Badges of honour: Lydia Hall (pictured on the left) and Frans Mamabolo (pictured below) have been toasted by the national governing body for student sport, USSA.
Lydia Hall and Frans Mamabolo, sports administrators in UCT's Sport & Recreation section, were recently honoured by University Sport South Africa (USSA) for their service and commitment to student sport and their work within USSA specifically.
The governing body for student sport in the country, USSA made the pro meritus awards - winners receive special badges to go with their USSA blazers - at a recent national meeting.
Hall's association with USSA, then known as the South African Student Sports Union, goes back 25 years to 1986, when she first joined UCT. Since then, she's been working with national and provincial bodies for a number of sports codes, including aquatics, basketball, hockey, netball, squash and, of late, rowing in particular.
Mamabolo's a more recent USSA collaborator, but started his involvement in USSA structures at UCT as a student in 1998. In addition to representing chess and basketball at USSA, he's had a big hand in the organisation's karate committees.
Both Hall and Mamabolo have enjoyed some of the 'perks' of serving on USSA, like travelling to student competitions across the globe, from Serbia to Thailand, Montenegro to Russia (Mamabolo perhaps more than Hall). But that's not the appeal, they say.
"It's about seeing students achieve something," notes Hall. "And if you don't serve on these committees, your students miss out."
Echoes Mamabolo: "The kick that you get out of working in student sport is creating opportunities for these kids. Without sport, many of them may not have seen the inside of an airplane or have gone overseas."
Sad then, says Mamabolo, that few students - and there may be good reasons - show an interest in the administration of sports clubs
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