SIMPHIWE NHLABATHI: Akani Simbine is one of the rising stars in South African athletics. The 20-year-old sprinter represented Tuks at this year’s Varsity Athletics and South Africa at the Commonwealth Games.
You recently ran at the Commonwealth Games. How was the whole experience and what was your proudest moment?
I’m still young in athletics and it’s only my third year doing this. The Commonwealth Games were pretty awesome for me because I was on one stage with all the best sprinters in the world, except the Americans, so it was just like the Olympics and the World Champs. My proudest moment
was when I ran the 200m and qualified for the final. I wasn’t going to do the 200m when I came to the games but then I just decided to move away from withdrawing and just ran. A personal best (20.37) and a final came out of that, which was also totally unexpected.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: After a three-month hiatus the Barclays Premier League is back. During the break, Germany won the World Cup, beating a Messi-led Argentina 1-0. The impact of the German players, such as Mesut Özil and André Schürrle, will soon be felt as the players and fans alike prepare for the new season.
Manchester City made it two league wins in three years at the end of the 2013/14 season, with Liverpool finishing two points behind the champions. Manchester City has had a quiet transfer window so far, but they have brought players like Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard into the squad as they aim to retain the title.
KAYA NOCANDA: UP-Tuks 1 won this year’s BBRU Carlton Cup beating Pretoria Police 35-13 in the final on Saturday 9 August.
In the build-up to the final UP-Tuks 1 coach Pote Human did not believe that the game was going to be easy and said that there would be “war” when the two sides collided.
The opening ten minutes of the game saw both teams using a lot of one-off runners to assert their dominance in the collisions. UP-Tuks 1 were determined to cross the advantage line with each carry but Pretoria Police’s defence was strong and they were able to repel UP-Tuks 1’s efforts. Team captain and number five lock Reniel Hugo spotted some space behind Police’s defensive line and his chip forced the Police full-back to kick the ball out inside his own 22. UP-Tuks 1 were then able to set up a rolling maul that saw Sidney Tobias scoring the first try of the final. The conversion attempt by Antonie Beswick was unsuccessful.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: South African swimming is associated with the likes of Cameron van der Burgh, Roland Schoeman and Chad le Clos, but one name that has been grabbing headlines prior to the commencement of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland is Karin Prinsloo. Arguably the queen of South African swimming, the 24-year-old Limpopo native was selected for the Commonwealth Games after a run of good international performances since her international debut in 2011.
Prinsloo represented South Africa at the All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011, where she won gold in the 4x100m women’s freestyle relay and silver in the women’s 100m backstroke.
KAYA NOCANDA: UP-Tuks 1 coach Pote Human is optimistic about his side’s prospects of defending their BBRU Carlton Cup title. The team has been buoyed by their recent success in the University Sports of South Africa (USSA) Rugby Championship and their form coming into the final, which is set to be staged at Loftus Versfeld.
Human spoke to Perdeby.
Coming into the Top 4 phase of the Carlton Cup, have your achievements in the USSA competition had a significant effect on the team’s morale and their belief that they can defend their title?
Claiming the much sought after USSA championship title for only the second time in the 20-year history of the tournament was a huge morale and confidence booster. We succeeded because every player and management team member lived the dream that we were meant to be the 2014 champions. I am very proud of them all.
ABONGILE SKOSANA: AmaTuks open the 2014/2015 Absa Premiership campaign on 9 August against newly-promoted Polokwane City. Perdeby spoke to AmaTuks head coach Steven Barker about their upcoming season.
AmaTuks did not finish in the top eight of the Absa Premiership last season. How are you planning to up your game this season?
Compared to what many people think, I don’t think it was a poor season and often the log position doesn’t determine the performance that we put on last season, but yeah, it was a tough season for us, having lost a number of key players. I do think that the team played well last season and there were a lot of games that we never really lost [but] we were unfortunate not to have got more out of those games. This season we are far more settled in terms of the squad and the pre-season preparations. We’ve got the majority of the squad from day one as compared to last season. So, I think that would be a big bonus for us this year and a lot of our young players were the youngest players in the league last season ... and I think that extra year [of] experience will help us this coming season.
NICOLE BARON: Assupol TuksCricket won the coveted Sports Team of the Year award for 2013 at the Gauteng Sport Awards held on 11 July at Montecasino in Johannesburg.
Last year was a successful year for TuksCricket. Assupol Tuks 1 won the Momentum Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Club Championships for the second year in a row, having gone unbeaten in 12 matches throughout the past two seasons. They also won the Northern Cricket Union (NCU) Premier League for the third year in a row, the NCU Knock-Out Competition for the fourth year in a row and the NCU T20 Club Competition. Assupol Tuks 1 were also crowned winners of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) Cricket Week.
KAYA NOCANDA: UP-Tuks 1 won gold at the USSA rugby festival hosted by Rhodes University in Grahamstown from 30 June to 4 July.
The Tuks side, under the mentorship of Pote Human, succeeded in winning back the title that Tuks had last won in 2012, beating 2013 champions the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the final.
UP-Tuks 1 came into the competition as strong favourites as the core of their team had been participating in the BBRU Carlton Cup, where they dominated. This meant that most of the Tuks players were already match fit whereas some of the other participating teams did not have this advantage.
WILLIAM ALDRIDGE: UP played host to the 2014 USSA student cycle tour and successfully defended their 2013 title. The race began on 30 June and consisted of five stages over the course of three days in which cyclists were tested in different disciplines.
The first day started with stage 1A, the Rooiwal road race, consisting of a three lap course which was 72km in total. Tuks’s Thomas Weeks managed to break away from the bunch in the final lap as the competition was too focused on Tuks team captain Kevin Patten.
ABONGILE SKOSANA: UP-Tuks coach Evangelos Vellios told Perdeby that his team is committed to defending their Varsity Football title this season.
“It  was a wonderful year knowing that we have accomplished something great and we are the champions,” he said. “I have to make sure that the trophy comes back and stays here at the University of Pretoria. We have to fight to keep it.”