Not long in the playing field, the volleyball teams started participating in competitive games in 2016, and is still developing students and strengthening the teams. Mbombela Campus Sports and Recreation officer, Mr Henry Mathonsi said the teams are making strides on the pitch and are impressive.
“We were competitive but unfortunately didn’t win, because we were up against institutions that are highly experienced, although our performance was really good,” he said.
Mr Mathonsi says people are talking about UMP. "After all, now they are aware we have volleyball and it is growing and getting stronger every day. The good thing about the team is that we are already putting ourselves out there as an institution," he further said..
“Excelling is a priority because it markets and gives the institution a good name,” says Mr Mathonsi, adding that potential students who want to study at the university are easily drawn to the institution when it is good in sports and is winning games. "The success of the volleyball teams is another opportunity that makes potential students want to come and study at the institution,” said Mr Mathonsi.
“If potential students feel like sporting wise, UMP is up on top with other universities and this makes its easy for them to choose us as the first institution of choice. We do not only want academically strong students but want to attract those that are active in sports too.”
He further adds that it’s important for UMP teams to win games because it creates opportunities for players to be discovered and handpicked to play at national level. Playing at national level also gives the students an opportunity to demonstrate their talent and skills so that they get selected for national duty.
Mr Mathonsi further says the ladies' team is doing exceptionally well. “In volleyball there are two sections, and there are the main sections when the tournament starts,” he further added.
“Everyone is competing to be part of the finals for the main sections. When you get to the quarterfinals of the main section, and you get knocked out then you automatically qualify to play the finals of the second section which they call a plate and if you win that you also win a cup. Our girls were knocked out of the finals of the plate. They did well.”
Mr Mathonsi concluded that one of the biggest ambitions for the UMP sports division is to win games and produce quality players who will be selected to play at national level. “When our players get selected it’s an honour for the institution.”
@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures Supplied.