Support Wits Ath-Elites
- By Wits University
In a case of ‘traversing the roof of South Africa to put a roof over the heads of deserving student-athletes’, WitsSport has launched a new initiative to help fund accommodation for top-performing and deserving sportsmen and women at Wits.
The appeal, headed by WitsSport Director Adrian Carter, focuses on the Wits Alumni community and is aimed at supporting the strategic drive to revitalise sport at the University.
Adrian is putting his money, legs and lungs where his mouth is by competing in the 100km Salomon SkyRun, considered SA’s toughest trail run. His appeal is for alumni to donate a fixed amount per kilometer that he completes.
Among the Witsies who stand to benefit are first XV rugby regulars Thato Mavundla (flank), a third-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student, and hooker Ferdinand Kelly, second-year BA student.
Thato hails from Welkom in the Free State and completed his schooling at Jeppe High School for Boys, while Ferdinand – or Kelly as he is popularly known – is from the Eastern Cape.
This year Thato captained the Wits team at the annual University Sport South Africa championships at Rhodes University, Grahamstown.
Kelly is best known for out-scrumming his Maties opposite number in the Varsity Cup tournament of 2014.
Financial aid provided by the University in 2014 enabled these student-athletes to live in university accommodation, commonly referred to as res, This ensured that they could benefit from the camaraderie of living in res whilst affording them the time to hone their rugby and academic skills.
From 2015, however, funding cuts by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme will negatively impact sports-students like Thato and Kelly. WitsSport therefore appeals to alumni to support the revitalisation of sports so that Wits University can once again not only participate but compete at the highest level.
In the words of Wits alumnus, Nelson Mandela: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”
The 2014 SkyRun takes place on Saturday 22 November 2014, and starts from the town of Lady Grey. Prospective supporters of Adrian’s run may do so by contacting him in the first instance by e-mail.
Alternatively, sponsors may deposit their contributions into the following account:
Wits Sundry Debtors
FNB Account number 62077141580
Branch code 251 905