The Maties staff football team recently won the 2022 University Sport South Africa (USSA) Staff Tournament in Makhanda (Grahamstown). And the team members are already looking forward to defending their title at next year's tournament.
Ricardo Isaacks, Stellenbosch University's (SU) staff football coordinator, said their win is due to hard work and their commitment to improving their football skills through training.
“We never thought of ourselves as the best. We just worked hard during the year, playing games in our hostel league and preparing us to be better in all areas of the game," said Isaacks. “When the referee blew the final whistle and we won, the team members were over the moon. Everyone was ecstatic with the win, and of course, we celebrated our victory later."
This second edition of the annual tournament, which forms part of USSA's Intervarsity Staff Wellness Programme, was hosted by Rhodes University (RU) from 30 September to 1 October. Ten South African universities participated and were placed into three groups. Maties was selected to play against Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the University of Zululand.
Isaacks thanked SU's Wellness Division in the Division of Human Resources, Maties Sport and external sponsors for their support and for making the tournament possible.
Alvin Petersen, manager of the staff football team, said USSA's intervarsity staff wellness initiative is an excellent platform to build bridges among staff internally and externally whilst contributing towards staff wellness.
“We're looking forward to the USSA 2023 tournament because we have something to go and defend," said Petersen.
Next year's event will be hosted by the University of Western Cape, and SU hopes to enter teams in the other sporting codes of netball, volleyball, and pool.
- The following universities participated in the 2nd USSA Staff Soccer Tournament: Rhodes University (host), Durban University of Technology, the University of Limpopo, Vaal University of Technology, the University of Fort Hare, Sol Plaatje University, the University of the Western Cape, Walter Sisulu University, Stellenbosch University and the University of Zululand.
Maties staff football team includes:
Back row from left to right: Hugh Rhoda, Bevan Koopman, Siya Ngalo, Marel Titus, Waylin Wenn, Ricardo Isaacks, Vernon Williams, Art Magqabi, Melvin Adonis, Gary Kirsten, Alvin Petersen and Denver Anthony
Middle: Bathabile Ndevu (Maties Sport ), Jerry Laka ( Maties Sport ), Andiswa Zwelibanzi ( Maties Sport ) and Shibu Mamabolo (HR Wellness Div)
Front:Gerhard Jacobs, Hrothghar Lawrence, Jason Kannemeyer, Denver Loggenberg, Egon Februarie, Johnny Wenn and Sylvin Thomas
Absend: Adean Schippers ( HR Wellness Div )
Photographer: Stefan Els