After 13 teams battled it out there could be only one winner. And this time around it was FC Lande, led by former staff member and student Sigqibo Lande, who took home the trophy and the R10 000 prize money. “This is third time lucky for us,” he said after winning the tournament.
“Thanks to my teammates and mostly to God, we have won it this time around. It’s amazing and such a great feeling to win this tournament and see your hard work paying off,” said Lande who obtained his BSc in Computer Science in 2012. “We will be back next year to defend our cup.”
Lande, who also worked as a web developer for the University, said his team had worked hard and were more disciplined this year. “Last year, for instance, we forfeited a game after we arrived late and we were knocked out.” Lande hailed the University for organising such an event which brings out the best in everyone.
Kings of UWC was started in 2009 by UWC students. Back then, teams were charged R50 each to enter, and the winning team pocketed all the money. The tournament has since progressed to offering R10 000 to the winners.
“It’s been amazing to see the growth of the tournament over the last 10 years. It’s good to see that the level of competition and skill has also increased year on year," said UWC alumnus and co-founder of the tournament, Hilton Stroud.
Patricia Lawrence, Director for Institutional Advancement, explained that the tournament is an annual event, organised by a group of passionate alumni who use soccer as a vehicle to maintain a connection and an affinity with the University.
“It started informally with students playing for bragging rights, however, the bonds formed at this tournament have lasted for years after graduating. The idea for Kings of UWC was birthed when two groups of students decided to challenge each other to a game to decide who the best was. The tournament grew from there with more and more teams wanting to claim the bragging rights that went along with a victory.”
This event, Lawrence said, not only serves as an opportunity for alumni to stay connected to the University, but also to give back by raising money for the Alumni Office through team’s registration fees.
The player of the tournament and defender of the tournament honours went to Mzwandile Nodada and Anele Nzuma, respectively. Both awards are named after tournament alumni Lyle "Lallo" Arendse and Kyle "Kabamba" Lawrence who passed away due to illness. Both played a huge role in the formation and success of the tournament.