By Fahdia Msaka
It was an exciting weekend for Rhodes University, who won this year’s Eastern Cape Intervarsity champions for the first time in the history of the competition, taking the trophy from current champs, Nelson Mandela University (NMU), in the final game.
“You have made us proud; you have made history. For the first time in the history of Intervarsity, you have won,” said Rhodes University Vice Chancellor Prof. Sizwe Mabizela during the Trophy campus parade ceremony on 17 August 2023.
The intervarsity games were held at Rhodes University from 11 – 12 August 2023. The 2-day sporting and cultural event brought together teams from NMU, Walter Sisulu University, and the University of Fort Hare.
The much-anticipated Eastern Cape Intervarsity provides a unique opportunity for students across Eastern Cape universities to come together and interact. One of the defining features of the Eastern Cape Intervarsity competition is its inclusive nature, encompassing not only sports but also cultural societies. The event caters to a wide range of interests, from thrilling rugby matches to captivating drama performances. The details and highlights of the event can be accessed through the Rhodes University Sports Instagram page.
The significance of sports and cultural societies in an academic setting is vital for student growth and development. These activities foster students’ confidence, mental alertness, and self-esteem. Moreover, it offers a platform to develop essential life such as leadership, patience, teamwork, and social interaction. The Intervarsity displayed a perfect occasion to promote healthy competition and camaraderie.
Sue Smailes, the Director of the office of the Vice-Chancellor and Legal Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor at Rhodes University, says she has a special place in her heart for sports. As the Chairperson of the Sports Council, she encouraged the students to embrace the spirit of fun and responsibility during the Intervarsity. Smailes believes such tournaments showcase sports talent and serve as a platform for new connections and friends.
In a heartwarming spectacle, Rhodents turned out in impressive numbers, enthusiastically cheering on fellow students to victory across various sports and cultural societies. Their spirited engagement imbued the atmosphere with electrifying energy, crafting enduring memories for all in attendance. Following the tournament’s conclusion, the Student Representative Council’s President, Avuxeni Tyala, announced the winners and presented the trophy. Mabizela also made a notable appearance, showing his support of the participating sports and cultural societies.
Rhodes University Sports held a campus parade on Thursday, 17 August 2023, to commemorate the achievement. During the event, Mabizela handed over the Intervarsity Floating trophy to the Rhodes University Head of Sports, Frans Mamabolo, in the presence of Rhodes University students, staff and the sporting community.