Fourteen University of Johannesburg (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.
The championships also featured para athletes from Nigeria, Kenya and Cameroon competing for top spots. The UJ students, who represented the Sports for Students with Disabilities Club, included Kim MacDonald, Michelle Moganedi, Yane van der Merwe, Fane Swart, Maria Combrink, Christiaan Schultz, Joel Adesanya, Grant Fisher, Rob Jones, Jacque Joubert, Roedolph Britz, Pieter du Preez, Brandt Steenkamp, and Gift Shiburi.
The SASAPD national championships comprise athletes who are visually impaired, amputees, and have cerebral palsy and Les Autres. The event is organised to display the talent that para athletes in South Africa and the African continent offer.
“The UJ SSD club performed exceptionally well among the best rated athletes in the country and the continent. The final overall results for UJ SSD ended with 2 SA records, 10 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals. These were great results for our athletes. We couldn’t be happier,” says Lezanne Bruwer, Manager: UJ SSD Club.
The UJ SSD club mentored and coordinated 138 UJ Sport students as volunteers to help and support para athletes and officials during the championships. There were eight volunteer groups for Athletics (45 people), Boccia (23), CP Soccer (9), Para-powerlifting (5), Gaol Ball (20), VI Judo (8), Para Cycling (8), and Nerve Centre and admin (20).
“The feedback we received form the national conveners and officials was remarkable. Our students also had the opportunity to acquire information about different para-sporting codes. From the dedication and quality of work done by the UJ students, the conveners and classifiers as that the UJ volunteers assist in future national events,” explains Bruwer.
Below are the results of the UJ SSD para athletes:
|Longjump||1||2.86m SA Rec|
|VAN DER MERWE||Yane||F44||Shotput||1||8.27|
|Shotput||1||11.17m SA Rec|