The University of Johannesburg (UJ hockey teams’ lukewarm showing in this year’s University Sports South Africa (USSA) games requires an improved recrtuiment drive. This is according to Mr Anton van Rooyen, UJ Hockey Club Manager, who was speaking after the teams lost a number of games in the USSA tournament held at Wits University’s Education Campus from the 23 to 27 September 2021.
The tournament was split into two sections (A and B). In the A section, there were 8 men and 7 UJ ladies and 5 men and 6 ladies in the B section.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) participated in the A section. The UJ men played 3 games in a pool against North West University (NWU), University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and IIE Varsity College (VC). UJ lost 2-1 against NWUP and 5-0 against VC, playing a draw of 2-2 with Wits.
The team won the first playoff game against the University of Free State (UFS – Kovsies) with a 6-1 scoreline, but and lost 2-3 in the second playoff against NWU. They finished in 6th position.
The UJ women’s team played three games in a pool against Wits, NWU and the University of Stellenbosch (Maties), losing all the games. They won a playoff match against VC with a 3-1 score line, finishing in 7th position.
“Overall, we have to improve our recruitment to get players that can make a difference. The teams also need individual training slots and smaller group sessions because the current UJ astro turf is not available. Currently, we are currently renting the Linden High School astro turf. We have to look into negotiating more slots, if it is possible because we know that it is a school astro and during school times slots are not regularly available,” says Mr Anton Van Rooyen, Manager: Hockey Club.
Mr van Rooyen says the teams can be competitive and finish in top 4 in competitions if players could get more game time and work on their skills and set pieces.
UJ Netball players in two teams selected for USSA Dream Teams
In a five-day intensive contest between South African university teams, UJ Netball sent its youngsters to cause an upset to other teams after much improved performances in Varsity Netball in Stellenbosch in late August 2021. The 2021 USSA netball games were also split into two divisions, A and B from 20 to 24 September 2021 at Camp Discovery.
UJ and UJ2 participated in division A and division B, respectively. UJ1 ladies played four games, winning 2 of those games against Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Van Der Bijl and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
“We are really proud of both UJ1 and UJ2. We had such a short space of time to prepare for all our events and already our teams are showing lot of grit and pride on court. We wanted to change the ‘well known UJ Netball’s previous style of play, competitiveness and final results.’ I’m pleased to say that we pretty much achieved that big time this year. We are also grateful that we could take two teams to USSA, it is great for our development. Depth is key,” said Bongiwe Msomi: UJ Netball Club Manager and Coach.
In the quarterfinal match, the UJ1 women won 27-21 against NWU and lost to University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks) in the semifinal match with a final 26-38 score. UJ finished in fourth place after Maties won the final match 30-25.
UJ1 player, Tarle Mathe, was selected for the Dream Team from division A.
UJ2 ladies played eight games and were off to a great start, winning seven games and only lost to IIE VC with a full-time score of 18-42. The UJ2 ladies finished in second position and brought home silver medals.
Three UJ2 women players, namely; Minentle Mayekisa, Mukhatshelwa Tshisikhawe and Onyinye Uduezue, were selected for the tournament’s Dream Team in division B.
Two of the UJ ladies’ players, Nomfundo Mngomezulu and Tarle Mathe, have been selected to participate in the Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA) games in 2022.
Rowing steadfast in Port Alfred top 3 finish
The UJ rowing team were persistent in dominating the top three spots in the USSA boat race in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, between 23 and 25 September 2021. The competition featured teams from the University of Cape Town, UP-Tuks, Rhodes University, Nelson Mandela University, University of Stellenbosch, University of Fort Hare, and Wlater Sisulu University at Kowie River.
The UJ men’s A-crew had the second fastest time from the headrace and went on to race in the A-final against Tuks, finishing in second position.
“Our men’s A-crew had an outstanding performance. We moved them from the B-final to the A-final against the Tuks men’s A-crew for the first time in 10 years,” says Sizwe Ndlovu, Head Coach: UJ Rowing.
The men’s B-crew had the third fastest time in the headrace and went on to win against UCT B-final, finishing in finishing in third position.
The women’s A-crew were the third fastest in the headrace and went on to race against Rhodes for the 3rd and 4th position in the B-final. UJ won against Rhodes and finished in third position.
“I believe we’ve made great strides to put the club into a great position this season. However, we hope we can expand our club more particularly with our women’s crew. We would like to see a women’s B-crew representing UJ at the next Universities Boat Race.
“The teams’ performance were outstanding. Considering the slow start which we had in the beginning of this season to the exceptional performance that got us two 3rd place positions and a 2nd place at the biggest varsity rowing event this year, is great,” adds Ndlovu.