A successful USSA week for TuksSport: 4 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze

Posted on July 08, 2015

Friday, 3 July saw the end of a very busy and action-packed week for TuksSport. University Sports South Africa (USSA) held tournaments across the country and TuksSport teams competed in nine different sports codes (badminton, cycling, golf, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby, squash and volleyball).
Of these nine sports codes TuksSport progressed to the finals on 3 July in five, namely golf, men’s hockey, netball, rugby and squash. In their event, the women’s cycling team was leading the overall scoreboard.
The TuksSport golf team secured their tenth USSA title after a tough battle with the team from Varsity College. Coach Emile Steinmann commented, ‘Our players showed incredible strength of character. They never backed down and it was that team spirit and resolve that pulled us through.’
In Pietermaritzburg, the TuksHockey men cruised to the final after an 8-0 victory over the University of the Free State (Kovsies) in the semi-final. Tuks was classy, composed and clinical in the final against Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), securing a 3-0 win and the 2015 USSA Hockey Champions title. The TuksHockey men had a three-year journey to Gold, having been relegated to the B section in 2013. In 2014 they won the B section and regained their position in the A section. They finally returned to glory in 2015, winning Gold in the USSA Hockey Men’s A Section.
TuksNetball had an extremely strong week, losing only one match during the tournament as they looked to defend their 2014 title. The TuksNetball women encountered Kovsies in the final. Both these teams have seen their fair share of the limelight in the tussle for the title of top team over the last few years. The TuksNetball women gave a great performance and took the lead. TuksNetball finished on a strong note with a 48–39 victory in a highly contested final, to claim the 2015 USSA Netball Champions title.
The TuksCycling Women (Angie de Boer, Elmari de Wet and Liesel van Niekerk) won the overall category at the USSA Cycling Championship held in Stellenbosch. Angie de Boer won the pink jersey (overall best female), the polka dot jersey (best climber) and was selected for the USSA National Cycling Team. Elmari de Wet won the green jersey (best sprinter) and was also selected for the USSA National Cycling Team.
UP-Tuks won silver at the 2015 USSA Rugby Championships after missing out on the title by a narrow margin. UP-Tuks, the 2014 champions, lost by one point (14-13) to UJ in the final. ‘We came so very close to becoming the first Tuks team to win back-to-back championship titles, but in the end it was not to be. To add insult to injury, we were the makers of our own destiny. They did not win gold – we simply gave it away,’ commented a bitterly disappointed head coach, Pote Human.    
This year’s USSA Squash championship was hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS). The Tuks team (men and women) played outstandingly and defeated the University of Limpopo, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), NMMU and North-West University (Pukke). In the semi-final, the University of Stellenbosch was no match for the determined TuksSquash team who progressed to the finals with a 20-5 victory. They improved on their fourth-place finish in 2014 by winning silver in 2015. ‘We look forward to next year's USSA and are excited about the training that lies ahead, which will hopefully lead to TuksSquash bringing home the gold in 2016,’ said captain Megan Page.
The USSA Badminton Tournament was hosted by the University of Pretoria in the Rembrandt Hall. The A team finished in third position in the A section.
Other results
The TuksBadminton B team won the B section. The TuksHockey women finished in fifth position while TuksGymnastics and TuksCycling finished fourth overall. The TuksVolleyball men improved on their 2014 position of 16th to finish in 11th position and the women’s team were placed in the fifth position. 
TuksSport Director Kobus van der Walt said, ‘TuksSport prides itself in creating an environment where athletes can focus both on their education and on sport. The results of the USSA week are a clear indication that we are on the right track to continue being one of the leading institutions in Africa that produce top class student-athletes. Congratulations to all our medal winners, participants and technical staff who “earned their stripe”.’
- Author Samantha Viney

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