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WSU hosts USSA national cross country championships

Sep 17, 2018
WSU hosts USSA national cross country championships

Walter Sisulu University’s Potsdam Site at the Buffalo City Campus was turned into a battleground for some of the country’s top university cross country athletes during this year’s edition of the Universities Sports South Africa (USSA) Cross Country Championships which took place recently.

Just over 100 athletes from 15 of the country’s universities took part in the two-day competition which comprised of a four and eight km course within the Potsdam Site, as well as a six and 16 km relay course on the East London beachfront which took place on the second day.

“The event was a huge success as it ran smoothly due to good organisation by the University. The decision to have the competition hosted at this institution was part of our strategic plan to see the sport grow in universities like WSU,” said USSA Treasurer Hadley Volkwyn.

Volkwyn applauded the participants for their supreme and tireless physical efforts in pursuit of top honours. He also said the gradual increase in the number of female participants in the competition was an encouraging trend.

“Cross country in our universities is largely dominated by male athletes. We want to see this trend changing wherein more women will start participating in such competitions because there are a lot of opportunities that lie in wait for our students. We must devise a strategy as an organisation together with universities as how to do this,” he said.

WSU athletics coach Thembile Nyokana said for the first time since being founded last year, a team comprising of athletes from all of the University’s four campuses participated in an official national competition.

Nyokana said the team, which comprised of 22 athletes consisting of 16 males and 6 females, did well considering the many challenges it is faced with.

“The team unfortunately does not have the requisite resources like professional coaching; sports therapists; nutritionists and other necessary components which are critical for moulding an athlete. However, we’re doing the best we can as a University with the little we have. Our athletes are also fighting for excellence against the odds,” he said.  

Butterworth campus second-year Public Management student Kuhle Malongwana said athletics for him is more than just a sport.

He said the amount of time he spends between his studies and training is an important part of his personal growth and spiritual balance.

“Sport takes me away from unsavoury things that will not add value to my life. The amount of time I spend investing in my studies and sport has seen me reap fruitful rewards already that these undesirable things could never bring,” said Malongwana.