ABSA NMMU’S soccer teams are confident of gaining success at the University Sport South Africa championships to be held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) from December 3-7. The Madibaz men’s team are the event’s defending champions. They outclassed the Cape Peninsula University of Technology 3-0 in the final held at Limpopo University, Polokwane, last year.
The NMMU team are grouped in Pool A, along with UKZN 2, University of Venda and Wits University, while the NMMU women’s team will clash against UWC, Tshwane University of Technology and University of Free State in Pool B.
NMMU soccer manager Mark Tommy said the tournament was the highlight of the year for the students, and they would be motivated to do well. The Madibaz soccer teams did well in their regional leagues to qualify for the national championships.
“This will be our third time participating in the tournament, with the guys winning the championship title last year.”
The week-long event will comprise 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams, with four sides in each of the four pools.
The Eastern Cape will be represented by three universities in the women’s section – Walter Sisulu University’s (WSU’s) Potsdam campus, NMMU and University of Fort Hare’s (UFH’s) Alice campus, while in the men’s section NMMU, WSU’s Ibika and Potsdam campuses and UFH’s East London campus will take part.
The women’s side missed out on last year’s tournament but they ended sixth in 2010.
Tommy said the men’s team were grouped in a tough pool and would be facing strong opponents. The women’s group looked even but UWC, as the hosts, would be the favourites.
“We will defend our championship crown with determination and we are also hoping to come back with the women’s trophy as well.”