The 2022 sporting season has been a successful year for the different sporting teams and student-athletes at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). This article shares a summary and highlights of some of the major sporting achievements and outstanding performances by the UJ sport teams and student-athletes in various codes.
The senior women’s football team of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) claimed this year’s Varsity Football championship on home soil after a 5-3 penalty shootout on Sunday, 16 October 2022. Like the women’s rugby 7s team, the UJ women’s football team won the tournament unbeaten in five matches. The Varsity Football title is their second in the history of the tournament, after winning it nine years ago (2013). Prior to their championship, they won the Engen Knockout Challenge as well as the Engen Champ of Champions tournament at Marks Park in Emmerentia, Johannesburg.
- Sphumelele Shamase was named Player of the Tournament for the Engen Knockout Challenge, as well as the FNB Varsity Football Player of the Tournament
- Refilwe Maseko, Dineo Magagula and Sphumelele Shamase were called up to the Banyana squad for the COSAFA Cup and the CHAN tournament as well as international Banyana Banyana friendly match against Australia, respectively.
The UJ senior men’s football team started the year on a good note, finishing as runners-up in the Men’s Regional SAB League – Blue Stream. They also went on to finish as runners-up in the FNB Varsity Football tournament, losing to Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the final.
- Thulani Zandamela was named the FNB Varsity Football Player of the Tournament, and the tournament’s top goal scorer with 5 goals in the campaign.
The UJ netball team also had a successful year reaching their first ever Varsity Netball semi-final, losing to eventual winners Maties in Stellenbosch on Monday, 10 October 2022. Before the Varsity Netball tournament, UJ Netball team took silver medals at the 2022 Gauteng Province Championships on 23 July 2022 at Saheti School, Ekurhuleni. The team lost to the University of Pretoria (Tuks) in the final.
- UJ netball player, Mukhatshelwa Tshisikhawe won the Player of the Tournament accolade in the 2022 Gauteng Province Championships.
- Boitumelo Mahloko, Bongiwe Msomi (UJ Netball Manager and Coach), Tarle Mathe, Nomfundo Mngomezulu, and Monique Reyneke were the UJ netball players named in the contracted SPAR Proteas squad. Their professional contracts commenced 01 April 2022 and will run until December 2023.
- Liza Kruger, Monica Gomases and Cornelia Mupenda were called up to the Namibia national netball squad for the Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers in Tshwane.
The senior women’s rugby 7s team enjoyed success this year. They were crowned the 2022 FNB Varsity Sports Rugby 7s tournament champions on Saturday, 08 October 2022 at the University of Pretoria (Up-Tuks) Stadium. Their impressive championship win comes just two months after they also won the 2022 Imbokodo 7s tournament in August 2022.
- The UJ women’s rugby 7s team won all 6 games of the tournament, conceding a single try.
- UJ Women’s captain Masingita Simango was crowned FNB Varsity 7s Player of the Tournament.
- Tanya Shava was named in the Varsity 7s team of the tournament, as well as being the tournament’s top scorer.
The men’s Rugby 7s team of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) retained their Golden Lions Rugby Union Club 7’s championship following their 34-12 win against Raider Rugby Club in the final on 17 July 2022. UJ’s Junior Men’s Team were also crowned champions of the Junior Men’s Division. FNB UJ men’s rugby team finished 6th in the Varsity Cup and avoided relegation.
- Mpho Kubheka, the UJ 7s rugby senior team captain, won the Golden Lions Rugby Union Club 7’s Player of the Tournament.
- Regular attacking player, Darnell Osuagwu, joined the Sigma Lions rugby squad for the 2022 Currie Cup. He has now turned professional and is recognised as a South African rugby union player.
A number of UJ student-athletes started the year on a good note, winning gold, silver and bronze medals in the Central Gauteng Athletics Open Meeting 2 on Saturday, 12 February 2022 at Boksburg Stadium. This set the tone for the rest of the year and produced one of the best years to date when it comes to individual and team performances in UJ athletics. With eight gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals, the UJ athletes booked a third spot on the overall medal standings in the 2022 University Sport South Africa (USSA) in Cape Town on the between 5 and 7 May 2022.
- The UJ athletics led all 17 participating African universities with fifteen (15) medals (7 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze) in the 10th All Africa University Games at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya from 6 to 10 June 2022.
- Sisanda Dumisa, Chris Mhlanga and Lebogang Ramela, scooped two silver and a bronze medals at the 2022 Athletics South Africa (ASA) Cross Country Championships in Rustenburg on 17 September 2022.
- Nkosinathi Sibiya, Ryan Mphahele, Maxime Chaumeton, Tshwanelo Aobobe, Zinzi Xulu, Jason van Rooyen and Werner Visser as well as Leandri Geel registered podium finishes at the University of Western Cape (UWC).
- The UJ student-athletes collected a whopping nine (9) medals in this year’s University Sport South Africa Cross Country championships at North West University (NWU), Mahikeng Campus. With 6 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals, UJ topped the medal standings.
- Werner Visser (1 gold), Cheswill Johnson (2 silver), Ryan Mphahlele (1 silver) and Mpho Links (1 bronze) were the UJ students and among South African athletes who achieved podium finishes in the 2022 CAA African Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius.
The UJ basketball teams were exceptional in 2022, winning various tournaments with slick eye-catching performances. In the All Africa University Games at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, the UJ senior men’s basketball team were crowned champions of the tournament following an entertaining encounter that ended 79-74 against hosts Kenyatta University. Prior to this championship, the Orange Wave basketball team were crowned champions of the 2022 Inner City Super League (ICSL) on Sunday, 29 May 2022. They won the final match 76-63 over the Braamfontein Blues at Wits Hall 29 in Johannesburg.
- The Orange Wave, the UJ senior men’s basketball team won the 2022 Gauteng Universities Basketball League (GUBL) on Sunday, 16 October 2022.
- Hope Dim and Davison Chivero claimed the All Star Players Awards.
- Clinton Meela bagged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the GUBL tournament.
- The Orange Galaxy, the UJ senior women’s basketball team, settled for a bronze medal finish in the GUBL women’s tournament on Sunday, 16 October 2022 at the University Pretoria (UP Tuks).
Hoisting the SA flag high, Caitlin Rooskrantz, a UJ first-year student and gymnast, won a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, on Monday, 01 August 2022. This follows her outstanding performances at the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, where she won a gold medal in the bar final on 19 March 2022.
- Rooskrantz was awarded one of the five Ministerial Awards for her outstanding achievements in the annual Momentum sport Awards held at the Wanderers Club on Wednesday, 14 September 2022.
The UJ men’s senior hockey team was crowned champions of the Southern Gauteng Indoor Hockey League. UJ claimed the championship in an unbeaten seven-game run, winning the final match against local rivals Wits University with a 5-3 final score at Cliffview Primary School. The ladies team (UJ W1) also won the same league, beating the Wanderers W1 with 2-1 in a penalty shoot-out on Wednesday night, 30 March 2022 at Cliffview Primary School.
- Professional hockey player, Kristen Paton, helped the South African women’s hockey team clinch the eighth Hockey AFCON title in Accra, Ghana on Sunday, 23 January 2022. She was part of the South African women’s World Cup squad that competed in the FIH Women’s World Cup in Spain and Netherlands in July.
- Paton also represented South Africa in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in August.
The UJ squash team finished in third place in section A and B at the 2022 University Sports South Africa (USSA) Squash Championships that took place at Rhodes University in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. The tournament, which took place from 4 to 8 July 2022, was divided into A, B and C sections.
- In the men’s A section singles, UJ’s Gerard Mitchel, Jonty Matthys and David Sibanda finished in third, fourth and seventh positions, respectively.
- Sisters, Teagan Roux and Tyla-Mae both participated in the women’s A section singles, finishing in second and thirteenth positions, respectively.
The UJ men’s and women’s rowing teams scooped four gold, five silver and eight bronze medals in the 2022 University Sport South Africa (USSA) rowing championships at Eikenhof Dam in Cape Town on Saturday, 09 April 2022. These performances put the UJ men’s and women’s rowing teams in first and second positions, respectively, on the medal standings. The UJ women’s rowing team finished in a silver medal position for overall points, ahead of the Universities of Cape Town, Fort Hare and Wits.
- UJ rower Lefa Hlongwa competed in the international 16th Gavirate International Para-Rowing Regatta in Italy between 9 and 15 May 2022.
Starting the year in fine form, the UJ men’s cricket team were crowned champions of the 2021/2022 Enza Premier League on Sunday, 13 March 2022. UJ won their last match by 5 wickets against the Old Parktonian Cricket Club. In the 2022 Varsity Cricket tournament held in UP Tuks, Coach Siyabonga Sibiya’s team lost out on a semi-final spot due to a run rate difference and played for 5th and 6th position with Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz) in the fourth and last match of the tournament. The team finished in 6th position with a final score of 133/10 (18.4 overs) and 134/5 (16.2 overs).
- Two young UJ Cricket Club players, Liam Alder and Ronan Hermann, played in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup which took place in the West Indies from 14 January to 05 February 2022.
- Rising UJ cricket star, Levert Manje, was selected as part of the Imperial Lions T20 squad traveling to Namibia for the 2022 Global T20.
Sport for Students with Disabilities (SSD):
Fourteen UJ para athletes (students and club members) returned home to a heroes’ welcome after winning 10 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals in the 2022 South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD) and Gauteng Sport Association for Physically Disabled (GSAPD) championships in Ekurhuleni between 18 and 23 March 2022. The UJ student team was also part of the Gauteng Province team that won the Province Seniors 2022 Award for their exceptional performances.
- Jacque Joubert, a UJ visually impaired judoka, claimed a bronze medal in the 90kg category at the 2022 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Grand Prix in Brazil earlier in July 2022.
- The UJ SSD won the Sport Team of the Year with Disabilities Award at the Johannesburg Women in Sport Awards on Saturday, 26 February 2022.
- Yane van der Merwe won the Sportswoman of the Year Award for the second consecutive time.