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Rhodes hosts 2012 intervarsity

Date Released: Thu, 16 August 2012 13:59 +0200

Rhodes University Sports Administration will be hosting the 2012 intervarsity from 17-18 August - the largest multi-coded university sporting event in the Eastern Cape.

More than 1000 students will be participating in various sporting codes such as waterpolo, soccer, rugby, squash, cricket, chess and karate. About 5000 spectators are expected to attend the games.

The intervarsity is one of many initiatives used to bring students from four different tertiary institutions – Rhodes, University of Fort Hare (UFH), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to compete in a fun filled weekend of sports.  

Rhodes Head of Sports, Mr Mandla Gagayi and his team are excited to host an event of this magnitude. “This is an opportunity that we only get once every three years, it is therefore important that we organise an event that gives students the best opportunity to demonstrate their sporting prowess, enjoy themselves and make friends.”

Rhodes students will get a rare opportunity to play and compete against other university students in the province. Most Rhodes sports teams only play under Port Elizabeth leagues which are made up mostly of non-students.

Deputy Dean of Students, Mr Roger Adams said intervarsity offers a valuable opportunity for students’ leaders to gain experience in helping to organise and manage a large and complex event.

“It is also an opportunity for Sports Administration to put their professional proficiency in event hosting on display. The event is also high on the competition calendar for our top sports students and just as high on the social calendar of the general student population,” said Mr Adams.

Mr Gagayi welcomes UFH, NMMU and WSU on campus. “We are known for hosting events of high standard, and this one will be no exception. As we welcome them, we also hope that they will assist us in making sure that the 2012 intervarsity runs smoothly and becomes a success,” he added.

Sports Officer volunteer, Mr Andrew Matatu revealed that Rhodes is planning to launch a new intervarsity feature this year. Rhodes Sports Administration in conjunction with School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes Student Media and the Communications and Marketing Division will launch and  Intervarsity Media Centre for the first time.

The purpose of the media centre is to expose journalism and interested students to a live sports reporting and to hone their writing, photography and multimedia skills. Budding journalists and students from other universities will also form part of the centre.  The plan would also be to roll out the media centre to other universities, who will be hosting intervarsity in the near future. 

This year intervarsity follows the 2009 intervarsity hosted by Rhodes, when some Rhodes students misbehaved and the University Council recommended suspension of Rhodes’ participation in intervarsity.

However, Rhodes established a task team to advise the Vice-Chancellor and to make a firm recommendation in respect of Rhodes’ future participation. The task team recommended that Rhodes participate in the intervarsity at the NMMU in 2010 as a test for future participation, provided certain conditions are met.

The conditions included ensuring that students behaviour is not disruptive, harmful to others and to property, and do not bring the University’s name in disrepute.

A call was also made for a volunteer marshal group made up of students and staff. This group received training and had a highly visible profile during the 2010 and 2011 intervarsity.

The introduction of conditions and marshals has led to the smooth running and incident free intervarsity at NMMU and UFH in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Rhodes will continue ensuring that the intervarsity runs smoothly.

Photo: Rhodes Head of Sports, Mr Mandla Gagayi

Photo by: Sophie Smith