Varsity Football moves to Thursday nights for the 2017 season.
Varsity Football is celebrating five years in 2017, and is South Africa’s premier inter-varsity football competition. It is also a leading platform for football development at university level, and has grown to be one of the most supported football tournaments in the country. Once again, FNB, Samsung and Debonairs Pizza will sponsor the competition, making it all possible.
In 2016, more than 100 000 fans flocked to their local university stadiums to support their teams from the eight universities. Even on the coldest nights, the atmosphere in-stadium was electric and warm, showcasing once again that sport has the ability to unite people.
Iyachesa, which loosely translates to “it’s hot” in any Nguni language, will be the theme for 2017. Hot entertainment and on-field action – from crowd interaction and giveaways to the flair displayed on the football pitch.
This year, Varsity Football moves from Monday nights to Thursday nights.
“Since our competition is an all-inclusive competition, we found that Thursday nights work better for the student athletes and supporters’ academic and social calendars, as well as our TV viewership,” said Varsity Football Manager, Xhanti-Lomzi Nesi.
Varsity Football has also opened the doors for many young footballers, including Thabo Mnyamane, who now plays for SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana. Mnyamane began his football career representing the North-West University-Mafikeng team before being scooped up by AmaTuks. Last year the forward signed with Matsatsantsa. Other players who also started their careers on the university pitches include Jeremiah Nkwana, Thabo Ndlovu, Tiago da Serra, Claudio de Almeida, Lebogang Ngubeni, Mohau Khwinana, Tristyn Coetsee, Shane April, Neo Makua, Dumisani Msibi and Xola Mlambo.
“I will be forever indebted to Varsity Football for creating the platform for me and many others,” Mnyamane said. “Not many competitions offer the kind of TV exposure Varsity Sports offers, and I believe that the exposure we received, gave me the stepping stone I needed to be where I am today.”
The competition has become more than just football – it is a competition where heroes are born, talent is highlighted and long-lasting friendships are built. Varsity Sports’ aim has always been to make South Africa a better country through sport. One of Varsity Sports’ priorities is promoting academics and studies. Which is why student athletes may only participate in Varsity Football if they have achieved a minimum of 60 credits in their previous year of studies. This is to ensure that while they may be planning for a career in football, they are also preparing for life after football.
SAFA president, Danny Jordaan, recently unveiled Vision 2022, which aims to synchronise all men’s national teams, with the goal to have all SAFA national teams ranked in the top three in Africa and the top 20 in the world respectively over the next 10 years. Significantly, Varsity Football assists with the development of players, coaches and administrators at university level, which falls in line with the strategy laid out by the national federation.
Fans can look forward to entertainment at all 31 live matches, as well as at their fingertips, on the Varsity Sports app and social media platforms. Join the online conversation by following the #Iyachesa hashtag and stay up to date with all the latest news and fixtures.
Varsity Football has been made possible thanks to FNB, Samsung and Debonairs Pizza.