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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Culture contributes to success of UFS rugby teams
2015-12-15

The Sevens team of the University of the Free State followed in the footsteps of the Shimlas when the team was crowned national champion. The Kovsies Sevens team beat Tukkies April in the final of the Varsity Sevens tournament. Photo: Supplied. 

The University of the Free State (UFS) Rugby Club has succeeded once again in creating a culture of values.

Marius van Rensburg, Chairman of the UFS Rugby Club, believes this was one of the reasons why Kovsies had so many rugby successes this year.

The UFS knows that money, which is more abundant at bigger universities, won't change the club into a rugby force, but "there is something special here," he said.

Van Rensburg added that the success of Shimlas, who won the Varsity Cup for the first time, also helped to build a winning culture.

Seven finals

Seven of the UFS Rugby Club's teams played in finals during 2015.

Shimlas beat the Pukke in the Varsity Cup final at Shimla Park on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The Kovsie Young Guns (against Tukkies) and Vishuis (Mopanie from Tukkies) got stuck in Bloemfontein in Varsity Cup finals.

The Shimlas won Section B of the USSA tournament in Johannesburg (against Madibaz in the final).

A strong Irawa rugby team beat Shimlas in the City Cup.

The Kovsie Sevens team was crowned as the Varsity Champions in Cape Town after beating Tukkies in the final. The team was beaten by Maties in the final of the USSA Sevens tournament in George.

Shimlas lays foundation

According to Van Rensburg, the Varsity Cup triumph by Shimlas laid a good foundation.

“After what happened in the Varsity Cup, the winning culture kind of washed over the other teams,” he said.

He also thinks the 2015 successes didn't happen overnight, but that the club managed to bring back good values. He feels that Franco Smith, the former Shimlas coach who is the Cheetahs’ current coach, also played an important part.

Greater pressure in 2016

In 2016, the UFS's rugby teams will have a greater target on their backs.

Van Rensburg agrees that there will be greater pressure, but the structures are in place.

He feels that Varsity Cup success goes together with a touch of luck, of which Shimlas had some this year.

“Looking at the draw, Shimlas will play their first two matches away against Ikeys and Tukkies. Therefore, after two matches, one might have no league points, and that would place the team under immediate pressure.”

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