2017 TuksSport Colours and Awards

Posted on October 24, 2017


In 2017 the University of Pretoria successfully elevated the standard of university sports by winning six of the Varsity Sport Cup Competitions and nine of the USSA Tournaments.

On 18 October 2017, a total of 368 athletes and officials were honoured at the TuksSport Colours and Awards ceremony in the Rembrandt Hall on the UP Sport Campus.

The prestigious event saw rower Kirsten McCann and sprinter Akani Simbine respectively winning the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year awards.

Kirsten McCann, the 2016 Rio Olympian, who is also a member of the South African National Rowing Squad, has had a phenomenal year. At the SA Senior Championships in April 2017, McCann won gold in the Women's Heavyweight Scull (WA1x) event in East London. This achievement was followed by a gold medal win in the LW1x event at the World Rowing Cup 3 in Lucerne, Switzerland. The hard-working rower represented South Africa in September 2017 at the World Rowing Championships were she won gold in Sarasota, Florida, USA. The Tuks rower made history by becoming the first South African and African female rower to claim an individual world title.

Akani Simbine has cemented his dominance in the athletics world. The TuksAthletics sprinter set the tone during the Athletics Gauteng  North (AGN) championships when he won gold in 9.92 seconds for the 100 metres sprint, after running a sub-10 seconds 100 metres and a sub-20 seconds 200 metres race in a league event a few weeks prior, thus becoming only the seventh person to achieve this milestone. The Bachelor of Information Sciences graduate ran eight times under the magical 10-second barrier with season's best results of 9.92 seconds in the 100 metres and 19.95 seconds in the 200 metres events. Simbine finished in first place at the Diamond League championships in Doha, Qatar. His gold medal performance was followed by two bronze medals in the Diamond League events in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Monaco. At the IAAF World championships Simbine finished in a phenomenal fifth position in the prestigious men's 100 metres final.

Approximately 30 TuksSport athletes and support staff represented Team South Africa at the 29th Summer Universiade (World Student Games) in Taipei from 19 to 30 August 2017. The 'Stripe generation' won the Varsity Cup, Varsity Young Guns, Varsity Athletics, Varsity Hockey (women), Varsity Football (men) and Varsity Netball competitions.

Mr Toby Sutcliffe, acting director of TuksSport, believes that 2017 has been an exceptional year for TuksSport due to its culture of excellence. 'At TuksSport we are conscious of the fact that talent is not enough unless it is driven by an unrelenting desire to be the best and this desire is further supported by an uncompromising commitment to excellence in all aspects of your preparation and participation.'

Highlights of a successful year at TuksSport:

  • Nine USSA gold medals for athletics cross country, beach volleyball, chess, cricket, golf, hockey (women), judo, swimming and rowing.
  • Eighty-four senior national Protea representatives.
  • Seven national coaches and managers.
  • Seventy National Federation and Age Group representatives.
  • Forty-four University of Pretoria students selected for USSA national teams.
  • One-hundred-and-sixty-three senior provincial representatives.

2017 TuksSport Colours and Awards:

  • Student Sports Administrator of the Year: Boyani Mphasha (Student Sport Committee).
  • Administrator of the Year Award: Paul de Beer (Aikido).
  • Student Sportswoman of the Year: Nicole van Wyk (Rowing).
  • Student Sportsman of the Year: Thando Roto (Athletics).
  • Coach of the Year – Team sport: Inky Zondi (Hockey).
  • Coach of the Year – Individual sport: Llewellyn van Leeuwen (Golf).
  • Sports Team of the Year: TuksRowing USSA Team (Rowing).
  • Student Sport Club of the Year: TuksRowing.
  • Sport Club of the Year: TuksCricket.
  • Principal's Award for Exceptional Performance in both Academics and Sport: Izelle Verster (Hockey).
  • Principal's Award for Outstanding Performance by a Team Representing the University in Inter-University Competitions: TuksHockey.
  • Sportswoman of the Year: Kirsten McCann (Rowing).
  • Sportsman of the Year: Akani Simbine (Athletics).



- Author Mmane Boikanyo

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