MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
At the beginning of 2017, Toby Sutcliffe took over the reins at TuksSport from long-serving director Kobus van der Walt, who has now retired. Perdeby spoke with Sutcliffe to gain some perspective on how he has settled into the position and his vision for TuksSport.
How have you settled in thus far?
It’s been interesting [...] when you’re in your little bubble...like I was as the CEO of the High Performance Centre, you are in your bubble over there and you tend to worry about what’s happening in your bubble. You don’t look outside of the bubble, [and] now that we’ve been exposed to outside of the bubble, we’re seeing how professional sport is run by the Sports department, and Mr Kobus van der Walt did an unbelievable job. The legacy that he has left behind is something [...] that we have to build on. We cannot digress and we cannot go backwards. We can only go forward because he has done a phenomenal job.
TuksAthletics has enjoyed a very strong start to the season, with UP winning the first leg of Varsity Athletics on 3 March 2016, with record-breaking performances by the likes of Akani Simbine and Clarence Munyai. Danie Cornelius, who is the head of the programme of athletics at UP, was not timid in expressing his delight at the recent results UP athletes have produced, the reasons for the success of TuksAthletics, and the goals of TuksAthletics for this season, when Perdeby spoke with him.
On 13 March, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced that Durban will in all likelihood no longer host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The President of the Federation, Louise Martin, after conducting a review of South Africa’s current preparation for the games, said that they were now “exploring alternative options, including a potential replacement host”.
This decision comes after months of speculation about South Africa’s ability to host the Games after Government missed various deadlines and financial obligations. In an official statement released by the CGF, they claim that South Africa has not been able to fulfil its commitments made in their bid in areas such as governance, venues, funding, and risk management.
KWAZI SOKHELA AND LORINDA MARRIAN
On 8 March, TuksSport hosted its annual Stripe UP event. This is the third time that the event has been hosted. The aim of the event is to celebrate and welcome back the 2015/2016 Stripe Generation, which is the name used to represent the diverse athletes that represent UP, while introducing first years into the TuksSport community. The event was centred on the “elevate your greatness” hashtag, which promotes excellence and success at TuksSport. The event was attended by an abundance of TuksSport staff, sporting clubs and teams such as AmaTuks, the UP Varsity Cup team, and the Tuks Women’s Rugby 7s team.
The main speakers at the event were UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Cheryl De la Rey, and Acting Director of TuksSport, Toby Sutcliffe. They both highlighted the achievements of the previous year, which included the 46 athletes and support staff who attended the Rio Olympics last year, and the three medals won by TuksSport athletes.
The recent ASA Series Meeting in Bloemfontein on 8 March 2017 was shrouded in controversy after numerous athletes registered personal best times and record-setting benchmarks. The legitimacy of the results was questioned after it was declared that the official timing equipment had malfunctioned in the men’s 100 m race.
In a statement Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) President, Aleck Skosana, said, “The transponder in the starting device did not react at the start. It’s a new system and we will have to find out from the [private] company what caused it.” Skosana sought to clarify the speculation surrounding the other races as he stated, “In the other races, we can’t discredit the athletes until we know whether there was an issue with the times.’’ The ASA President further stressed the point that “there is no reason at this stage to question the rest of the results.’’ According to TuksSport News, social media was buzzing with speculative banter after the athletics meeting, with many questioning the fact that so many athletes coincidentally ran personal best times all on the same day, especially when the timing equipment had malfunctioned on that very day.