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Wits prepares for 2018 USSA tournaments

- Tshepiso Mametela

Wits will host three sport codes, while hoping to impress away from home in seven codes during the University Sport South Africa tournaments in July.

Wits Basketball are the defending champions at the 2018 USSA tournament

Wits has begun preparations to host three sporting codes in rugby, volleyball and basketball from 2 to 6 July, as preparations for the annual University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournaments get into fifth gear.

The Wits netball, hockey and tennis men’s and women’s teams will also be vying for prestige away from home when their respective campaigns get underway on the grounds of the University of Free State in Bloemfontein, while the Wits chess team brace for their start in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

Coaches Mark Haskins and Nthabeleng ‘Dunga’ Modiko, will meanwhile lead their charges into battle on the turf of the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, when the respective men’s and women’s football tournaments get underway.

Wits will also send a full-strength gymnastics hoard out onto the shores of the Mother City, as the University of Cape Town play host to the year’s USSA Gymnastics tournament. 

“The stakes are especially high for the football, basketball and hockey [teams], who need to qualify for the 2019 Varsity Football, Basketball and Hockey events by finishing in the top 8,” said senior manager for high performance, Michael Dick.

“The Wits Ladies football side will also be hoping to finish in the top 8 [in order to] qualify for the 2019 Varsity Football event as they have never qualified for the competition in the past.”

Also hoping to defend their titles will be the Wits Basketball men’s and women’s teams, especially as the inaugural Varsity Basketball comes to a head at Wits later on in the year.

“This makes this year’s USSA basketball tournament a nice curtain raiser for the event in October,” added Dick. “It will be a good indication of which teams are to watch when the first-ever Varsity Basketball event eventually kicks off.”