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WSC chair, vice take charge ahead of new academic year

- Tshepiso Mametela

The Wits Sports Council (WSC) is primed for the 2021 academic year after its new chair and vice-chair were elected at the student body’s virtually-held Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 3 November.

In a year hard-hit by a pandemic, it will be up to Grace Taylor (chair) and Harry Saner (vice) to lead the Council forward with certaintity as they look to achieve its set objectives and increase its profile within the greater University community.

“We aim to grow Wits Sports’ profile and our presence, both on-campus and online,” said the duo as they step into their new roles. Taylor and Saner said this will include upping the representation of some of the smaller clubs while ensuring students are aware of the variety of clubs they can join.

“Furthermore, we want to highlight and celebrate the incredible achievements that our clubs and players have achieved while supporting them in their journey to reach new heights in 2021,” the pair added.

An important one going into the new year will be continuity, not only for the Council, but for the University and the world at large due to Covid-19. For Taylor, the WSC has earmarked a near-completed 2020  as the right time to start on the implementation of some specific strategies to curb the coronavirus on campus.

“The remainder of 2020 [into] 2021 will focus on ensuring compliance with the Covid-19 regulations laid out by the University, and the respective organisations to which each club belongs, while also ensuring all clubs are able to return to activity,” said the incumbent chairperson.

Grace Taylor: 2021 WSC Chairperson

“Furthermore, we want to ensure each of the University's clubs have their best interests represented. So, we will be looking at the current sports officer review procedures and encouraging Wits Sport to take action, should any be required. WSC is always available to any Wits sports club should they need any assistance, advice or support.”

Taylor, who plays hockey for the ladies first team, and Saner, who walked away with the coveted 2020 Wits SportSportsman of the Year award in October, jointly agreed that at a fundamental level, Covid-19 has in many ways shaken things up in terms of how they will now pursue fulfilling the Council’s mandate.

“It has, at least for the time being, changed sport as we know it and with that, it is clear that we will have to be flexible and adapt to circumstances as they arise,” said Taylor, with Saner adding that this will spill out to include uncertainty on what 2021 will look like for the University, and the respective events, tournaments and competitions in which the different Wits clubs participate.

“In  the meantime, we want to call on all club members to respect the regulations put in place by the University - to protect one another and participate responsibly,” said Saner. "I look forward to doing more sport with the Witsies and I hope to have a fun and safe time; making  sure we can all participate in more sport together within the current environment,” he added.

Harry Saner: 2021 WSC Vice Chairperson