Varsity Athletics will return on 2 and 23 March 2018. This year, both events will take place at the newly-renovated Tuks Athletics Stadium. Tuks Athletics Club also celebrate their centenary in 2018.
This year, Varsity Athletics will once again provide the platform to South Africa’s rising stars, as it did for household names such as Akani Simbine, Constant Pretorius, Ruswahl Samaai, LJ van Zyl and Caster Semenya, who will represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Games next month. Varsity Sports aims to provide athletes the platform to go faster, further and higher, nurturing the next generation of South African athletes.
The event will continue with the format introduced in 2016, with two divisions: the A division will have eight competing universities, and the B division, will have four competing universities. This format was adopted after the University of Cape Town, Central University of Technology, University of Limpopo, and Vaal University of Technology joined Varsity Athletics.
The A division follows the IAAF format where the top 15 athletes’ points from each university are counted towards the entire team’s scores, and the B division will use the top 10 athletes’ points for each university. These points count towards the universities’ totals. The IAAF points scoring format has been adopted for the meetings. A winner of both meetings will be announced, as well as the overall winner, who will be crowned on 23 March in Pretoria.
Division A includes:
- University of Pretoria (Tuks)
- North West University (NWU)
- Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
- University of Free State (Kovsies)
- Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz)
- University of Stellenbosch (Maties)
- University of the Western Cape (UWC)
- University of Johannesburg (UJ)
Division B includes:
- University of Cape Town (UCT)
- Central University of Technology (CUT)
- University of Limpopo (UL)
- Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
The teams of each university will be announced soon.
“Varsity Athletics affords fantastic opportunities to our young athletes to help them prepare for the biggest athletics event in the world such as the SA Championship and Commonwealth Games,” said Duitser Bosman, Varsity Sports CEO. “It’s an extreme honour to be able to provide these future stars a world-class platform to bring their dreams to life and we are grateful to our partners Samsung, Wimpy and FNB.”
In 2018 Varsity Sports launched a new campaign called #SpeakUp in conjunction with Professor Lizette Rabe. The aim of the campaign is to drive the message that everyone should be aware of their mental wellness and state of mind, and remove the stigma around mental wellness. With the international colour for mental awareness being green, every Varsity Athletics record holder will don a bright green number to create awareness.
Varsity Athletics has fostered some of South Africa’s most formidable athletes who all competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. These include Justine Palframan (Maties 200m and 400m sprinter), Caster Semenya (NWU 800m sprinter, Olympic Gold medalist) Stephen Mokoka (TUT 10 000m long distance runner), Ruswahl Samaai (UJ long jumper), LJ van Zyl (Tuks 400m hurdles sprinter), Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks 100m and 200m sprinter), Akani Simbine (Tuks 100m sprinter) and Wayde van Niekerk (Kovsies 200m and 400m sprinter, 400m World Record holder, 200m Olympic Gold medalist).
Varsity Athletics is proudly brought to you by FNB, Samsung and Wimpy.