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Matsoso, Mbisha, Rooskrantz take top honours at 2023 UJ Sport Awards

First-year students and Athletics Club duo Tsebo Matsoso and Joviale Mbisha took the coveted University of Johannesburg (UJ) Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards at the 2023 UJ Sport Awards on Tuesday evening, 21 November 2023. The pair made history in this year’s FISU World University Championships in Chengdu, China in August, winning three medals (one gold and two bronzes) for Team South Africa under the banner of University Sport South Africa (USSA).

Ryan Mphahlele, who was the Sportsman of the Year in 2022, took silver in the Sportsman category while fellow athlete Nhlanhla Maseko walked away with a bronze medal.

“This year has been a very good year for me. I’m extremely grateful to my training partners and coach. I’m going to be great again next year. I’m also very happy to win this award in my first year at UJ. I would not say I was going to win because Ryan Mphahlele was in there, but I knew that I stood a good chance to win. When I heard his name called for the runner up, I knew that I was winning it. It feels nice to be in the money,” said Matsoso.

L-R) Caitlin Rooskrantz, Tsebo Matsoso and Joviale Mbisha
(L-R) Caitlin Rooskrantz, Tsebo Matsoso and Joviale Mbisha

Matsoso is a first-year Transportation Management student. He won two gold medals at the USSA Athletics Track and Field Championship in the 200 meter sprint and 4×100 meter relay, as well as a silver medal with the UJ Relay Team in May 2023.

In Chengdu, China, he won one of the only two gold medals on the international stage at the FISU World University Championships in the 200 meter . The youngster from Bloemfontein added a bronze medal to South Africa’s medal tally in the men’s 4×100 meter relay.

Mbisha added a bronze medal to South Africa’s collection at the 2023 FISU World University Championships . The first-year Transport and Supply Chain Management student won two gold medals for UJ in the 100 meter and 200-meter sprints during the Central Gauteng Athletics Championships in Germiston in March 2023. At the USSA Track and Field Championships in Bloemfontein, Mbisha finished in 3rd place in the 200 meters , in 2nd place in the 4×100 meter relay and 4th in the 100 meters.

“Honestly, I’m very ecstatic and super grateful to be given this opportunity and the honour. Personally I didn’t think I was going to win because I literally just stepped my foot into the Orange Army. Clearly my hardwork paid off,” said Mbisha.

Mphahlele is a Transport and Supply Chain Management student. He won two gold medals at the Central Gauteng Athletics provincial championships in Germiston and the USSA Athletics Track and Field championship in March and May 2023. He represented South Africa in the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, finishing in 4th position, as well as the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary finishing in the heats.

Maseko is a second-year Sports Management student. He won a bronze medal during the FISU World University Championships  in the 4×400 meter relay. Prior to Chengdu, Maseko won two silver medals for UJ in the 400 meters and 4×400 meter relay  during the USSA Athletics Track and Field Championship in Bloemfontein.

Owethu Ngubane and Yane van der Merwe won the silver and bronze medals in the Sportswoman of the Year category, respectively.

Ngubane is a first-year Road Transport Management student. She represented South Africa and UJ at the highest levels, including playing in the 2023 Vitality Netball World Cup in July and August in Cape Town, where the team finished in 6th place.. In January this year, Ngubane played for South Africa at the Quad Series in Cape Town and recently  played at the Fast-5 Netball World Series in New Zealand.

Van der Merwe won three gold medals for UJ and the Central Gauteng Team in shotput and discus at the National Championships in Cape Town and the Stellenbosch Winelands Competition in February and March 2023. She also won four bronze medals in discus and shotput for South Africa at the World Championships in Paris, France in July 2023 and for UJ at the Central Gauteng Athletics Championships in Germiston between February and May 2023.

“I am profoundly moved by your remarkable achievements, which have brought immense honor to our University community, the City of Gold, and the African continent at every competition you have graced. Tonight, we gather not merely to listen to speeches, but to honor and celebrate you, the extraordinary individuals who have transformed this university into a beacon of success. You have defied expectations and set the benchmark for what universities can achieve in both academics and sports,” said Dr Nolitha Vukuza, Senior Executive Director: University Relations, Student Affairs and UJ Sport.

“We are the Orange Army, one big family where everyone’s victory is a collective triumph. This year, our student-athletes have represented us with distinction at national and international events, winning gold, silver, and bronze medals at the World University Games, University Sport South Africa championships, and the FNB Varsity Sports competitions, among others.

“From local and provincial championships to national and international events, our student-athletes have represented UJ with pride and as excellent ambassadors for our revered University,” said Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal: UJ.

Age-Group Sportswoman of the Year:

Caitlin Rooskrantz was crowned the Age Group Sportswoman of the Year for her splendid performances in the All Round and Uneven Bars at the SA National Championships when she represented both the Gauteng Province and the country in March 2023. She was also crowned the Student-Athlete of the Year having achieved achieved a 70.4% average academic pass mark in 2023.

At just 21-years-old, Rooskrantz will compete in her second Olympic Games in Paris, France next year, after her first participation at the Tokyo Olympics. She won a gold medal with Team South Africa in the African Artistic Gymnastics Championships in May 2023 and a silver medal in the Individual All Around competition.

Cricketer Madison Landman was the runner-up performer in the Age-Group Sportswoman of the Year category while Nyashadzashe Gonangombe was the bronze winner.

Age-Group Sportsman of the Year:

Lythe Pillay was crowned the Age-Group Sportsman of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Oela Blaaw, a rugby player, took second spot in this category while Tiaan Wessels won a bronze medal.

Pillay is a first-year BCom Accounting student. He competed at six international competitions in 2023. He won a gold medal at the Grand Prix in Nembro, Italy, two silver medals at the Silver League in Sottevile, France and Lingano, Italy in June.

He won a bronze medal at the Polish Championships in Gorzow, Poland in July before finishing 4th at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August 2023. Earlier in March 2023, the 400 meter and 4×400 meter sprint specialist won a gold medal at the Central Gauteng Athletics Championships before winning a silver medal at the  South African Athletics Championships in Potchefstroom in April.

Club Sportsperson of the Year:

Adrielle Mibe was crowned the Club Sportsperson of the Year. The Grade 11 footballer and UJ Football Club member won the Women’s Under-20 COSAFA Tournament with South Africa in Malawi in December 2022. In Malawi, Mibe was the top goal scorer for South Africa with 5 goals and won Player of the Match once. This year, she played for South Africa’s Under-20 team in the World Cup qualifiers against Burundi.

Mibe won the Engen Knockout Challenge and the Engen Champ of Champs and was part of the UJ Senior Women’s Team that finished as runners-up in the Joburg Basadi Challenge.

Long jumper Cheswill Johnson took silver while Nonsikelelo Mazibuko took a bronze medal in this category.

The winners per category:

Sportsman of the Year:

-1st place: Isadore Tsebo Matsoso (Athletics)

-2nd place: Ryan Mphahlele (Athletics)

-3rd place: Nhlanhla Maseko (Athletics)

Sportswoman of the Year:

-1st place: Joviale Mbisha (Athletics)

-2nd place: Owethu Ngubane (Netball)

-3rd place: Yane van der Merwe (Sports for Students with Disabilities)

Student-Athlete of the Year:

-1st place: Caitlin Rooskrantz (Gymnastics)

-2nd place: Madison Landman (Cricket)

-3rd place: Cornelia Mupenda (Netball)

Age-Group sportswoman of the Year:

-1st place: Caitlin Rooskrantz (Gymnastics)

-2nd place: Madison Landman (Cricket)

-3rd place: Nyashadzashe Gonangombe (Rugby)

Age-Group sportsman of the year:

-1st place: Lythe Pillay (Athletics)

-2nd place: Oela Blaaw (Rugby)

-3rd place: Tiaan Wessels (Rugby)

Club Sportsperson of the Year:

-1st place: Adrielle Mibe (Football)

-2nd place: Cheswill Johnson (Athletics)

-3rd place: Nonsikelelo Mazibuko (Netball)

Team of the Year:

-1st place: Senior Men’s Football Team

-2nd place: Senior Women’s Netball Team

-3rd place: Senior Men’s Basketball Team

Club of the Year:

-1st place: Netball Club

-2nd place: Athletics Club

-3rd place: Football Club

Mass participation / Internal League:

-1st place: Electrical Residence at APK

-2nd place: Imbewu Residence at Soweto

-3rd place: Maqhawe Residence at APK

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