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12 April 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Varsity Cup
Vishuis
Vishuis will be trying to win their overall seventh Varsity hostel title on Monday.

Managing his players is of the utmost importance if the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Abraham Fischer Residence (Vishuis) is to claim a fourth straight and seventh overall national hostel title, says Zane Botha, head coach of the hostel team at the UFS.

The Varsity Hostel competition, which will be taking place in Stellenbosch, has been drastically shortened to only three days of rugby because Steinhoff has withdrawn their sponsorship.

If Vishuis makes it to the final, they will play three matches in four days.
They will face the Kovacs of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Friday 12 March 2019, followed by the semi-final on Saturday and the final on Monday. The final will take place at 14:00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

“This will be new territory for us. We will have to make good tactical decisions; it won’t be possible for a prop to play for 70 minutes in all three encounters,” said Botha, who is in his third year with the hostel.

The team played three warm-up matches, which they won convincingly. We still have the core of last year’s team, together with some exciting youngsters.
Botha explained that they kept to their strategy of working harder than anyone else on the practice field and during matches. In last year’s final, Vishuis defeated Patria of the North-West University by 55-29, which was the biggest winning margin in the 11 years of the competition. Vishuis walked away with the crown in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

News Archive

Visiting Professor, Piet Bracke, Speaks on Public Mental Health
2015-02-20

Piet Bracke

Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Ghent University in Belgium, Piet Bracke, recently visited the UFS to speak about his research on the Public mental health and comparative health research: between social theory and psychiatric epidemiology.

At the public lecture on Monday 16 February, Bracke stated that part of the sociological attention to mental health and well-being was rooted in the 19th century's romanticists' discontent with self and society. The classical and contemporary social theorists' views on the disconnection between culture and the ‘real’ self resembles the more recent evolutionary psychological assumptions about the maladaptation of  psychobiological mechanisms to contemporary societal arrangements.

In contrast to these perspectives, contemporary psychiatric epidemiological research has a strongly underdeveloped conception about the nexus between society and population mental health. Both perspectives, the social-theory-and-societal-discontent approach and the biomedical psychiatric epidemiological approach, have drawbacks. Starting from the pitfalls of the aforementioned perspectives, they have been exploring the challenges posed by the development of a macro-sociology of population mental health.

Recently, this research domain has received renewed attention of scholars inside as well as outside sociology. The rise of multi-country, multilevel datasets containing health-related information, as well as the growing attention on the fundamental social causes of health and illness, and the focus on population as opposed to individual health, has contributed to the revival of comparative public mental health research. Based on findings from their recent research, they have illustrated how taking the context into account is vital when exploring the social roots of mental health and illness. In addition, they have demonstrated how they can liberate a few so-called ‘control variables’ in risk factor epidemiology – e.g. gender, education, and age – from their suppressed status by linking them to core concepts of sociology. With their research, they hope to further the development of a macro-sociology of public mental health.

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