Image Credit: Sikhulule Nkomphela
UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, has thrown his weight behind the university rugby team ahead of their all-important FNB Varsity Cup campaign in Pretoria, which kicks off over the Easter weekend.
It will be the first time that the rugby team, or any university team for that matter, will participate in any competition since university sport was put on hold due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The tournament will be hosted in a bio-bubble in Jacaranda City in compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
During a virtual send-off in the week, before the team departed, Prof Pretorius said the whole UWC community was entirely behind the team.
“I know it has been a tough time for you as you have not been able to play rugby for a long while, but now it’s time to step back on the field,” he said.
“When you are in the bio-bubble where you will be playing all your matches, know that we will be there in spirit, cheering you on and hoping to see many UWC players finding the try line. I don’t have to tell you that being in the Varsity Cup is hard and that you will be going up against some of the heavyweight teams. But when you will be stepping out on the field, you will be carried by the support of the entire campus community. So do us proud, play your hearts out and stay safe and healthy.”
UWC Director of Sport, Mandla Gagayi, reminded the playing staff that when Paul Treu took over the coaching reigns at UWC, he was on a mission to win the tournament.
“And he can only do that with your support. You have all the support staff behind you – they have done everything behind the scenes to make sure that you are ready to play. Now it is all up to you to go there and prove what you can do.”
Gagayi warned the players not to turn a blind eye to their studies.
“You are here to study first of all, so whenever you get a break there, study. It is not going to help if you play this year and excel in rugby and come next year you don’t meet the 60 credits that are required. It will mean you will be excluded from playing next year. So excel in rugby but also excel academically”.
UWC will kick off their Varsity Cup campaign against UFS Shimlas at 17h00 on Tuesday, 5 April 2020, and the game will be broadcast live on Supersport.
*To get to know Paul Treu and his plans for UWC Rugby, read the latest edition of Blue and Gold by clicking HERE.