20 SA Olympians carry Varsity Sports torch

Prayer comes first for Wayde van Niekerk on the track
PHOTO: Patrick Smith / Getty Images
Prayer comes first for Wayde van Niekerk on the track PHOTO: Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Cape Town - At 11am today, South Africa’s 137-member squad to take part at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, was announced.

The nation celebrates as 137 athletes represent the 53 million South Africans whose hopes they carry. But Varsity Sports and universities around the country have another reason to celebrate. Of those 137 squad members, 20 have come through the Varsity Sports and Varsity Cup ranks.

The likes of Caster Semenya, Wayde van Niekerk and Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown have all benefitted from the various Varsity Sports and Varsity Cup competitions that have taken place over the past nine years. Current and former Varsity Sports and Varsity Cup players make up 15% of South Africa’s Olympic squad – a number that speaks volumes for the university-level platform that Varsity Sports provides young athletes.

“Firstly we are all very excited for these 20 athletes and the entire South African squad,” said Varsity Sports CEO, Duitser Bosman.

“They have worked hard to reach this point in their careers and today is a special day for each one of them.

“But it’s also a proud moment for everyone involved at Varsity Sports. We aim to provide opportunities to young, talented athletes in South Africa and to see so many of them succeed at such a high level is very rewarding.

“We are honoured to play a part in these athletes’ careers, no matter how big or small,” Bosman added. “We wish them all the best for next month’s Games and hopefully Varsity Sports will soon celebrate its first Olympic medallists.”

Varsity Sports and Varsity Cup players representing SA at the 2016 Rio Olympics:

Rugby Sevens:

Dylan Sage (UCT)

Juan de Jongh (Maties)

Kyle Brown (UCT)

Seabelo Senatla (CUT)

Timothy Agaba (Madibaz)

Athletics:

Justine Palframan (Maties)

Lynique Prinsloo (UJ)

Caster Semenya (NWU Puk)

Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks)

Elroy Galant (NWU Puk)

Le Roux Hamman (Tuks)

Lindsay Hanekom (Tuks)

Anaso Jobodwana (Tuks)

Khotso Mokoena (UJ)

Stephen Mokoko (TUT)

Rushwal Samaai (UJ)

Akani Simbine (Tuks)

Rynhardt van Rensburg (Kovsies)

LJ van Zyl (Tuks)

Wayde van Niekerk (Kovsies)

* Clarence Munyai participated at Varsity Athletics in 2016 in the ASEM Schools section and qualified for the Olympics at that meetin

* Terseus Liebenberg will also represent South Africa, as an athletics coach.

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