Friday 16 October saw UP host the annual UP-Tuks Sport Awards at the LC de Villiers campus. The prestigious awards were held to celebrate UP-Tuks athletes who have placed the university’s name in the spotlight through their achievements in their individaual sporting codes.
It has been yet another successful year for TuksSport, particularly in the recent 11th annual African Games which took place in Brazzaville, Congo. A group of 47 Tuks athletes competed in eight different sporting codes. There have also been standout individual performances from athletes such as Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies, who have performed exceptionally on the international stage. The divisions of cricket, women’s cycling, judo, men’s hockey, netball, men’s rowing, and swimming all won gold at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournaments, with the cricket and athletics teams also securing their respective Varsity Sports tournament titles. It was also a successful year for TuksRugby who were able to walk away with their third FNB Young Guns title and another Carlton Cup trophy. AmaTuks have been successful in retaining their Premier League status for a third consecutive year.
The first event of the night awarded the national representatives, who were awarded by Dr Rendani Mulaudzi and special guest, Olympic gold winner Roland Schoeman. Assupol TuksCricket were awarded Team of the Year, while TuksGolf secured the Student Sports Club of the Year award. TuksCricket coach Pierre de Bruyn stood alongside his team as Coach of the Year, as did TuksGolf’s Llewellyn van Leeuwen for Coach of the Year in Individual Sports. The principal award for the most outstanding performance by a team representing the university went to VarsityAthletics after they secured the Varsity Sports title for the third consecutive year.
TuksNetball walked away with the two major individual awards. Shadine van der Merwe and Lenize Potgieter were crowned Student Sportswoman and Sportswoman of the year, respectively. Van der Merwe has been a vital team member within the sporting codes of netball and softball. She is the first UP-Tuks athlete to win a national USSA title for two sporting codes within the same year. After a successful year of representing her country and the UP-Tuks team, Potgieter secured her award for the second time in as many years. In the men’s section, Robin Swartz was able to beat out swimmer Douglas Erusmus and hockey vice-captain Kewan Harries for the Student Sportsman of the Year. Akani Simbine won the award for Sportsman of the Year, in a category of Olympic hopefuls with fellow athlete Henricho Bruintjies and judo’s Zack Piontek.
“Winning is our passion and we strive to focus total attention on providing support to our teams that proudly wear the unique stripe of TuksSport,” said TuksSport director Kobus van der Walt.