UP athletes shine at SA champs

The SA Senior Athletics Championships took place in Potchefstroom on the weekend of 21 to 23 April, with current and former UP athletes putting in world class performances. The build-up to the event was dominated by the men’s 100m final as all five of South Africa’s sub-10 second sprinters were expected to be present at the championships. The likes of South African 100m record holder and UP athlete Akani Simbine and 400m Olympic Champion and world record holder Wade Van Niekerk headlined the event, with Simbine’s #FillUpPotch social media movement serving to increase the public’s interest.  


UP win Varsity Cup in a thrilling final

The Varsity Cup final was played at the Tuks Ruby Stadium on Monday evening in front of a sold-out crowd. UP came into the final having beaten the Shimlas in their semi-final encounter. UP were expected to do well in the fiercely anticipated final against  Maties.

The match’s starting pace was intense, with both teams’ backs running at each other. This resulted in a few mistakes made by UP, which presented Maties with the first try of the match in the 5th minute from lock Jaco Venter. The additional points were converted by flyhalf Chris Smith. It did not take the home team a long time to reply as UP’s Captain and flank, Chris Massyn, ran in for UP’s first try of the match after some neat interchange by the team. Flyhalf Tinus de Beer converted the try to equal the score.


Miss Varsity Cup 2017

On 17 April, the winner of the annual Miss Varsity Cup competition will be announced. Perdeby met up with Miss Tuks Varsity Cup, Gizelle Venske, representing UP in the competition. Venske, a first-year BCom Accounting Sciences student was announced the winner of Miss Tuks Varsity Cup in mid-March after being selected from the top 20 entrants. After the selection process, a boot camp with the top 20 entrants was held where former Miss Tuks Varsity Cup mentored the entrants. Thereafter, the top five were chosen and finally the winner was selected after intensive interviews and activation challenges.


UP-Tuks reach the finals of the 2017 Varsity Cup


UP-Tuks has set up a intense finals clash with the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) after they defeated the University of the Free State (UFS-Shimlas) by 28 points to 21 in a tightly contested semi-final on Monday night at the Tuks Stadium.

As proceedings got underway, the Shimlas were the early aggressors as they tested the UP-Tuks defence. The visitors, however, were not able to capitalise on their early dominance within the first ten minutes. Despite the strong start by the Shimlas, it was UP-Tuks that registered the first points of the night. In the 12th minute, fly-half Tinus de Beer managed to penetrate the Shimlas’ defence, creating an overlap for winger Sibahle Maxwane to exploit, which ultimately led to him scoring the first try of the night. De Beer converted Maxwane’s try to put Tuks 7-0 ahead.


UP wins Varsity Athletics 2017

On 31 March, the final leg of Varsity Athletics 2017 was hosted at UP’s newly renovated Bestmed TuksAthletics Stadium. The evening started off with near perfect conditions and saw some of South Africa’s best university athletes descend on Pretoria to compete for the title of Varsity Athletics Champions. UP entered as favourites to win the A division, as they had previously won the first leg of the tournament hosted in Potchefstroom early this month. UP athletes had to work hard for the win and faced stiff competition from the likes of Letitia Janese van Vuuren, from North-West University (Pukke). She broke her own Varsity Athletics hammer throw record at 62.37 metres, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Madiba) student Garth Ellis broke the Varsity Athletics record when he jumped an incredible 2.12 metres in the men’s high jump.


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