Tuks Sport

The fight between club and class


Perdeby took a look at academic challenges facing UP’s sportsmen and women.

For individuals like Natalie Esteves, life is anything but routine. Captaining the TuksSport Women’s Hockey side, as well as playing an integral role in the SA women’s u/23 side, this hockey protégé’s commitments to club and country are quite extensive. While most students have a start-of-semester ritual consisting of timetable restructuring and buying textbooks, Esteves is spending her time on training camps, as well as at local and international tournaments. Her almost nonstop sporting engagements are all the more impressive considering that she is also a full-time Law student. “I think the time we have is limited and often you are studying and learning while exhausted”, said Esteves when asked about problems she has had to confront as a student-athlete. “There are extended periods away from class due to competitions; it’s hard to juggle the struggle of academic demands with the reality of having to play sport at the highest level”. Esteves’ feelings concerning the difficulties juggling athletic and academic commitments are echoed by fellow student-athlete Kyle Melville.

Read more: The fight between club and class

Getting to know TuksExploratio


Perdeby recently sat down with TuksExploratio chairman, Patrick O’Neill, to talk about the club’s history, upcoming events, recruitment, and plans for the future.

What kind of club is TuksExploratio?

We are the outdoor adventure club of the University and are registered as both a society and a sport. We are a social group of people who have a passion for the outdoors.


How old is the organisation?

TuksExploratio is over 40 years old. In 2014 I was hiking in the Cederberg mountains, and when you summit a mountain, it’s a common thing [for the] people who summit [to] put their names in [a] jar. In 2014 I found a list of names from 1972 of a group of exploration members who had summited the mountain.

Read more: Getting to know TuksExploratio

Second semester sport lookout


Following a highly successful start to the UP 2017 sporting calendar in the first semester, the juggernaut that is TuksSport has been tempered, if only momentarily, as the result of a brief hiatus as students and athletes alike return from the mid-year recess.

Expectations, however, have not been quelled as Varsity Sport begins again in relentless fashion with the return of Varsity Football this month. 2017 has proved to be an unforgettable year for most sporting codes at the University of Pretoria, as the university’s trophy cabinet continues to fill up at an alarming rate. Success for UP in the first half of the year came with victories in the Varsity Athletics, Varsity Cup and Varsity Hockey tournaments.

Athletes participating in sporting codes and tournaments throughout the second semester of the year will similarly be looking to contribute towards what is shaping up to be an unparalleled level of success for the UP. With preparations having occurred throughout the year and pre-season training now at an end, Varsity Football will be the first sporting code to return. The competition will get underway on July 27, with the tournament marked as the fifth instalment.

Read more: Second semester sport lookout

TuksSquash host UP internal league


TuksSquash is one of the many sporting clubs at the University of Pretoria to experience success in recent years. Most recently, TuksSquash came second overall at the USSA (University Sports South Africa) tournament for 2017, while the UP ladies team were winners of the women’s section. The club provides athletes with access to world class training facilities at the High Performance Centre (HPC), as well as programmes for individuals of various competency levels. In addition to this, the club accommodates non-competitive players by organising internal league tournaments throughout the course of the year.

The club has arranged for an internal league championship to take place from 26 July to 21 September. The league will be hosted across seven courts situated on the UP Sports Campus, and will welcome existing and new players. The event will be focussed on creating a friendly squash environment. In addition to creating such an atmosphere, the league is organised to preserve the culture of social squash at the club. Apart from regularly hosting tournaments across the TuksSquash calendar, TuksSquash encompasses both junior and senior programmes, catering for all ages and levels. These programmes include sessions directed towards establishing the fundamentals of training by providing athletes with a scientific support system to achieve their individual goals. Junior programmes include a beginner (intro) programme, an intermediate (junior elite)programme, and an advanced (high performance) programme. Senior programmes consist of a full-time academy programme. TuksSquash regularly allows both local and international players to join the various club programmes for the purpose of developing individually tailored training sessions. The club offers accommodation and boarding to competitive players.

Read more: TuksSquash host UP internal league

Tuks athletes heat up the winter break


UP’s junior and senior track and field stars have kept busy during this past winter break, pulling off a string of impressive performances both locally and internationally.

The university’s junior athletes formed part of the SA team that competed at the IAAF World U/18 Athletics Championships in July. From 12 to 16 July, the Moi International Sports centre in Nairobi, Kenya played host to the championships, marking the first time the event has been held on the continent.

Day one of the competition saw TuksSport High school Sprinter Tshenolo Lemao take Gold in the boys’ 100m final. Lemao’s winning time of 10.57 seconds saw him become the first South African athlete ever to win a 100m world title. Compatriot, Retshidisitswe Mlenga, finished a close second in a time of 10.61 seconds to secure a historic one-two finish for team SA. The duo would go in to secure an equally impressive one-two finish in the 200m event, with Mlenga taking first place honours and Lemao coming in second. Fellow TuksSport High School athlete Zazini Sokwakhana seemed to draw inspiration from the Mlenga and Lemao’s performances as he too raced to victory in the boys 400m hurdles final in 49.27 seconds.

Read more: Tuks athletes heat up the winter break

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