The University of Johannesburg confirmed its position as one of the most important feeder institutions for Olympic talent when the national squad for London was announced last week. Of the 112 athletes selected, student hockey stars Pietie Coetzee and Bernadette Coston lead a strong UJ contingent that also comprises 13 alumni and club members across four sporting codes. Coetzee – who increased her world record goal tally to 241 in the bronze medal match against Germany at this past weekend’s Investec London Cup – and Coston are joined by Beijing Olympians Lisa-Marie Deetlefs and Marsha Marescia in the women’s hockey team. Men’s hockey players Thornton McDade and Erasmus Pieterse, who both represented South Africa four years ago, have again received the nod alongside debutant Lance Louw. Amanda Dlamini, who captains Banyana Banyana, will enjoy the company of Kylie-Ann Louw, Noko Matlou and Marry Ntsweng. Also on the list are athletes Irvette van Blerk and René Kalmer, both of whom will be making their marathon debut. Rounding out the UJ-affiliated athletes in the South African team are rowers Naydene Smith and Lawrence Ndlovu, who are participating in the women’s coxless pairs and men’s lightweight fours respectively. Micheen Thornycroft will represent Zimbabwe on the water. UJ staffer Anton van Rooyen will accompany the men’s hockey team as manager while 2008 Olympian Adrian Carolan is the video analyst for the women’s side. According to director of sport Sanpat Coetzee the university had already equalled its 2008 tally of 18 individuals and was looking forward to the announcement of the Paralympic team where five athletes had met the qualifying criteria. “The fact that students, alumni, club members and staff are represented proves that UJ Sport develops athletes and student-athletes for South African sport.” Coetzee said the institution was proud of its contribution at a national level. “Professor Cora Burnett’s research, done . . .
Rising hockey stars will have a final chance to impress national selectors ahead of September’s Junior World Cup qualifier when they meet at the national student hockey champs at the University of Johannesburg next month. The University Sport South Africa (USSA) championships will see teams from 19 tertiary institutions, as well as a Namibian invitational side, compete for honours in the two premier divisions from July 1 to 7. The A-section sides will do battle on the UJ Astroturf while the B-section teams lock horns at the Kaspersky Randburg Astro. UJ Hockey manager Elize le Roux said the university was looking forward to hosting one of the sport’s biggest annual events. “It’s always an honour. It provides a great platform on which students can come and compete.” She said it was one of the final opportunities for players to get noticed before the qualifying tournament for the world cup, which takes place in India in February, 2013. Le Roux said avid supporters could expect to see top-class hockey with the likes of national U/21 women’s team members Nika Nel, Jenna du Preez and Kaila Flemming turning out for the home side. She said players like UJ striker Lloyd Nicholson and link Gerald Mpopo would be contenders to earn a spot in the junior mens’ team following the USSA tournament. According to Le Roux, the university had a strong hockey tradition and was hoping for another podium finish. Last year, the men’s side finished runners-up while the women placed third. The latter will however be without the services of the world’s leading goal-scorer Pietie Coetzee and Bernadette Coston who are part of the senior national team for the London Olympic Games in August. Former UJ hockey stars Marsha Marescia, Lisa-Marie Deetlefs, Lance Louw, Erasmus Pieterse and Thornton McDade have also been included in the Olympic squad, which was announced last week. University staff member Anton van Rooyen will accompany the men’s team as manager, while . . .
Apart from the obvious brain freeze that leads to you entering the Absa Cape Epic, this race is all about making smart choices. The first thing to get right is to select the correct partner. One who knows when to keep quiet is a good start. After that, a multitude of decisions – like nutrition, gear and prep – riddle the long, winding and often rocky road to the starting line of the Epic. But, once you have registered and collected all of the sponsors’ promo items from the Waterfront in Cape Town, only five things are of any importance really: eating, riding, eating, sleeping and eating. Therefore, I’d have to say, one of the best pre-event decisions we had made was to sign up for Woolies’ top-up meal. Upon entering the Woolies hospitality area at each stage finish, every rider on the Epic receives a musette containing an array of delicacies. If you had been clever enough to tick the “top-up” option when entering, you are entitled to a second. Remember, on the Epic, where most only clock in towards afternoon tea, this doubles as lunch – a rather important factor in surviving the eight-day ordeal. However, I quickly found out that access to food wasn’t necessarily the issue. Getting it down was. The hospitality marquee was a case in point – there were those who gulped down lunch while others were simply able to stare at it. I was one of the latter and found myself watching in wonderment those who didn’t find the sight of food after six to eight hours in the saddle even slightly off-putting. My team-mate, Craig, belonged to the first group. The deli sarmies, sweets and milkshakes never even touched sides. Throughout the eight days, I’d been amazed at his efficiency in dealing with grub. I didn’t buy his explanation that “no one feels like eating” and that he too was forcing his down. You had to eat today for tomorrow he kept on reminding me, usually while sorting out the contents of the second musette. But I think what he actually . . .