UP students at the Commonwealth Games

Mariesa Potgieter

South African athletes made their mark at the Commonwealth Games which took place in Gold Coast, Australia from 4 to 15 April 2018. Among these South African athletes, the UP students excelled and produced some brilliant results. One of the athletes with stand-out results is the swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker.

Schoenmaker set three new African records by winning the women’s 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:06:41, the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:22:02 and by coming fourth in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 00:30:82. She is the first South African female swimmer to win a gold medal in eight years. The UP athletes had some brilliant performances in the athletics. Akani Simbine, who graduated recently, won the 100m finals and beat the competition favourite, Yohan Blake, from Jamaica. Simbine finished with a time of 00:10:02 and is the first South African male to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games for the men’s 100m. Wenda Nel made South African athletics history when she earned a bronze in the 400m hurdles with a time of 00:54:96. She is the first South African female to earn a podium finish in a longer hurdles event at a major international competition. Clarence Munyai competed in the 200m final and finished fourth with a time of 00:20:58. He recently broke the South African 200m record with a time of 00:19:69 at the South African National Championship.

Constant Pretorius put in a good effort in the 400m hurdles with a time of 00:49:71 placing fourth in his heat, despite not qualifying for the final. Chris-Marie Van Wyk competed in the Rhythmic Gymnastics and succeeded by qualifying for the individual all-around finals and placing 16th overall.


TuksRugby women’s sevens undefeated locally and forging ahead

Ntokozo Zondo

The Deltadrone TuksRugby women’s sevens are on a winning streak that does not appear to be ending anytime soon. The locally undefeated team achieved a career milestone when they got to play the main curtain raiser for the Bulls at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 31 March where the team continued their winning streak against the Soweto Eagles with an impressive score of 42-0. Team captain, Libbie Janse van Rensburg, attributes the team’s impressive achievements to their international exposure. “We play against other international clubs as well as other national teams which is really what sets us apart from other clubs in South Africa.”

Janse van Rensburg said. Janse van Rensburg, who was initially sceptical about the sport, now passionately declares that the sport has come to mean a great deal for her. “Sevens rugby to me has become such a natural part of my life and it has taught me so many humbling lessons.” Despite the various challenges that come with playing the male dominated sport, Janse van Rensburg said the “thrill of the game and laying additional foundations for women’s rugby makes [her] feel incredibly proud”. The team’s spirit of perseverance led to them achieving a considerably exceptional 2017, winning two out of five tournaments, one of which included a historic win in France where they won the Stanislas Sevens Tournament. Janse van Rensburg discussed their upcoming opportunity to defend this title saying, “We have a lot of pressure riding on us after winning that tournament last year. It wasn’t an easy victory and I think this year it is going to be even tougher.” However she is hopeful, describing the rugby team as having “a lot of fresh talent”.


TuksTennis takes on Sun City

Ntokozo Zondo

TuksTennis competed in the 2018 Sun City Wilson SA Universities Tennis Tournament between 13 and 16 April. The purpose of the tournament is to prepare and introduce all of the universities for the upcoming. tennis season. The tournament is composed of round robin format along with the world tennis format. The first team, Tuks 1 beat Kovsies (UFS) with a score of four matches to one and achieving a final score of 31.23. Kyla Yelverton, TuksTennis chairperson, Kyla Yelverton, commended this victory and said, “The first team had one of their biggest wins by beating Kovsies for the first time in ten years.” This secured the team’s spot in the semi-final round robin section.

The first team went on to play NWU in the semi-finals who they narrowly lost with a score of 21-26. Tuks 2 played Maties 2 resulting in a victory, securing a win in their section of the tournament. Tuks 3 won a match against Maties 3, securing an overall eighth place in the tournament. Yelverton discussed the objectives the club had set for themselves. “Ultimately, preparing for Sun City the goal was to win it, it was quite an emotional day beating Kovsies and then losing to North West University” she said. However, reflecting on the outcome, she said the UP team did well. “Kovsies […] won the tournament which is positive for TuksTennis as Tuks [was] the only team Kovsies lost to,” Yelverton said. Yelverton stressed the importance of mental preparation when going into competition, saying it “creates a winning mind-set for the team and [helps in] maintaining a positive environment at any practice and match that we play.


Five minutes with TuksWaterpolo

Caitlyn Walsh

Perdeby recently spoke to TuksWaterpolo manager about the sport and what it entails to be on the team.


What does TuksWaterpolo entail as a sport and what can it offer students?
Waterpolo is a very diverse sport which not only focuses on physical strength but also on mental capabilities as well as team work. We find that the teamwork dynamic of the sport gives a very enriching feel to our players as everyone feels involved regardless of skill level.


What do the training sessions involve and where do sessions take place?Our sessions typically consist of a swim set, or some form of activity related to increasing our fitness levels. Thereafter we focus on ball skills and body positioning through passing, shooting, wrestling or game situation drills. And we typically end off with either practice matches or some form of set up drills to get everyone involved. All our training take[s] place at the 50m pool on the sports campus.


What benefits are there to water polo?
TuksWaterpolo is the only operating water polo club in the Pretoria region which caters for everyone, from scholars to students and even those outside of university. The biggest benefit for us is that we train and compete throughout the entire year [as] our pool [is] heated for the TuksSwimming club and we are entered into the Johannesburg Summer and Winter Leagues, as well as being able to compete in three tournaments throughout the year as TuksWaterpolo.


Is TuksWaterpolo only for competitors or can students take part for enjoyment?
TuksWaterpolo is open for everyone. We have a vast group of students from those who have been playing for most of their lives to those who have just started. We don’t want to push anyone away and make our club seem elitist as we want to help grow the sport as much as possible. We also have students who want to [play] it more socially and come whenever they are able to do so and they also have the option to play the weekly matches or not.


How can a student join TuksWaterpolo and what are the membership fees?
Students can join at any time throughout the year, however, is preferable to join in either January or July. Anyone who is interested just needs to come down for a few sessions to see whether they enjoy the environment and the style of training we have and only thereafter we will ask them to register. The registration process is all online and is operated by TuksAquatics. The fees for all students [are] currently R1,150 for the year which includes the ability to use the facility and equipment, being eligible to play in both the Summer and Winter league fixtures as well as being eligible to play in any of the tournaments we enter into. There is also a scholar option at R350, which is only available for those who are still in school and only allows them to make use of the facilities for training.


Interview with UP archer: Shaun Anderson

Marren Mckay

Shaun Anderson, also known as “The One-Armed Bandit”, has competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Commonwealth Games, IFA and numerous other note-worthy events. In the last few years, Anderson has overcome losing an arm and was also paralyzed from the waist down in October, 2017. However, he refuses to let that slow him down and he continuously strives for greatness. When asked who inspires him, Anderson immediately mentions Francois Pienaar, retired Springbok captain, known as the man who brought the team together.


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