There are a couple of clubs that are not as popular as Football or Basketball here at Wits. The following list is about some of these clubs.
Fun In the Sun!: Members of the Yacht Club sitting outside their yacht during O-Week. Photo: Michelle Gumede
With the long list of sports and recreational clubs at Wits, it can be pretty challenging to pick a sporting or recreational activity to participating in. We’ve got the scoop on clubs that don’t hectic waiting lists.
- The Yacht Club
If you have ever dreamed about sailing the seven seas, then this club may be for you. Established in 1972, the aim of the club is to teach its members how to sail. On average, it takes individuals about three to four 5-hour sessions for participants to learn how to sail. Subscription to the club is R400 per academic year and all you need, in the event that you do not own your own equipment, will be provided for you.
- The Underwater Club
Established in the 1960s, there are two sides to the club: scuba diving and underwater hockey. Scuba diving gives participants an opportunity to get accredited through the South African scuba diving instructors association for level one, CMAS-ISA at R1300 for the 2 to 3-week long course. All you need is a mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit. The rest of the equipment will be provided. Get more information on their Facebook page: Wits Underwater Club.
Do you love football, but hate being outside? Futsal may be for you. One of the really lesser-known sports in the country, futsal is a short form of football, featuring, instead of 11 players in a team, 5 players. It is played on a plastic-like court, with a normal football pitch markings. To play, you need specialized court shoes that are available at sports shops. You can join the team for R100 per semester in order to play in a season. For more info, visit their Facebook page: Wits Futsal
Described as the fastest racquet sport on the planet, Badminton is an indoor sport that looks like tennis, but is like volleyball, with a different set of rules. The Wits Badminton club offers classes for people who have never played the sport before. Subscription is R300 to for half a year and R600 to play the full year. The club has been doing very well at various sporting competitions, being particularly successful at the University Sports South Africa 2015 tournament. If you’re looking to improve your hand-eye coordination, then Badminton is for you. You need your own racquet to play. Facebook: Wits Badminton Club
Voted Sports Club of the Year for 2015, the orienteering club is doing great things. The idea of the sport is to navigate using a map in the fastest time. The club’s subscription is R110 for the year and that gets you a R10 discount for every orienteering event you’re involved in. If map reading is not your strong point, that’s okay because the club is more than willing to teach you. All you need are comfortable walking shoes. Everything else, such as a hat, maps and electronics (for the navigating) are provided. For information visit: https://witsorienteering.wordpress.com/
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
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.