Individuals stand out in sporting year

29 November 2006

Aneeqah and Nuraan Mallick

For once, UCT picked up only a handful of honours in the team events, the water polo club bagging most of these (and the UCT sports awards). More often than not, it was our northern neighbours at Stellenbosch University that pipped UCT, notably in the rugby and hockey competitions. But, amid these disappointments, a score of UCT students stood out at club, provincial, national and international level. Here we recall some of the outstanding achievements of these individuals, not forgetting a number of team and non-competitive highlights.

  • Pole-vaulter Sylma Jordaan, in her first year at UCT, and javelin thrower Odette Olivier represented Western Province at the South African Senior Track & Field Championships in Port Elizabeth in February.
  • PhD student Liesl de Milander studies male 2006 Two Oceans ultra marathon participants to identify the genetic make-up of high-performing athletes.
  • William Robinson was selected for the SA side to participate in the World University Cycling Championship, the first to be held in 16 years, in Antwerp, Belgium, in March. Sadly, an accident rules him out.
  • UCT gets a new hockey AstroTurf.
  • UCT picked up a handful of medals at the WP Athletics Junior Championships in March and also at the WP Senior Track & Field Championships later that month.
  • The Avian Demography Unit's John Cooper clocked up 10 000km in the Pedal Power Association.
  • Three MPhil students of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences draw up the Cape Argus environmental management plan. The 2006 Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour is the first to implement this plan.
  • The water polo first team defeated the Maties in the first intervarsity at Stellenbosch this year.
  • Dave Mallett takes charge as coach of the first rugby team. The FNB UCT first side enjoys its best start in years, and goes on to finish second in the WP Super League.
  • Thabiso Nkile picks up a score of karate medals and trophies at the Western Province, the South African Student Sports Union (SASSU) and the World Kofukan Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • UCT took second place at the Volleyball Classic 4s Co-ed Tournament in May.
  • The Badminton Club hosted a very successful inaugural UCT Schools Challenge on May 13.
  • UCT women's hockey takes pole position on the WP Grand Challenge log, to the surprise of all, especially perennial champs, Maties.
  • UCT fencer Jamie Gordon was selected to represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Belfast in September.
  • UCT women's squash team bags the SASSU title.
  • The Women's tennis team earns UCT a well-deserved second place in the WP women's premier league.
  • UCT picks up two gold medals at the national power-lifting championships, including one by a 52-year-old staffer Jeffrey Johnstone, making his debut at the competition.
  • In mid-July athletics women Lauren Stewart, Unice Vorster and Amy Aronson won the Knysna Half Marathon team title for UCT.
  • Master's student Juliet Evans examines the interaction between genetics and environmental factors and their impact on body fatness.
  • In July, graduate Sele Selamolela becomes the seventh South African to reach the summit of Mount Everest in July. In recognition, Selamolela received the Chairperson's Award at the UCT Sports Awards Dinner in October.
  • Body builder Jackson Marakalala contested in the Mr Fitness SA Pageant and also won the bantam and senior novice categories at the Western Province Ironman Competition.
  • Siyoli Lusaseni came out of the 2006 national student games as the country's top woman squash player.
  • Golfing sisters Aneequah and Nuraan Mallick feature in the WP junior team.
  • Pierre le Roux and Charlie Stuart pass on the coaching mantles after 16 and nine years, respectively, with the UCT hockey club.
  • A new initiative by the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) takes sport to the townships.
  • The Golf Club organises the inaugural Beth Uriel Classic to raise funds for the Beth Uriel House of Light in Salt River, home to young men who hail from troubled backgrounds.
  • The Dance Sports Club enjoys a memorable first year in local competitions.
  • Retired Namibian track star Frankie Fredericks addressed students in September, as a guest of the Namibian Students Society.
  • Administration in Management (AIM) students at the Graduate School of Business organise a very successful Golf Day Clinic in October.
  • Squash star Siyoli Lusaseni wins her second UCT Sportsperson of the Year title. The other nominees in this category included 2005 winner and Woman International Chess Master Jenine Ellappen, sailor Gareth Blanckenberg who co-skippered the winning boat at this year's Lipton Challenge Cup, Oliver Hobson who was awarded South African national sailing colours, James Gordon who represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships, and three water polo women - Fiona Mallet, Jade Liddell and Robyn Brooker - who represented South Africa at this year's Commonwealth competition. The water polo club hogged just about all the silverware at the Sports Awards Dinner - Mallet was named the best first-year student, the club received the Club of the Year trophy, Matt Kemp received the Turpin Cup for service to UCT sports, and the men's and women's first teams took both the Butterworth Cup and the Landstem Trophy for performance of the year for its all-conquering showing at the SASSU competition.
  • Five UCT graduates are aboard the Shosholoza, the South African boat making a bid for the 2007 America's Cup.
  • Surfer Krystal Tavenor is steadily working her way up the SA surfing ranks.
  • Runner's World in the US names Professor Tim Noakes as one of its 40 Most Influential People and Moments of the Past Four Decades in its November edition.
  • Professor Martin Schwellnus finds evidence that dehydration and electrolyte concentrations have little bearing on who gets muscle cramps and when. He believes muscle fatigue is the prime cause.
  • In Memory

  • The Rugby Club mourns the unexpected death of former first XV stalwart Immanuel "Mackie" McKenzie during a club rugby match in early April.
  • Dr Lindsay Weight, UCT Comrades Marathon winner and lecturer, died at her Hout Bay home in September, aged 44.

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