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.


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.


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.


Athletes shaken by ASA scandal


Last week, Athletics South Africa (ASA) announced the official team list for the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

However, the announcement was met with discontent as various athletes who had met IAAF qualifying standards were left out of the official team selection. According to Danie Cornelius, the head of TuksAtheltics, twelve UP athletes who had met IAAF standards were omitted form the final list. This includes in-form athletes such as Henricho Bruintjies, Wayne Snyman, Lebogang Shange, LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana explained that the tougher ASA standards were based on getting better results and argued that SA athletes, when compared with athletes around the world, would rank 18th on the IAAF scale, therefore stricter selection criteria were put in place.


Varsity Football fast approaches


A new semester brings with it a renewed determination and focus for students, both in the classroom and on the sporting field. For the players at TuksFootball there is perhaps an added incentive, with Varsity Football now in its fifth season. TuksFootball will be looking to continue the stream of success for the UP as they look to become the first team to win the prestigious tournament for a third time.

Action will get underway later this week on July 27, when two-time champions Tuks will travel to current defending champions TUT in a match set up as one that may establish the tone for the season. Meanwhile, last year’s finalists, UJ will travel to the Central University of Technology (CUT).

Alternating from last year’s format in which matches were played on Monday nights, games this year will take place on Thursday evenings in order to best accommodate student athletes, as well as to support the student academic and social calendar.


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Will you be attending OppiKoppi this year?

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