The Mbombela and Siyabuswa campus students and staff members competed against each other in various sporting codes offered at UMP, including Athletics, Football (males and females), Netball, Volleyball (males and females), Basketball, Rugby, Chess, Diketo, Morabaraba, and Encuva.
The event was well attended by students and staff members who were participating and supporting those who were taking part. In attendance were Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso, Dean of Students Dr Paul Maminza, Siyabuswa Campus Director Dr Emmanuel Tshikwatamba, and Director of Student Housing Dr Nomvula Twaise.
"UMP Sports Day is aimed at encouraging fitness and wellness amongst students and staff members. It creates an environment for healthy competition and serves as extra training for UMP sports teams which then prepares them for future competition," says Sports and Recreation Manager Velhemina Manamela.
Manamela further said, "Within our Sport and Recreation year programme, sports day is one of the events that we host as a way of giving our athletes a platform to show off their potential from our two campuses."
In an exhilarating display of talent and teamwork, the University of Mpumalanga's (UMP) Sports Day saw outstanding performances across various disciplines. Here are the winners of the various sports events, along with their respective campuses:
Team Sports: Students
Students from the Mbombela Campus showed exceptional prowess, securing the gold in Basketball (Ladies and Men), Football (Ladies and Men), and Volleyball (Ladies and Men). Siyabuswa Campus displayed commendable skills and clinched the gold in Netball, demonstrating their competitive spirit. UMP Butho, a team representing the University, showcased their strength in Rugby 10's, securing the gold in this thrilling event.
Team Sports: Staff
In the staff category, Mbombela Campus staff members displayed remarkable sportsmanship, claiming victory in both Netball and Men's Football events, showcasing their dedication to sports and teamwork.
Some of the sports played on the day included soccer, volleyball and netball.
The Athletics events were a showcase of speed and endurance. Treasure Mkhabela from the Mbombela Campus exhibited exceptional sprinting skills, earning the gold in the Women's 100m race, while Fortunate Banda from Siyabuswa Campus secured the silver. In the Men's 100m race, Tshidisang Mokoatse of Mbombela Campus took home the gold, with Kevin Mlambo also from Mbombela Campus earning the silver.
In the Women's 200m, Fortunate Banda from Siyabuswa Campus once again displayed her remarkable speed, clinching the gold, while Zinhle Magagula from Mbombela Campus secured the silver. In the Men's 200m, Tshidisang Mokoatse (Mbombela) secured another gold, with Michack Mbonani (Mbombela) taking home the silver.
In the 400m events, Agreement Mametje (Siyabuswa) won the gold for Women, while Conny Nkambule (Mbombela) claimed the silver. For Men, Khomotso Mahlare (Mbombela) secured the gold, and Mfungelwa Gule (Mbombela) took the silver.
The 800m races saw impressive performances from Lwethu Jiyana (Siyabuswa) who won gold in the Women's event, and Mfungelwa Gule (Mbombela) who clinched gold in the Men's event. Khomotso Mabula (Mbombela) secured the silver in the Women's event, while Kabelo Sefali (Mbombela) took the silver in the Men's event.
In the 1500m, Wethu Jiyane (Siyabuswa) displayed outstanding endurance, earning the gold in the Women's race. In the Men's race, Mfungelwa Gule (Mbombela) secured another gold, with Kabelo Sefali (Mbombela) winning silver.
The relay races were intense and thrilling. In the Women's 4x100m Relay, Mbombela Campus claimed the gold, while in the Men's event, they secured another victory.
The cerebral battle of Chess witnessed strategic thinking at its best. Sizakele Sibiya (Mbombela) won the gold in the Women's category, while Siphozinhle Khwalo (Mbombela) secured the silver. In the Men's category, Sifiso Onwasakho (Mbombela) emerged as the gold medallist, and Malibongwe Nkosi (Mbombela) earned the silver.
In the traditional games, Angel Mkhonto (Siyabuswa) exhibited exceptional skill and won gold in the Diketo Women's event, while Vanessa Mhlanga (Siyabuswa) secured the silver. Niven Ndlovu (Mbombela) displayed remarkable skill in the Diketo Men's event, earning the gold, and Nsindiso Magubane (Siyabuswa) took home the silver.
In the Encuva events, Onthathile Mahlamonyane (Siyabuswa) demonstrated agility and skill, winning the gold in the Females category, while Thembelihle Thabethe (Siyabuswa) secured the silver. Samuel Mello (Siyabuswa) showcased his prowess in the male category, earning the gold, and Thokozani Mahlangu (Siyabuswa) claimed the silver.
The Morabaraba events saw Jessica Masilela (Siyabuswa) and Nhlanhla Jiane (Siyabuswa) demonstrating their strategic thinking, with Jessica securing the gold and Nhlanhla earning the silver in the Women's category. In the Men's category, Kgabo Buthane (Mbombela) emerged as the gold medallist, and Bongiswa Masango (Siyabuswa) secured the silver.
The day was a testament to the competitive spirit, dedication, and unity of UMP's students and staff members in the realm of sports.
Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.