WILLIAM ALDRIDGE: The annual University Sports South Africa (USSA) boat races are set to take place later this week from 18-20 September. Rhodes University are the annual hosts to the event which takes place on the Kowie River in Port Alfred.
This year eight universities from around South Africa will take part in the boat races, namely Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, University of Stellenbosch, University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand, and hosts Rhodes University.
WILLIAM ALDRIDGE: Michael Faasen, a second-year BCom Financial Management student at UP, is currently the third choice goalkeeper for PSL-side AmaTuks.
Originally a cricket player, Faasen captained the St Stithians College first team for two years in high school and was then selected to represent the South African u/19 cricket team to face England in 2011. He then went on to play cricket for Tuks’ first team in 2012 and 2013.
It was while staying in Kollege residence in 2013 that Faasen, who has always loved football, decided to give football another try. He only played goalkeeper for the Kollege res side because they were short a player in that position. During the season he was spotted by University Sports South Africa (USSA) scouts and after attending a trial with the USSA squad (better known as the Varsity Cup football side), he was asked to play for them. After six months of training with the USSA squad, Faasen was called up to the first team earlier this year by Steve Barker, the head coach of AmaTuks.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: The 60th edition of the Uefa Champions League kicks off on 16 September for the 2014/15 campaign. Last season Real Madrid won their tenth Champions League trophy after beating fellow Spanish giants Atlético Madrid 4-1 in a thrilling final in Lisbon. This season’s final will be held in Berlin, Germany and in just under ten months we will know who will battle who for the European top honours.
The Champions League is one of the biggest club football tournaments in the world as the top teams of each European league battle for the coveted trophy. When the draw was conducted earlier in August, all the tops teams found themselves in unpredictable groups, making it difficult to predict who will make it to the last 16 round.
KAYA NOCANDA: Mopanie secured their place in next year’s Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Championship when they beat Maroela 16-13 in the final of the UP-Tuks res league on 9 September. Mopanie will compete against residences from around the country in next year’s competition.
When the teams played each other in the final round of league fixtures, Maroela beat Mopanie 26-19 in a close encounter. However, Mopanie came into this fixture brimming with confidence after having beaten last year’s champions Onderstepoort in the semi-final.
Mopanie opened scoring early in the game when they converted a penalty after Maroela were penalised just outside their 22-metre line. Mopanie were awarded another penalty when a Maroela player failed to release the ball-carrier in time at the breakdown. Mopanie opted for a penalty but the attempt at goal was missed.
USHENTA NAIDOO: The finals on 25 August saw OP ladies reign victorious as they beat defending league champions Vividus Ladies 1-0. Taaibos took home the gold in the men’s league as they beat Sonop 2-0. This season is the first time in nearly a decade that either Taaibos or OP ladies have won the res league.
The women’s res hockey league semi-finals earlier that evening saw Vividus 1 beat Madelief 1-0 in a penalty shootout and Onderstepoort claim a 2-0 victory over Curlitzia in another penalty shootout. In the men’s semi-finals, Sonop 1 won 1-0 against Kollege 1, while Taaibos overcame Boekenhout 1-0 with a late winner from a last-minute short corner.
WILLIAM ALDRIDGE: Varsity Sports has been entertaining students all year, featuring sport like hockey, rugby and football. Now it is netball’s turn to take centre stage. The second edition of the Vasity Sports Netball tournament will feature 11 players from the South African u/19 netball squad, ensuring high quality netball.
The netball action commences on 14 September and runs until 20 October. There are eight universities taking part in the competition, namely: Stellenbosch University (Maties), University of the Free State (Kovsies), North-West University (Pukke), University of Johannesburg (UJ), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), University of Cape Town (UCT), Vaal University of Technology (VUT), and the University of Pretoria (Tuks).
KAYA NOCANDA: Three TuksCricket players were selected to represent the University Sports South Africa (USSA) cricket-side in the Cricket South Africa (CSA) triangular series that were hosted at the TuksCricket Oval from 18-23 August.
Heinrich Klaasen, Ruben Claassen and Johan Wessels were selected for this side and they were also part of the team that represented the country and the university at the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals in July.
SIMPHIWE NHLABATHI: On Tuesday 2 September, Maroela’s first XV played Sonop’s first XV in the semi-finals of the Koshuis Rugby League. The game started with both teams observing a minute of silence for Teemus Kauluma, the Maroela resident who died last Monday.
Maroela kicked off the game and the teams were deadlocked as neither defence let up. Maroela strung a few phases together and were playing well but the Sonop defence was able to keep them at bay.
Maroela kept pushing and eventually an incredible chipped ball landed well and bounced in favour of Maroela and they scored a sensational try. The conversion was unsuccessful.
NICOLE BARON: Second-year BCom Agricultural Economics student at UP Dricus du Plessis made history on 30 August as he became the youngest contender to fight for the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) Africa Middleweight title at the age of 20. The fight took place at the Durban International Convention Centre.
Although Du Plessis lost to current champion Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan, he put on an impressive display in the first two rounds, including the use of a full suplex in round two. McLellan then used his experience on the ground in the third round, eventually choking Du Plessis out with a guillotine hold halfway into the round.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: In South Africa a new football season marks not only participation in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but also in cup competitions, like the MTN 8 Cup, Nedbank Cup (also known among football fans as the South African version of the FA Cup) and the Telkom Knockout Cup. The team that wins the Absa Premiership is considered to be superior or is seen as having enjoyed a better season compared to a team that has won, for example, the Nedbank Cup. Mamelodi Sundowns won the Absa Premiership in 2013/14 and are considered to have had a better season compared to Platinum Stars, who won both the MTN 8 Cup and the Telkom Knockout Cup but finished eighth in that Absa Premiership season.