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Varsity Athletics

Author: IA: 021 959 3637

The University of the Western Cape will be among some of the top Universities to participate in the Varsity Sports’ Competition that will start on 15 April 2013.

The University of the Western Cape will be among some of the top Universities to participate in the Varsity Sports’ Competition that will start on 15 April 2013.

The Varsity Sports’ Athletics Competition will take place in Stellenbosch, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The competition is envisioned as a platform to bridge the gap between school and professional sport. Varsity Sports is the result of a partnership between the country’s top universities and Advent Sport Entertainment and Media Pty Ltd (ASEM), which is set to continue for at least 10 years.

The participating universities are; Stellenbosch University (Maties), the University of Johannesburg (UJ), University of Pretoria (Tuks), North-West University (Pukke), the University of the Free State (Kovsies), University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), the University of Cape Town (Ikeys), the University of the Witwatersand (Wits) and the University of Limpopo

Varsity Sports already gave the country Varsity sevens rugby and Varsity beach volleyball competitions, last December in Plettenberg Bay and Margate, and now launches the next phase with competitions in athletics, women’s hockey, soccer and netball.

These exciting additions were announced at a launch at Marks Park in Emmarentia, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Varsity Sports events will primarily take place on Monday evenings and will be broadcast live on SuperSport ensuring that the talents of university sportsmen and women are showcased on a national stage.

Varsity Sports’ exclusive sponsors are First National Bank (FNB), Famous Brands and Cell C. “Varsity Sports mandate is to showcase untapped Varsity talent, to unlock the inherent commercial potential that sports present whilst enhancing brands and ultimately help build South African sport”, says François Pienaar, CEO of Advent Sport Entertainment & Media Pty Ltd.

“South Africa has extensive talent resources and Varsity Sports will become the high performance  platform for this talent. The Collegiate market is set to grow exponentially as a government  imperative, and Varsity Sports as the aggregator presents one of the most exciting commercial and  social investment opportunities for brands.” The Varsity athletics competition commences on April 15th, when the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) hosts the first of three meets at the magnificent Coetzenburg Stadium. Each event will be condensed into 100 minutes of high octane action, with 9 men’s and 9 women’s items, as well as two mixed gender relays.

The other two meets are scheduled for 22 April at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and 29 April at the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

Eight universities – Maties, UJ, Tuks, Pukke, Kovsies, UWC, NMMU and TUT – will participate. Each event offers points, and the university with the most points after the three meets will be crowned overall winner of Varsity Sports Athletics and take home the trophy.

The Varsity hockey competition will initially only involve women’s teams and will start shortly after the commencement of the Varsity athletics competition. It will be followed by Varsity soccer, Varsity netball, Varsity sevens rugby and Varsity beach volleyball, of which the dates will be confirmed at a later stages.

The media rights of the eleven universities involved are owned by the University Sports Company (USC). USC’s chairman, Professor Henk Kriek, said the body is very excited to see university sport enter this new phase and looks forward to seeing an improvement in the standard of athletics, netball, soccer, hockey, rugby 7s and beach volleyball at university level.

“We are moving to the next phase of Varsity Sports action. The idea of using universities as a development hub for South African sport will now spill over to a variety of sporting disciplines” said Prof Kriek.

“Our aim is to provide a high-performance level between school and professional sport, giving those students with the talent to compete the freedom to do so in a structured environment and prove  their potential to take the next step on a national stage. We are committed to addressing the talent drain between secondary school and club sports and to transforming grassroots sport across all sporting codes”

40 seats are available for supporters. The bus will leave at 5:30pm from the UWC Sports Stadium on Monday 15 April 2013.

For more information contact Hayward Barends 021 959 2023, hmbarends@uwc.co.za

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