VARSITY SPORTS HOCKEY TO HIT KOVSIES THIS WEEKEND

Expect a blistering pace in Bloemfontein as Kovsies, Rhodes, Wits and UP Tuks go at it in a neck-to-neck encounter.

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The energetic excitement that only top sportsmen can generate will be on view at the Kovsies hockey grounds from the 10th to the 12th of May when the Varsity Sports men’s hockey comes to town. Don’t miss these top university teams in action as they take each other on in this highly competitive arena. Matches commence at 13h30 on Saturday the 10th and 14h30 on the Sunday and Monday.

The Varsity Sports program, now in its second successful year, has brought the excitement of USA college sports to the enthusiastic South African sporting public. What could be more exciting than a combination of smart outfits, toned bodies and enthusiastic teams competing for honours at the highest level. So pack up the family and come and support your team. The pace is fast – this is university sport at its best with non-stop action being the order of the day.

“Many promising young sportsmen and women are coming through the Varsity Sports program,” says Trent Key, Marketing and Sponsorship Executive for Varsity Sports. “Dylan Swanepoel, a product of Grey College and now a student at the University of the Free State, will be helping to drive the Kovsies team toward the 2014 finals. Swanepoel represented Free State at u16, u18 and u21 levels. He was also chosen for the South African u17 and u21 training squads – we can certainly expect some action from this up and coming young player.” Swanepoel will be joined in the Kovsies midfield by schoolmate Jaco Fourie. Having already represented South Africa at national level, Fourie has his sights set on the 2016 Olympic squad. “It will be a privilege to see our future sporting heroes in action again,” says Trent “one of the advantage of the Varsity Sports program is that it brings the excitement right to one’s doorstep.”

During last year’s ladies final, Maties managed to beat the team from NWU-Pukke by one goal in what was a tightly contested final at the University of Pretoria. The men take their turn on the battlefield this year. Rest assured, winning won’t come easily. With some of our finest young players coming through the university ranks and fighting hard for their teams, this will be hard fought victory with no quarter being given by any side.

After a very successful year in 2013, the participating universities in the Varsity Sports program will again compete across six sporting codes during 2014. The men’s hockey will be taking place at four venues from the 3rd May and ending off with the semi-finals and finals at the University of Johannesburg on the 19th May. Venues at Wits University and Stellenbosch will also be used. The men’s hockey will be followed by the football program from 21 July to 15 September; netball from 15 September to 20 October, rugby sevens, and beach volleyball from 28 to 30 November.

Participating universities across all six sporting codes are: The University of Limpopo (UL); Free State (Kovsies); Pretoria (Tuks); Stellenbosch (Maties); NMMU (Port Elizabeth); North-West University (Pukke); Rhodes University; University of Fort Hare (UFH) Tshwane University of technology (TUT); Vaal University of Technology; The University of Cape Town (UCT); the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Witwatersrand (Wits) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The Varsity Sports arena is the ideal place for our up and coming athletes to show their metal. Whether this is a personal best, a national record or merely the honour of competing for your university against some of the best sportsmen in the country, this is the place to be and be seen. Market-leading brands sponsor the platform, with FNB, Samsung, Mugg & Bean and Jet as the lead sponsors for Hockey. Says Lee-Ann Cullingworth, Marketing Manager at Mugg & Bean: “We are proud to be associated with Varsity Hockey and are committed to promoting the future development of hockey as a sport, to nurture young, future stars and let them shine. Ultimately, our goal is to see these future stars represent our country in the SA Men’s national side, of which Mugg & Bean is also a proud sponsor.” Each event will be televised on SuperSport,” says Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports. “We are also eternally grateful to our sponsors, FNB, Cell C, Famous Brands Group, Samsung, and the Edcon Group. Without their ongoing commitment to sport, our athletes would find it difficult to maintain the high performance standards required at the top level.” Varsity Sports is part of Advent Sport Entertainment & Media (Pty) Ltd. (ASEM), which is headed by SA rugby legend Francois Pienaar.

“While the creation of an exciting platform from which our future sports heroes can leap to even higher levels is our primary goal, we are also helping to integrate sportsmen at every level and from every background,” says Bosman. “The team spirit and spectator unity that is clearly evident at our events is proof of this.” The crowd participation is always vociferous and enthusiastic, the Varsity Sports events are different – they’re fast paced and adrenalin driven. “Don’t miss an event,” says Bosman “the spirit shown by spectators and athletes alike is riveting – the events are always action-packed and fun for everyone.”

Hockey has always been an enjoyable sport for spectators of all ages. The game is easy to understand and the competitive spirit of the athletes as they vie for team honour shouldn’t be missed. This is happening, right here, right now – so come along and shout for your team, the louder the better! For those living further afield, be sure to watch all the drama unfold by following non-stop Varsity Sports action on SuperSport channel 210 this Sunday & Monday.

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