Archive for the ‘USSA’ Category

USSA titles for Maties rugby and cycling : 2017-07-17

On Wednesday the Maties cycling team won the USSA title for a third consecutive year after total domination on the road.

This follows the success of the Steinhoff Maties rugby team that finally won the USSA title with its fourth final. The tournament took place in Johannesburg.

In Port Elizabeth the Maties men and women’s team won the road competition. Gert Heyns and Frances du Toit were the individual winners. Riders from Maties won every stage. Max Sullivan won the green jersey as best sprinter en Heyns the polka-dot jersey for best climber.

The Maties rugby team beat Pukke 19-13 in the final played at the Wits stadium. Braam Venter and his team started the week with a victory over CUT (84-7) and easily dispatched Shimlas (50-7) in the semi-final.

It was a thriller of a final against the team from Potchefstroom that eliminated the home university Wits in the semi-finals.

“I am very pleased and relieved that we could win the final. We have come close to winning other for the last few years. To win the title means a lot to us. We can now build on this for the rest of the WP league and what we’ve learned here we can even use in next year’s Varsity Cup tournament,” said Venter.

Maties is now the USSA champions for both 15man and Sevens rugby. Venter was also the captain of the sevens team that won the last USSA tournament for sevens. The USSA Sevens Rugby Tournament is in September this year.

The rugby team is the only team to win a title last week. The Maties cycling team is currently in Port Elizabeth where the team is the two-time defending champion.

The Maties gymnastics team won the team competition and ended second overall to Pukke. The badminton and tennis teams were both third.

Other USSA results: Gymnastics – 2nd – won the team event; Badminton – 3rd; Tennis – 3rd /B team 2nd B Division; Netball – 5th; Hockey – 5th; Soccer – 5th B Division; Squash – 5th; Golf – 6th / B team won B Division; Basketball – Women 8th / Men 14th

USSA-titels vir Maties rugby en fietsry : 2017-07-17

Die Maties-fietsryspan het Woensdag vir die derde agtereenvolgende jaar die USSA-titel gewen na totale oorheersing op die teerpad.

Dit volg op die sukses van die Steinhoff Maties-rugbyspan wat met sy vierde eindstryd die laaste paar jare verlede week in Johannesburg uiteindelik die 2017 USSA-titel verower het.

In Port Elizabeth het die mans- en vroue-fietsryspan die padkompetisie gewen. Gert Heyns en Frances du Toit was in die algehele eerste plek. Maties se ryers het elke skof gewen. Max Sullivan het die groentrui vir beste naelryer gewen en Heyns was die beste klimmer in die toer.

Maties-rugbyspan het Pukke in die eindstryd in die Wits-stadion met 19-13 geklop. Braam Venter en sy span het die week begin met ‘n sege oor CUT met 84-7 en in die halfeindstryd maklik met Shimlas (50-7) afgereken.

Dit was ‘n riller van ‘n eindstryd teen die span van Potchefstroom wat die tuis-universiteit Wits in die halfeindronde uitgeskakel het. Maties was die heeltyd voor in die wedstryd.

“Ek is baie bly en verlig dat ons die eindstryd kon wen. Ons het die laaste paar jaar elke keer naby gekom. Om die titel te wen beteken vir ons baie. Ons kan nou hierop bou vir die res van die WP-liga en wat ons hier geleer het selfs gebruik in volgende jaar se Varsitybeker-toernooi,” het Venter gesê.

Maties is nou die USSA-kampioene vir 15man- en sewesrugby. Venter was ook die kaptein van die sewespan wat die laaste USSA-toernooi vir sewes gewen het. Die USSA-sewesrugbytoernooi is in September vanjaar.

Die rugbyspan is die enigste span wat ‘n titel gewen het verlede week. Die Maties-fietsryspan is tans in Port Elizabeth waar die die span die tweemalige verdedigende kampioen is.

Die Maties-gimnastiekspan het die span kompetisie gewen en algeheel tweede na Pukke geëindig. Die pluimbal- en tennis-span was albei derde.

Ander USSA-uitslae: Gimnastiek 2de; Pluimbal 3de; Tennis 3de; Netbal 5de; Hokkie 5de; Muurbal 5de; Sokker 5de; Golf 6de; Basketbal (vroue) 8ste; Basketbal (mans) 14de.


Maties Cycling does it again : 2016-07-13


Maties Cycling successfully defended their USSA title in Potchefstroom.

Maties men dominated the competition, winning the yellow jersey, green jersey, team classification, all hotspots except one, as well as all stages but one in the road race competition. They also came first and second in the mountain-bike competition.

Stages were won by and Max Sullivan and Gert Heyns, who finished first in the general classification. Dominic Calitz won the MTB event.

Nicky Giliomee and Marie Kempf, both mountain-bikers, put in a lot of extra effort before the competition to master some of the road-racing tactics.

It paid off, with Nicky finishing third in the general classification (road) for women, winning one stage and the yellow jersey after the time trail. She and Marie also finished second and third in the MTB event.

Maties Cycling’s Max Sullivan said the team is very happy with what they have achieved.

“It was real team effort. The competition was definitely stronger this year and the altitude made our first stage quite hard, but we still managed to come together and pull off a win.

“The team is very strong and there were several other eligible candidates for the 8-man team, highlighting the depth of cycling talent at Stellenbosch University. Maties could most certainly be deemed the best cycling university in the country, especially with the introduction of the high performance programme.”

USSA Short Ride Max Sullivan


Successful debut at USSA for Maties Basketball : 2016-07-13

The Maties Basketball men’s team not only finished sixth overall in its debut USSA tournament, but also managed to qualify for the Varsity Sports Basketball tournament.

Coach Zarko Krkeljas described the tournament as a rewarding learning experience for both players and coaches.

“On the one hand it was exactly what we expected: tough games, played by tough opponents that challenged us physically and mentally. But the fact that we responded in the way we did made it easier to keep on fighting.”

The main goal for Maties was to qualify for the Varsity Sports tournament and for that they needed to finish in the top 8. There were 16 teams.

“We exceeded the expectations by far, no doubt. While we certainly did not know what to expect, we did know that we were as ready as we could be. We knew that the performance in the first game would dictate the rest of the tournament, and that was exactly what happened. After beating DUT, the momentum carried us against Pukke, and two wins on the first day set the bar for the rest of the week.”

DUT was a finalist last year.

Maties’ Ryan Jayne was included in the team of the tournament to add some more sparkle to what was already shining week of basketball for Maties. Other teams and coaches recognised Maties’ efforts throughout the tournament with a standing ovation at a gala dinner.

“Getting that kind of recognition made me even prouder of my players, for the effort and heart they showed during the entire tournament.”


Suksesvolle debuut by USSA vir Maties Basketbal

Maties Basketbal se mansspan het nie net algeheel sesde gekom in sy eerste USSA-toernooi nie, maar het in die proses ook gekwalifiseer vir die Varsity Sports-basketbaltoernooi.

Die span se afrigter, Zarko Krkeljas, het die toernooi as ’n wonderlike leerervaring vir spelers én afrigters beskryf.

“Aan die een kant was dit presies wat ons verwag het: taai wedstryde teen moeilike teenstanders was ons fisiek en geestelik getoets het. Maar die manier waarop ons gereageer het, het dit makliker gemaak om aan te hou baklei vir elke punt.”

Maties se hoofdoel was om vir die Varsity Sports-toernooi te kwalifiseer en daarvoor moes hulle die topagt haal. Altesaam 16 spanne het deelgeneem.

“Ons het sonder twyfel alle verwagtinge oortref. Ons het geweet dat ons vertoning in die eerste wedstryd die verloop van die res van die toernooi sou dikteer en dit is presies wat gebeur het. Die momentum van die sege oor DUT het ons gedra in die stryd teen Pukke en om twee oorwinnings op dag een te kon behaal, het die standaard vir die res van die week gestel.”

DUT was verlede jaar ’n finalis in die kompetisie.

Maties se Ryan Jayne is ingesluit in die span van die toernooi. Ander spanne en afrigters het erkenning aan Maties gegee deur hulle staande toe te juig by die prysuitdeling.

“Ek het dit glad nie verwag nie en ek glo dit het elke speler ongelooflik trots laat voel,” het Krkeljas gesê.


The sweetest of USSA victories for Steinhoff Maties Men : 2016-07-12


After letting themselves down at USSA tournaments the past few years, the Steinhoff Maties Hockey men finally overcame the title hurdle to win the first USSA men’s title for the club since 2009.

Dylan Swanepoel and his Maroon Platoon of merry men went to USSA in Johannesburg with the knowledge that for many of them it is now or never to win a title other than the local Western Province league title. In a thrilling final against Tuks – a repeat of the Varsity Hockey semi-earlier in the season – Maties took a 2-0 lead, but after two quick goals from Tuks it went to a shoot-out for the title. Maties held their nerve and lifted the trophy as victors.

“The USSA gold medal means a lot. We put in a lot of hard work this season; especially in our preparation camp leading up to the tournament. We have underperformed at USSA for the last few years, so to finally get a gold medal is a great feeling,” said Swanepoel, who was part of the team that finished third last year.

The Maties teams always have a great team spirit, but last week players and management felt that something special was happening within the ranks of the squad.

“The team spirit was a vital part of our success. We placed a huge emphasis on having fun at the tournament. We have always been a close team, but this week was different. Every member of the team – from management to players – put in a huge amount of effort to have a good time on and off the field. You have to enjoy what you are doing.”

Striker Keenan Horne was named player of the tournament. He has been an instrumental player for Maties for a few years now.

“We had four key words to help us remain focused and calm on the field. One of those keywords was trust. It’s simply about knowing that when your teammate is pushing you and instructing you their actions are purely for the benefit of the team. Getting individual recognition after winning the gold was a very overwhelming feeling. The focus for the week was purely on winning the title with the team and in a team sport you sacrifice for the team and rely on the team. It’s always special being recognised but it’s the team that gave me the opportunity to express myself and for that I will always be thankful.”

Maties will now continue their quest for a fourth consecutive WP league title when they take on Ikeys on Saturday 23 July in the next league fixture.



Tough test awaits at USSA for Steinhoff Maties Hockey : 2016-07-03


Steinhoff Maties Hockey’s High Peformance Manager Paul Revington spoke to Maties HP about USSA.

Why is USSA an important tournament for Maties Hockey?

“Dealing with and negotiating through tournaments is always the ultimate test at International level in hockey. USSA offers the South African hockey calendar an opportunity for the students to really test themselves in such an environment. Any test of skill, character and mental toughness has always been welcomed at Maties Hockey and at USSA the players, coaches and support staff are tested on all these levels with five hard games in a row. To be USSA champions would suggest Maties Hockey is doing something right!”


What are the goals for this year’s tournament?

“I like to try to live in Utopia! Always aim to play the ‘perfect’ game in offense and defense. What does this look like? Both teams (Men and Women) will have a host of performance goals for the event, then broken down into specific performance goals for each game along the journey. Obviously Maties always want to win every USSA! It makes more sense to continually focus on these performance goals to get to the end goal. While we focus on these goals we will always strive to have a good degree of enjoyment and fun. That in the end is why we play this beautiful game!”


Some disappointments at last year’s tournament and the men at Varsity Hockey this year; how important is it to have a good tournament in the light of this?

“From the Women’s team perspective we overachieved in my opinion in 2015 at Varsity tournament and USSA. We lost a lot of players and really worked hard between February and July 2015 to make up the ground last year. We have lost another three influential players from USSA 2015 but got in several classy new recruitments. The likes of Quanita Bobbs, Heather McEwan, Tarryn Glasby and Nicole Le Fleur (to name a few) are leading this new group extremely well. I am excited for them because they are capable of playing well and consistently!

“From the Men’s team perspective we improved (3rd) in 2015 after the disappointment of 5th in 2014 so it was not all doom and gloom last year. We would like to produce five consistent performances that would make our Maties players proud in 2016. There is a lot of ability in the Men’s squad but nothing can be achieved without consistency of effort, hard work and internal self-belief. I am excited for this group too because they are also very close to putting all the ingredients together in a single event.”


Maties Basketball ready to make history : 2016-07-03

Maties Basketball Men’s coach Zarko Krkeljas speaks to Maties HP about Maties Basketball’s debut at USSA.

What are the expectations for USSA?

“A lot of sweat and fun; when we received our game schedule, we saw that both teams, men and women, were seated in the groups with the teams that were last year finalists, or finished in the Top 8. So from the start we know we are underdogs, and we know that it will a hard battle, especially during the first day where we play two games.

“While most our Maties teams have the experience of being at USSA tournaments, this is something new for us, and playing several games in few days is definitely a new challenge for us. That is why we are training hard in the gym and on the basketball court in order to prepare for any challenges that we might face.

“We will also have help of our High Performance programme that will look out after our players, which will certainly boost our chances. But, even though there is a tough road ahead of us, we are enjoying every moment of this process, and are looking forward to competing in Johannesburg, where we will make every effort to finish in the Top 8.”

How important is the USSA tournament for Maties?

“This experience for the club is enormous as it gives us an opportunity to play with the best teams in the country. This will also offer a new perspective for each player to reflect on their hard work, and what they have accomplished as a result, but also how much more they have left to go.

“Relative to our goals, we have already accomplished our primary goal for the season – qualifying for USSA. Now, players have also set the team goal for USSA, and that is to make the Top 8, which qualifies us for Varsity competition.

Are the players using the making history factor for motivation or don’t you think too much about it?

“During this tough preparation period of studying for the exams, and fully committing to training, players do need some motivation to keep them going, and I am sure that they are using the momentum from the USSA qualifiers, and the prospect of competing with the best teams in the country, to push them through. However, they are also aware of the tough road ahead, and the fact that we are competing against the 15 best teams in the country. That’s why Coach Aggrey and I are very proud of how players are handling this period.”

Maties Cyclists ready to defend titles : 2016-07-03


The Maties Cycling team is the defending USSA champion and according to Max Sullivan the team is not going with anything less in mind to Potchefstroom for the 2017 USSA event.

“I think the team is pretty confident heading into the competition, as we know we have a good support structure and a solid eightman-team. We also have four riders that are more than capable of winning the yellow jersey, so we have a good set of cards in hand. The goal is definitely to defend our title, winning the team competition and the yellow jersey,” said Max Sullivan.

“We would also like to win all of the stages and jerseys, however will sacrifice these if need be. We also stand a good chance in the mountain bike race. Our competitors often see us as a full time well drilled team; we however haven’t had a ride together at all. We have however all raced sufficiently this year and the team gels well together on and off the bike in Stellenbosch. We expect the altitude to make things a bit harder, and also not knowing the finishes is a challenge. I’m confident that the team and support staff will get all of the controllable factors in order, the rest we take as it comes. It’s great to have the support of Maties HP.”

The Maties women were supposed to be team of three, but due to unforeseen circumstances only two riders will make up the team. “We both riders are actually mountain bikers with not much experience on the road. However we have trained hard together, getting lots of advise and help from our men’s team to try grasp a better understanding of how the road tactics work. We are confident we will manage with the resources and knowledge we now have,” said Nicky Gillomee.

Giliomee is the defending mountain bike champion.

  • Cycling and Mountainbiking are part of the Maties Sport High Performance Programme.


Big 2016 awaits Maties HP : 2016-02-02


The pursuit of USSA- and Varsity titles. This is the focus of the Maties How Performance unit for 2016.

The first Varsity Sports tournament was the second edition of Varsity Cricket last week in Potchefstroom. Steinhoff Maties Cricket – who played in the final last year – finished fifth this time.

Varsity Cup starts on February 8 and the expectations for Maties rugby is huge after recent years’ disappointing performances. In April, it is the Varsity Cup Sevens and shortly thereafter, the Steinhoff Maties men’s hockey team will be in action in the Varsity Hockey series.

Maties Sevens has won the Varsity Cup, but last year failed to make even the semi-finals. A victory in December’s USSA tournament has hopefully given the team the necessary confidence again to tackle the Varsity Cup with the belief that last year was just a slip-up.

This is the fourth year that hockey has a Varsity Series. Maties women’s team won in 2012 and in 2013 the men played in the final against UJ. Last year a very inexperienced women’s team finished fourth.

The High Performance Unit’s Sean Surmon said there are big expectations, but hard work is done to make sure the teams and players are equipped to achieve their goals. “This year is indeed a significant year for Maties Sport with special reference to our Maties Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as our continued strive for success in the University competitions. Each of these athletes as well as our focus sport codes are supported through the Maties Sport integrated medicine and science support programme, focusing on the health and wellness, performance enhancement and holistic development of our athletes. The Varsity Cricket tournament just finished, Varsity Cup kicks off in two weeks and hot on its heels will be Varsity Sevens. 2016 it set up to be a cracker and we are so excited to be part of it all.”

Varsity Cup fixtures: 8 FEBRUARY – Maties v CUT; FEBRUARY 15 – NMMU v Maties; 22 FEBRUARY – Maties v Tuks; 29 FEBRUARY – UJ v Maties; 7 MARCH – Maties v Shimlas; 14 MARCH – Maties v UCT; MARCH 21 – Pukke v Maties.



Groot 2016 wag op Maties HP

Die strewe na USSA- en Varsity-titels. Dit is die fokus van die Maties Hoe Prestasie-eenhoud vir 2016.

Die eerste Varsity Sport-toernooi van die jaar was verlede week se Varsity Krieket-toernooi in Potchefstroom. Steinhoff Maties – wat verlede jaar in die eindstryd gespeel het – was vyfde.

Die Varsity Beker-rugbyreeks begin op 8 Februarie en die verwagtinge vir Maties Rugby is groot na die afgelope paar jaar se teleurstellende vertonings. In April is dit die Varsity Sewes-toernooi en kort daarna sal die Steinhoff Maties manshokkiespan in die Varsity Hokkie-reeks in aksie wees.

Maties Sewes het al die Varsity-toernooi gewen, maar verlede jaar nie eens die halfeindronde gehaal nie. ‘n Sege in Desember se USSA-toernooi sal die span egter weer die nodige selfvertroue gee om die Varsity-toernooi aan te pak met die geloof dat verlede jaar net ‘n glips was.

Dit is die vierde jaar wat hokkie ‘n Varsity-reeks het. Maties se vroue-span het in 2012 die eerste reeks gewen en in 2013 het die mans in die eindstryd teen UJ gespeel. Verlede jaar was ‘n baie onervare vroue-span vierde.

Sean Surmon van die Hoë Prestasie-eenheid het gesê daar is groot verwagtinge, maar harde werk word ingesit om seker te maak die spanne en spelers is toegerus om hul doelwitte te bereik. “Dit is inderdaad ‘n baie belangrike jaar vir Maties Sport met spesiale verwysing na ons Maties Olimpiese en Paralimpiese atlete asook ons voortdurende strewe na sukses in Universiteitskompetisies. Elke atleet en ook ons fokus-sportkodes word ondersteun deur Maties Sport se mediese en wetenskaplike ondersteuningsprogramme, fokus op gesondheid, prestasie-bevordering en die holistiese ontwikkeling van ons atlete. Die Varsity Beker skop af oor n week en kort daarna is dit Varsity Sewes. Dit gaan ‘n uitsonderlike jaar wees en ons is baie opgewonde.”

Varsity Beker-bepalings: 8 FEBRUARIE – Maties t KUT; 15 FEBRUARIE – NMMU t Maties; 22 FEBRUARIE – Maties t Tukkies; 29 FEBRUARIE – UJ t Maties; 7 MAART – Maties t Shimlas; 14 MAART – Maties t Ikeys; 21 MAART – Pukke t Maties.

Maties 7s USSA champs again : 2015-12-02


The Steinhoff Maties Sevens rugby team won the 2015 USSA tournament for the third time since 2010 to end the year on a high.

Maties beat Kovsies in the final in George after they beat UJ in the semifinal. “Every tournament where Maties play is a tournament we want to win,” said coach Ian Campbell Mc Geachy.

“Initially you are just so relieved that the team won the tournament and then later you feel the happiness. It was very important for us to win the USSA tournament especially after we didn’t do that great in the Varsity series. It was not a true reflection of how hard we had worked. It is necessary to win tournaments if we want to make the Sevens program at Maties work. ”

According to Campbell Mc Geachy the team did not play to its full potential on day one, but on day two it was a different story. “We played good rugby against strong competition. In the playoffs it is always necessary to do your best, because no matter who your opponent is, anything can happen. There were fewer teams this year, but the level of competition was high on the second day.”

Maties’ Braam Venter was named Player of the Tournament. “We won the tournament with a team effort, but Braam deserves special mention. He scored a hat trick in the semifinal and final. He undoubtedly deserves recognition as player of the tournament.”

Maties 7s weer USSA-kampioene

Die Steinhoff Maties Sewes-rugbyspan het die 2015 USSA-toernooi vir die derde keer sedert 2010 gewen om so die jaar op ‘n hoogtepunt af te sluit.

Maties het Kovsies in die eindstryd in George geklop nadat hulle met UJ in die halfeindstryd afgereken het. “Elke toernooi waarin Maties speel, is ‘n toernooi wat ons wil wen,” het afrigter Ian Campbell-Mc Geachy vertel.

“Aanvanklik is mens net so verlig dat die span die toernooi gewen het en later word jy bly. Dit was vir ons baie belangrik om die USSA-toernooi te wen veral nadat ons nie so goed gedoen het in die Varsity-reeks nie. Dit was nie ‘n ware weerspieeling van hoe hard ons gewerk het nie. Dit is nodig om toernooie te wen as ons die Sewes-program by Maties wil maak werk.”

Volgens Campbell-Mc Geachy het die span nie volgens sy volle potensiaal op dag een gespeel nie, maar op dag twee was dit ‘n ander storie. “Ons het goeie sewesrugby gespeel teen sterk kompetisie. In die uitkloprondtes is dit altyd nodig om jou beste te lewer, want maak nie saak wie jou teenstander is nie, enige iets kan gebeur. Daar was vanjaar minder spanne, maar die vlak van kompetisie en spel was hoog op die tweede dag.”

Maties se Braam Venter is as die Speler van die Toernooi aangewys. “Ons het die toernooi met ‘n spanpoging gewen, maar Braam verdien spesiale vermelding. Hy het ‘n driekuns in die halfeindstryd en eindstryd behaal. Hy het sonder enige twyfel die erkenning as speler van die toernooi verdien.”