By Fahdia Msaka
On 20 May, the Rhodes University Sports Media team interviewed the University’s sports teams as they shared their excitement for USSA 2023. USSA stands for University Sport South Africa and is recognized by the National University Sports Associations (NUSAs). The NUSAs are responsible for planning, organizing, administering, and promoting their respective sports. The primary function is to organize annual sports tournaments in which national student teams are chosen to represent USSA and South Africa at various national and international tournaments.
Frans Mpho Mamabolo, the Manager of Rhodes University Sports, shared his excitement and anticipation in preparing for the teams for USSA, especially with the fall that Rhodes Sports took during Covid-19. “Our goals for 2023 are ensuring we attract as many students as possible to participate in sports. Secondly is ensuring that we get to the top 8 in most of the sports we will participate in”.
He also shared that the primary goal that Rhodes Sports has is to include all students by also focusing on leagues, inter-res, and internal leagues in order to leave no students behind. Rhodes Sports also shared that they would like to improve their facilities for students so they can have the proper infrastructure to accommodate top athletes. “There is no point in bringing a top athlete to a situation where the infrastructure is not good enough.”
One of the coaches we spoke to shares his excitement for USSA 2023 and hopes his team maintains being in the A section as they make a post-Covid recovery. The students were buzzing in excitement and anticipation as they discussed their feelings toward USSA 2023. “If you are doing your best now, that is your best at this time. Your best tomorrow might not be as your best yesterday.” These are one of the many words of encouragement that the athletes who are also full-time students shared. We asked the athletes, ‘What is the best advice you have received from your coach?’ and the most inspirational one was. “Some of the teams will challenge you, but how you pick yourself up is what counts.”
One of the exciting things that Rhodes Sports is planning for students in 2023 is the intervarsity that will be taking place in August. Well-known institutions, such as NMU, Fort Hare, and WSU, will be participating. Rhodes University will be hosting, and most sports and societies will participate.