UFS contingent flying national flag at Commonwealth Games

 Description: 1 Commonwealth Tags: Maryka Holtzhausen, KovsieSport, Commonwealth Games, Shindré-Lee Simmons, Khanyisa Chawane, Lefébre Rademan, Neil Powell, Team South Africa, Commonwealth, Commonwealth Games 2022   

The University of the Free State duo of Robert Summers (left) and Caden Kakora have been
playing badminton together since junior level. They are part of the South African badminton
team at the Commonwealth Games. Photo:Supplied


“A reflection of the commitment and hard work by all stakeholders under challenging circumstances over the past few years.”

This is how Maryka Holtzhausen, Acting Director of KovsieSport, describes the journey of sportsmen and sportswomen from the University of the Free State (UFS) taking part in the Commonwealth Games.

She says the UFS is very proud of the current and former Kovsies who will be flying their national flag at the showpiece in Birmingham, England, from 28 July 2022 until 8 August 2022.

South Africa and Lesotho represented

A total of eleven athletes and coaches with UFS ties, featuring in seven different sporting codes, will be competing at the Games.

Ten of them will represent South Africa and are part of the 251 athletes included in the final squad, while one will participate in the colours of Lesotho.

Anneke Bosch (women’s T20 cricket), Shindré-Lee Simmons (women’s hockey), Khanyisa Chawane, Lefébre Rademan (netball), Neil Powell (rugby sevens coach), Yolandi Stander (discus; athletics), Jovan van Vuuren (long jump; athletics), Robert Summers, and Caden Kakora (badminton) are all in Team South Africa.

Simmons, Rademan, Stander, Summers, and Kakora are current students, while Bosch, Chawane, Powell, and Van Vuuren are former Kovsies. Simmons also recently represented South Africa at the FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup.

The UFS triple jumper Lerato Sechele, who is the secretary of the Lesotho Athletes Commission, will represent Lesotho.

The Kovsie first-year student Elmien Viljoen (karate) will in turn be in action for South Africa at the Commonwealth Karate Championships, which takes place in Birmingham from 7 to 8 September 2022.

Power of sport

A proud Holtzhausen says their achievements also bring a future responsibility.

“It creates a sense of pride within the UFS community, but also instils a new responsibility to continue to strive for excellence and create opportunities to increase the UFS contribution on the highest levels.”

According to the former Protea netball captain, who represented South Africa in three Commonwealth Games, the power of sport is clearly visible at such an event. Holtzhausen played for her country at the 2010 Games in Delhi, in 2014 in Glasgow, and in 2018 in the Gold Coast.

“The Commonwealth Games eliminate all kinds of boundaries in South Africa, even between sporting codes. 

“It brings Team South Africa together: athletes, team officials, supporters, and spectators unite in their love and passion for sport.”


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