The UWC Executive Team hosted a Varsity Football Team Luncheon on 15 September 2015 to “salute” the important achievements of the men and the women soccer teams in the Varsity Football tournament.
Both teams have reached the finals of the competition to be played at home against the Tshwane University of Technology on Heritage Day. Kick-off is at 15h00 for the women’s team and at 17h15 for the men’s team.
Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, congratulated the teams, saying sport is important as it says to aspiring sports men and women that they can be great, not only through sport but also through education. “So it’s vital for me that we open up the possibility of someone being good at sports but at the same time achieving their educational and vocational aspirations,” Pretorius commented.
Pretorius, who is also the president of University Sports South Africa (USSA), noted that although the University promotes high performance sport it must not be forgotten that sports in itself plays an important role in the holistic development of students. “We don’t only want to develop students intellectually. We do want to develop them culturally, we want to develop them through sport so that at the end of the day when we send you to the world we don’t only send you as certificated individuals but we send you as a holistically educated individual.”
Pretorius praised the teams for their achievements. “Your progress in this competition has been remarkable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful reputational enhancement that you have brought for UWC. As I said before, winning is not everything but winning is the only thing. We will send you to that final next week knowing that your ambition will be to bring back the gold for us. Go out and make us proud on the final day.”
Salie Adams, coach of the men’s team, said when his side lost the semi-finals in the Club Championships late last year they were so disappointed that many of them committed to do well this year. “And they were convinced that we will do well in the tournament and I think that mind-set has brought us to this final.”
His captain, Reon October, said his side went into the tournament as underdogs with nobody giving them a chance. “I think that was the driving force that made us play the way we played this year. We were the underdogs but we finished the season at the first position. I know my boys are going to come to the party next week and hopefully we will make everybody happy.”
UWC Ladies coach Nathan Peskin commended the “extremely talented group of girls for doing an exceptional job. They represented their institution with more than exception. We are certainly up for the challenge and hope you will all be there when we make you proud.”
The women’s team skipper, Vuyo Mkhabela, thanked the men’s team for inspiring them. “This year you stepped up, showed us the way and we followed. Hopefully when we show you the way on Thursday you will follow. For most of us this is our last year at UWC and we want to finish with a bang”.