This evening I welcome you all to the eighth annual UJ Sports Gala where UJ Sport honours the teams, clubs, support staff and sponsors as well as the top achievers who represent not only UJ, but also their province, region and country at national and international level.
In sporting circles 2012 will be remembered as the year of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games where UJ had 19 and 12 representatives respectively. Forming part of the hockey Olympic Hockey team were the students Pietie Coetzee (still the World Record holder with a staggering 248 goals in 254 matches- this includes a five year sabbatical), Bernadette Coston and Clinton Panther with the alumni component comprising of Lisa Marie Deetlefts, Captain Marsha Marescia, Lance Louw, Thornton McDade and Erasmus Pieterse, with staff member Anton van Rooyen selected as the men’s hockey team manager while Adrian Carolan acted as the women’s hockey video analyst.
For woman’s soccer, notable first time participants at the Games, UJ was represented by student Noko Matlou and former students Mary Ntsweng, Kylie-Ann Louw and SA Captain Amanda Dlamini. The women’s marathon included former students Rene Kalmer and Irvette van Blerk while our Rowing contingent included Naydene Smith, Micheen Thornycroft (Zimbabwe) and Lawrence Ndlovu (Gold medallist in the lightweight fours).
UJ’s highest achievement was bestowed on Samkelo Radebe who formed part of the Gold Medalling quartet in the 4 x 100m (in the T45 class) relay who rewrote the history books when they achieved a new world record. Our Paralympians also included former student Pieter du Preez as well as club members Chenelle van Zyl and Andrea Dalle Ave. Wheelchair tennis comprised of students Kgothatso Montjane and Nyasha Mharakurwa (Zimbabwe) with club member Lucas Sithole. The UJ staff and support staff component comprised of Henriette Vermaak, Hennie Koekemoer, Holger and Karen Losch as well as Pieter’s wife Ilse du Preez.
We look forward to hearing about their performances tonight as we are introduced to the outstanding student-athletes.
UJ Sport will be entering into a new era with the inception of the Varsity Sports Programme which is to begin rolling out in earnest during November 2012. Initially sports such as women’s beach volleyball, men’s rugby 7’s, women’s hockey, athletics (men and women), netball and men’s football will commence in 2013 along with the already successful Varsity Cup rugby. In preparation for Varsity Sports Football, UJ has secured the services of former Bafana Bafana player Bradley Carnell who together with Stan Whiting, the former CEO of Wits Football Club, will ensure that UJ Football is Varsity Sport ready for 2013. Discussions are already underway regarding the implementation of these sports codes. UJ Sport has in turn aligned their strategy with that of Varsity Sport and strives to compete at the highest level.
Hosting of University Sport South Africa annual tournaments
In 2012, UJ successfully hosted both the USSA Athletics and Hockey tournaments in April and July respectively. Both events were televised and we gained significant exposure. We will be hosting USSA Karate in December.
Marketing and Commercialisation
Average Marketing and Publicity Value in Media and Press
January 2012 – September 2012 R46 000 000
(Only for monitored media, not counting NON monitored media)
Compared to 2011 year total R 35 367 138
UJ Sport has achieved approximately R10 million more in the marketing and publicity stakes than the entire yield of 2011- with three months still remaining in the year.
Marketing and commercialisation also achieved success in rebranding the UJ Astro turf, expanding and improving the UJ Sport website, developed a new designer sport clothing “look” for 2013 and will implement social media software to motivate our student population to attend events with prizes and rewards.
From the Campus Leagues we can report that this year has seen an increase in participation from the Soweto and Bunting Road Campuses. All four campuses competed in athletics, rugby, men’s football and women’s netball.
A Soweto Campus team and Majuba residence have entered teams into the cricket league, taking the number of teams up to 9 for the 2012/2013 season. (It now comprises 6 teams from APK, 2 from APB and 1 from SWC). Majuba entered an 11-a-side hockey team for the first time in 2012 with Sophia Town residence entering teams into the football and netball leagues as well as competing in the APK sports weekend where they competed in chess, dodge-ball and volleyball. UJ Sport can feel justifiably proud of the great strides made in terms of campus integration and opportunities for all. Nelson Mandela supported the notion that sport is a unifying factor in South Africa – a vision that is wholeheartedly supported and driven by the University of Johannesburg.
UJ Sport has taken up the challenge and afforded many new sporting opportunities on the Soweto campus. These opportunities include campus cricket and soccer whilst events for external stakeholders included coaching courses by UJ staff offered to scholars, teachers and coaches (increased capacity building). In addition the UJ Soweto football team competes in the local football association league. The Soweto cricket team ensured another first for this campus as they have been entered into and are currently competing in the GCB (Gauteng Cricket Board) Sunday 2 league.
Talented scholars have already been identified and will be monitored and supported until they finally register to study at UJ. 2012 saw the first ever Sports Awards held at the Soweto Campus.
UJ Sport has continued to improve and strategize by focussing on its mission: “setting the trend in university sport”. Positive changes have taken place with the Performance Excellence Unit, with further improvements planned for the future. These improvements include obtaining Heart Rate Monitors for the bursars, whereby, the sport scientists will be able to view the data and amend and improve training programmes accordingly as well as a potential extension to the performance excellence gymnasium in order to accommodate the increasing demand for both the recreational and high performance usage. New staff appointments have been made to accommodate growth and enable UJ Sport to continue providing quality services to all our stakeholders.
Research and Postgraduate Studies
On the research front and in support of UJ’s Strategic goal regarding research output, Professors Burnett and Roux, Mrs Nortje and Ms Pam Serra from the Department of Sport and Movement Studies, accompanied by Professor Hollander and Mr Carter from UJ Sport all attended and made presentations at the Pre-Olympic Conference hosted in Glasgow, Scotland during July. Furthermore, four (4) staff members are engaged in postgraduate studies.
With values like sport excellence, integrity, respect for diversity, accountability, individuality and innovation UJ Sport has – in the 8 years of this young University’s existence – established themselves as a unit to be reckoned with. The achievements which will be presented to you tonight are an indication of how well-structured, committed, goal-orientated and passionate the UJ student-athletes and their support structures are.
2 A few of UJ Sports highlights during 2012 :
The FNB UJ Rugby club:
Won the Golden Lions Junior Sevens Tournament
Won the 1st, 2nd and u19 divisions of the Predators League
This is the 4th time in five years UJ has beaten Pukke to this title
Won the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, u21A and u19A divisions of the Pirates Grand Challenge Leagues, which include our North West rivals, and also
Won Gold, when the Soweto Rugby Team finished first in the D Section of the USSA tournament
The UJ Netball Club:
Won the Gauteng East A League, with the
UJ u21 side winning the Gauteng East B League
The ABSA UJ Hockey men’s team won gold at the USSA National tournament
The UJ Squash Club:
Won the USSA National Team title, and also
Finished 1st and 3rd in the Central Gauteng Squash ladies 1st League
The Steinhoff UJ Football women’s team progressed to the final of the USSA Gauteng Football League, while their male counterparts won the Greater Mayfair Local League gaining promotion into the SAFA Johannesburg Promotional League for the 2012/2013 season
The ABSA UJ Athletics Club:
Won the USSA Women’s Cross Country 4km event, and
Won the men’s section of the USSA Track & Field National championships
23 league teams finished in the top 3 positions of their respective leagues during
2012. With a few leagues yet to be completed this figure could still increase.
USSA 2012 Statistics 2012
We competed in the following USSA Tournaments/events during 2012: Athletics (Track and Field as well as Cross Country), Rowing (Sprints and Boat Race), Basketball, Rugby, Netball, Hockey, Football (Gauteng), Cycling, Squash and Volleyball.
Taking into account the separate tournaments for men and women in the previously mentioned sports codes, UJ Sport has competed in 20 USSA tournament divisions in 2012.
UJ Sport came top 3 in 15 of the 20 events
Five (5) first places, namely the SWC rugby team, hockey men, cross country women, squash (compete as a combined team) and athletics men
Five (5) second places, namely volleyball men, rowing sprints men, rowing sprints women, athletics team and rowing sprints overall
Five (5) third places, namely netball, volleyball women, basketball men, basketball women and athletics women
Cricket, Golf, Football, Tennis, Chess and Water Polo are scheduled to compete at the USSA tournaments during the first week of December 2012.
UJ produced 3 captains for National, USSA National and Senior provincial teams
In order to get perspective on the extent and quality of the UJ students’ sport achievements, it should be noted that they were awarded colours in the following categories:
Junior provincial colours 135
Senior provincial colours 90
Junior national colours 22
Senior national colours 13
USSA teams/colours 28
It must be kept in mind that the young people who attain these achievements are student-athletes whose main objective is to prepare academically for their future. It is therefore an even bigger achievement to perform on the level they do whilst also studying and progressing academically. The university creates the opportunity for them to develop not only their academic skills, but also their sport and social abilities. Within this framework the UJ student-athletes delivered an outstanding number of top class achievements.
These participants and high level achievers certainly carry the University brand – not only in South Africa, but also across the world.
It is therefore no easy task to determine who the best of the best is. We are privileged to introduce them tonight and we are very proud of all of you.
In conclusion, it is clear that UJ Sport is contributing to the overall strategy of the university by constantly innovating, challenging and setting the trend in university sport. As a key strategic and support component, UJ Sport sets high standards for itself and others to follow.
Tonight UJ pays tribute to the coaches, managers, technical officials, sports managers, house committees, Prof Wim and Sanpat and their team who together have created an integrated environment in which our student-athletes continue to develop and thrive.
To the student-athletes, thank you for choosing UJ, congratulations on your outstanding team and individual achievements – without which UJ Sport would not be where it is today.