that they put in, and for all their dedication.” UP-Tuks now hopes to carry the momentum into the Varsity Football tournament, which started on Monday 18 July, to regain the Varsity Football title that went to the University of the Western Cape last year. “Now that we’ve started our next major tournament [Varsity Football], I am still confident in the team and believe we can achieve our objectives,” said Motaung.

UP-Tuks Netball was able to put in a winning effort and retain the title as USSA netball champions for the third year in a row. The side displayed a consistent effort throughout the tournament, placing them first on the log before heading into the knockout stages. They overcame Maties 49-38 in the semi-final before beating NWU-Pukke 46-36 in the final. The combination of youth and experience proved valuable to the team, with the likes of senior national players like Izzette Lubbe and Jeanie Steyn. The team will hopefully carry the same strength into the Varsity netball season which starts in September. Tshina Mdae, who was captain during the USSA tournament, said: “The team came together well for a bunch of youngsters. We rose to the occasion and did what the girls who came before us [did].” As she looks ahead to the Varsity Netball season, which begins in September, Tshina said, “Varsity cup is a different ballgame. Preparations are underway and we are looking forward to the competition!”

The University of Pretoria also put in mentionable performances in other sporting codes, such as Volleyball which took place from 4-8 July. UP managed to make it to the final in Pretoria, where they went on to place second to the Vaal University of Technology.

Individual USSA performances that have stood out include TuksGymnastic’s Van Zyl Steyn and Lynelle Venter, who were awarded the 2016 Victor Ludorum and Victrix Ludorum, respectively. TuksSquash also managed to place third in the USSA this year and had two of their players selected for the university national team, namely Nell van der Merwe and Megan Page.


Photo: SASPA

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