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03 October 2018 | Story UFS | Photo Varsity Sports
First ever netball final in Bloemfontein
The Kovsies will be aiming to lift the Varsity Netball trophy in front of their home supporters on Monday when they face Tuks in the final in the Callie Human Centre.

The netball team of the University of the Free State, once again after five years, earned themselves the right to stage a final in the Varsity Netball competition. The two-time champion, the Dream Team, qualified for the final after topping the log and then wiping the floor with the Maties on Monday (1 October 2018) in the semi-final. The score was 56-45. 

They will come up against Tuks in the Callie Human Centre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus for the final tonight. The match will get underway at 18:45.

The team won the very first two years of the competition in 2013 and 2014. On both occasions, they had to play away from home – in 2013 against the Pukke in Potchefstroom and in 2014 against Tuks in Pretoria. 

It will be the fourth meeting between the Kovsies and Tuks within three months. The Free State students won the group fixture in August by 68-43, but Tuks had to do without a number of their star players. At the University Sport South Africa tournament in Bloemfontein during July, Tuks triumphed twice, winning the final by 48-30.

Apart from the winners’ medals, an award will be handed to the tournament’s top player. Centre Khanyisa Chawane is one of three finalists. The winner gets chosen through public votes.

Dream Team players have won the prize four of the five times. Ané Botha was crowned in 2013, Karla Pretorius in 2014 and 2015, and last year it was the turn of current Kovsie player, Khomotso Mamburu.

To vote for Chawane, click here hover your mouse over the like button and choose the heart emoticon. Voting is closing on 5 October and the winner will be announced after the final.

News Archive

SARChI Chair on disease resistance and quality in field crops awarded in UFS Department of Plant Science
2016-02-01

Description: SARChI Chair  Tags: SARChI Chair

Prof Labuschagne

A South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) chair has been awarded in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). The chair will be headed by Prof Maryke Labuschagne, and will focus on crop quality breeding and disease resistance in field crops.

The disease resistance research by the chair will be headed by Prof Zakkie Pretorius. The disease resistance breeding will be a continuation of the internationally-acclaimed wheat rust research that Prof Pretorius has been conducting during his career.

The quality breeding will focus on crop protein quantity and quality as well as on iron, zinc, and beta carotene biofortification of staple crops such as wheat, maize, and cassava.

Prof Labuschagne believes that food security is one of the key factors for stability and prosperity on the continent. Her research and that of her students focuses on the genetic improvement of food security crops in Africa, including such staples as maize and cassava. “These crops are genetically improved for yield, drought tolerance, disease, and insect resistance, as well nutritional value,” she said.

Last year, one of  Prof Labuschagne’s PhD students, Bright Peprah, received an award for $473 000 from the competitive Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders (PEARL) of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his project on improving the beta-carotene content in cassava.

Prof Labuschagne also received the prestigious ‘Continental Lifetime Achiever Award’ from Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Programme (MIW) last year for her commitment and continuous contributions to food security. She is an NRF-rated researcher, and author or co-author of over 160 articles in accredited journals.

Research Chairs have been designed by the Department of Science and Technology, together with the National Research Foundation, to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities. 

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