Siyabuswa and Mbombela staff and students gathered at the sports fields for the 5KM Fun Run and a 3KM Fun Walk. Welcoming the participants and spectators, Dean of Students Dr Paul Maminza said the university is committed to celebrating its 10 years of existence with the Friday events, which are a build-up to the big event to be held later this year.
"We are here to have fun. For those walking, please maintain a brisk pace, and for those running, give it your all! We're thrilled about this initiative and the creation of history at the University of Mpumalanga. Ensure you enjoy yourselves, and it brings me immense pleasure to have our Vice-Chancellor here with us."
The 5km run was won by Gule Mfungelwa, a Diploma in Agriculture: Plant Production student and an athlete, who shared that the run proved challenging, despite his athletic background. "I'm deeply grateful for the win and to the university for providing such an exhilarating platform. This will inspire more students to join the athletics team, and we can expect improvements in major competitions."
Sibusiso Nkosi, a Transport Clerk, and Driver, emerged as the victor in the male staff members' 5KM run category. He admitted that the run was more demanding than he initially thought. "I'm overjoyed that the university shows its care for us as staff members, especially for giving us this Friday to just let loose," he said.
The Walk and Run were held at the Mbombela and Siyabuswa campuses.
Catharine Sithole, a Final year Bachelor of Arts student, clinched the top spot in the female students' 3KM walk category. She described the experience as fantastic and expressed pride in her victory. "I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it served as part of my exercise routine, as we're usually engrossed in our studies. My gratitude goes to the management team and the university for reminding us that we're special as students, and we had the pleasure of enjoying the company of some of our lecturers, which was a unique experience."
Phindile Mkhabela, Secretary to the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Development, and Business Sciences, emerged as the winner in the female staff members' 5KM run category. She confessed that winning was a pleasant surprise as she didn't anticipate securing the top position.
"This served as a physical exercise for me, and I'm overjoyed and grateful. The experience was excellent, but I'm particularly pleased with the turnout. I hope the University will organise more events of this nature."
The Walk and Run proved to be fun for Students and Staff members.
Edith Siqida, Stores Controller under Hotel Catering and Operations, clinched victory in the female staff members' 3KM run category. She shared that her experience was immensely enjoyable and exciting. "I'm pleased that I won and had the chance to participate in the 10-year celebration fun walk/run of the University. It was a meaningful engagement, and I hope there will be more of these activities in the future."
Staff members and students were presented with mustard-coloured 10-year anniversary caps and flags to demonstrate unity. All top 10 winners from various categories were bestowed with medals and 10-year anniversary T-shirts, while the top two from each category received medals and trophies.
All top 10 winners from various categories were bestowed with medals and 10-year anniversary T-shirts, while the top two from each category received medals and trophies.
Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures @ChrisplPhoto.