Witsie’s score big in the 2015 USSA’s

Wits athletes excelled in the 2015 USSA tournament in various sport codes 

 

Wits rugby team competing in the 2015 inter-varsity tournament organised by University Sports South Africa (USSA). Photo: Provided

Wits rugby team competing in the 2015 inter-varsity tournament organised by University Sports South Africa (USSA).                                                                         Photo: Provided

While most students were on the midyear break, Wits athletes were competing in the 2015 inter-varsity tournament organised by University Sports South Africa (USSA).

Wits excelled both on the court and on the field in seven different codes including basketball, hockey, rugby, netball, badminton, squash and gymnastics.

The Wits women’s teams were some of the top achievers in netball, basketball and hockey.

The Wits hockey girls, coached by former South African women’s team striker Pietie Coetzee-Turner, beat out the other universities including the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in the final where they won 3-0. This secured them a promotion to the A section of next year’s tournament where they will face tough competitors including Stellenbosch University.

The men’s hockey side didn’t fare as well, when they lost their vital 3rd game of the tournament to Nelson Mandela Municipality University (NMMU) 9-1, and could no longer reach the play-offs. This also means that the men’s Hockey team may not make the cut-off for next year’s Varsity Hockey series.

The Wits Netball team made a great comeback and won the B section of the USSA’s. They went on to beat three teams during the round robin section. Attempting to regain their winning streak they went on to beat Durban University of Technology (DUT), but unfortunately lost in the following match to Central University of Technology (CUT Bloemfontein).

Wits women’s Basketball team had to defend the gold they won at the University of Pretoria in last year’s tournament. But Vaal University of Technology (VUT), proved to be their undoing, losing 58-65 and giving them the Silver position.

The men’s basketball team beat UKZN 75-41 but were the recipients of a debated forfeiture ruling after allegedly arriving late for a game. This resulted in them ending the tournament in 9th place.

It wasn’t just the ladies that performed during the winter USSA program, with the Wits Rugby team finishing in 5th position after facing old rivals UKZN and University of Western Cape (UWC) on the sports field.

Although Wits lost during their opening game, they regrouped to defeat UKZN 54-0. This turned out to be a grudge match after Wits was beaten by UKZN in the Varsity Shield final in April. In their final game, Wits finally beat UWC 32-7.

2015 was one of the best USSA’s as far as Wits rugby XV, according to Wits Rugby manager Al Leonard.

In gymnastics the Wits team placed third overall and came home with great results including 12 medals. Among them are Ruan Prestorius who placed first in the novice mini-trampoline while Vhuwavho Matibe brought home the gold in the level 2 rhythmic section.

On the badminton court Witsies Matthew Michel and Tashlin Hamid excelled and were selected for the national squad, while the team placed 5th overall in the A section.

Witsies not only took part in the USSA’s but also played host to the Squash programme where they claimed four victories. But unfortunately came up short against heavyweights, NMMU, UJ, and UCT.

Wits gymnasts aiming for gold

Wits gymnasts showed off their supple skills and stretches while they were being tested for Level two at the Gold Reef Rhythmic Gymnastics competition. The girls took on the challenge with smiles all around, confident that they will get gold at USSA in June.

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HOOLA HOOPING:Senior Wits gymnast Makgotso Tibane showed impressive structure and skills doing her first competition in rhythmic gymnastics in the hoops section. Photo: Anlerie de Wet

The Wits Gymnastics club showed elegance and poise at the Gold Reef Rhythmic Gymnastics competition last Thursday afternoon on West Campus, Wits University.

Six of the club’s gymnasts participated in the competition in the balls and hoops sections. Even though the majority of the club are brand new to gymnastics, head coach of the Gold Reed Rhythmic club, Maureen van Rooyen believes “they will win USSA with a smile”.

“They are all starting out in rhythmic gymnastics and what they do, they do extremely well,” said Wits gymnastics coach Louise Brown.

There will be another competition in the coming weeks before the club sends its members to the University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament taking place in Potchefstroom at the end of June.

Brown explains that these competitions before USSA will give the girls a better opportunity to polish their work and get a feel for what gymnastics competitions are really like.

“We have already practiced a lot and we have the best coaches, so I feel 70% confident that I will win USSA,” said mathematics honours student Vhuhwavho Matibe, who took first place for the balls section with an impressive 12.4 score.

Second-year LLB student and senior in the club, Makgotso Tibane, is positive that the club will do well at USSA, but hopes that after the tournament Wits Sport will take the club seriously.

“We have good abilities and everyone is committed. It would be nice to have some back-up from Wits Sport, because when we get medals, they take the credit,” said first-year BA General student Lihle Petros.

Although funding is a big problem for the club, Brown is more focused on taking on the challenges that the gymnasts are facing within the sport itself.

“Flexibility is the most challenging aspect for those starting a sport like this relatively late in life, but the girls are committed and enthusiastic,” said Brown.