Stellenbosch University has a reputation for excellence in sport, which also serves to attract sportsmen and women from diverse backgrounds. Particularly for talented youth from poor communities, sport represents an opportunity to rise above their circumstances. Not only does it improve many South Africans' living conditions, but also assists in uniting various racial groups. Therefore, sport is used as a tool to help diversify the University's student profile, as well as a vehicle through which the University is able to increase its involvement in Stellenbosch communities.
Sport bursaries are awarded to promising young sportspeople, who also attend sport clinics and camps. While developing their skills as athletes, these sportsmen and women also receive academic support to ensure that they are ready to study at SU and achieve academic success.
Four sport-related units – the Department of Sport Science, the Centre for Human Performance Sciences, Maties Sport and the Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI) – collaborate to achieve sport-related objectives.
Moreover, SU invests in sport for athletes with disabilities, and serves as training centre for the South African Paralympic team. The support provided to Paralympic athletes from the Maties Helderberg Disability Sports Club contributed to them garnering 59% of the 29 medals won by the national team at the 2012 Paralympic Games.