- Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 01:30
- Written by Nicole Beale
An overview of UCT sports events in the past few days...
February 20th saw the UCT Netball Club kick off the trials afresh with new coaches, Western Province’s Helena Laubscher and Stephanie Duursema. The club now consists of 20 players in the 1st and 2nd teams and about 30 players in the other three squads.
In an exciting move forward, the Club has also introduced a men’s team for the first time. With open invitations to any men interested in joining to take part in practices on Mondays and Thursdays from 5.30pm on the practice courts adjacent to the Tennis Club, the men’s team works hard at challenging the female players.
The club’s Internal League commenced on the March 4th, with Varietas, Tugwell, Forest Hill and Obz Square participating in the first round. With wins for the strong teams of Varietas and Forest Hill, this is set to be a thriller of a season. Obz Square is the team to watch, showing their mettle against defending champions Forest Hill.
The men’s basketball team started the season with a challenging game against UWC.
Considering that the team had only practiced thrice since the final selection, they performed quite well in the game. Initially struggling, UCT united in the third quarter after UWC had already established a 14-point lead.
In an exhilarating comeback, UCT upped their pace, strengthened their defence and regained the lead. Despite the intense efforts of UWC, UCT managed to hold on and walked away with a 61–59 victory with Head Coach Sergei Paly admitting that “it was a hard-earned win.”
The women’s team dominated the inexperienced UWC team. With excellent ball movement and top-class shooting, UCT excelled in each quarter of the match with the ladies enjoying a comfortable 58–20 win.
The Absa Cape Epic is just around the corner, and UCT students are among some of the volunteers getting involved. Nathan Trollip, a fourth-year Mechatronics Engineering student and keen cyclist, told VARSITY: “I’m really looking forward to helping out at the Absa Cape Epic. This is an exciting opportunity to see how big stage races are organised and also to see some professionals pushing themselves to the limit.” This year marks the ninth year since the race’s inception, and promises to be as challenging as previous years, with 16300m of climbing over 781km between Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, via Robertson and Caledon, to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
The race takes place between March 25th and April 1st. The Prologue marks the start of the Absa Cape Epic at Meerendal Wine Estate. 1 200 hard-core mountain bikers from all over the world will charge over the demanding terrain. There's much in store for spectators, from the buzzing atmosphere to a Freshlyground concert on the last day at Lourensford Wine Estate. As the premier long-distance mountain bike race in South Africa, it's certainly an event anyone with even a vague interest in cycling will be sure not to miss. Catch all the updates live on varsitynewspaper.co.za.
On February 22nd, 2 000 paddlers took to the water in the 2012 Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon, widely recognised as one of South Africa’s toughest endurance sporting events. The race covers a 120km-stretch of river from Pietermaritzburg to Durban over three days.
Four members of the UCT Canoe Club squad, Ben Biggs, Ben Bradford, Bruce Hughes and Andrew Birkett headed to KZN for the race where Biggs, an Engineering student, teamed up with his cousin, Shaun, in a bid to achieve a top-ten finish.
After a gruelling three days, Biggs came in sevent place overall – the best ever finish for a UCT student. Bruce Hughes, the UCT club safety officer, finished second in the singles category with Ben Bradford also placing in the top one hundred finishers overall. Unfortunately, Andrew Birkett’s hopes of finishing on the top 50 were dashed when his boat sustained serious damage on the second day.
The UCT Canoe Club put in countless hours of training – from practising running with their 12–20kg boats at least twice a week to hours spent in their boats, resulting in such an impressive performance.
The finals of the Top 4 Volleyball Games took place in Athlone on March 6th, seeing UCT ladies take on Saints and UCT males take on the Western Cape Sports School (WCSS).
After four sets in the ladies’ game, the scores were 25–28, 23–25, 12–25, 25–17, which left the teams tied at 2–2 and necessitated the playing of a fifth set as a decider. UCT ladies stayed focused and finished the set convincingly with a 15–12 win, ending the game with a 3–2 win. The men won 3–1 with the scores sitting at: 25–19, 23–25, 25–16, 25–14. Jessica Davies played exceptionally as the ladies’ utility player and Gashirai Masvikeni had an outstanding game for the men.
The results mean that both UCT teams are now ranked third in the Western Cape, an improvement over last year’s fourth place for the ladies, while the men didn’t qualify for the Top 4 last year.
With contributions from Lisalokuhle Mbobo, Nwabisa Dyonashe,Salebona Shongwe, Caterina Aldera, Steve Bissett & Christine von Hirschfeld.