The University of Johannesburg added to its medal tally during the University Sport South Africa championships that took place at tertiary institutions across the country in July.
The university’s men’s hockey side and first squash team took gold in their respective tournaments, while its Soweto Campus came out tops in the rugby C-section.
UJ’s netball and men’s and women’s basketball teams also featured on the podium, claiming bronze in these disciplines.
The results take the university’s mid-year USSA tally to 14, including four gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
In March, the academic institution opened its account with three silvers at the USSA rowing sprints at Vanderkloof Dam near Colesberg in March. The UJ crews claimed runner-up spots in the men’s, women’s and overall categories.
The university hosted the track and field events the following month, winning the men’s section and taking third in the women’s. Their collective results gave UJ a silver medal overall.
Manager of sports clubs Adrian Carter said UJ’s position as one of the top-rated sporting institutions could be attributed to the university’s investment in infrastructure and coaching, as well as the calibre of student it attracted.
“We have many structures in place that create a very enabling environment for student-athletes.”
Although the university placed an emphasis on academic ahead of sporting achievements, Carter said it provided support and flexibility on an individual basis.
“We promote the complete ‘student experience’, which helps to prepare our student-athletes for the pressures of both the university and outside world. A student-athlete who performs well in the lecture hall will invariably perform well on the sports field.”
Furthermore, he said university sport played a critical role in developing sport at national level. “If one looks at the athletes selected for the 2012 London Olympic Games, a high percentage was developed by the university system.
“University Sport South Africa is a huge strategic pillar that, through increased cooperation with key sporting federations, could and should yield even more success in the future.”
UJ-affiliated athletes – including students, alumni, club members and staff – make up approximately 17% of the Team SA delegation. The Olympic and Paralympic squads feature 18 and 12 athletes respectively.
“We are very proud of our contribution to the South African contingent for London.”
In September, the university will defend its cross-country title and also compete at the annual boat races in which the men’s rowing team took silver and the women gold last year.
For more information, visit www.uj.ac.za.
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The University of Johannesburg’s netball team in action against Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University during the USSA netball tournament in Stellenbosch earlier this month. Photo: Supplied by UJ Sport