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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Kovsies defend tennis title in Sun City
2017-04-01

 Description: 'Kovsie Tennis Sun City Tags: Kovsie Tennis Sun City

The first and second tennis teams of the University of the
Free State 
were first and fifth respectively among the 14
teams competing 
in the Egalite Invitational challenge.
Photo: Arne Nel

Although a tournament victory was not the Kovsie tennis team’s main goal, they still managed to outplay the best in the country.

The first team of the University of the Free State (UFS), who have been the champions of the combined USSA format for the past six years, successfully defended its title to end the Egalite Invitational challenge in Sun City unbeaten.

Second team also performing well

On 26 March 2017, the Kovsie first team defeated Puk’s first team 35-20 (games) in the final. Their second team also performed well and won against Tuks’ second team 31-21 to end fifth among the 14 teams. The matches in the tournament, which took place from 24 to 26 March 2017, were played in World Team Tennis format.

In the group stages, the Kovsie first team beat Puk’s second (35-12), Puk’s fourth (35-8), Tuks’ second (35-12), Maties’ first (31-19), Puk’s sixth (35-5), and Tuks’ third (32-16) teams. The team consists of Arne Nel, Christo Koekemoer, Emke Kruger, Lienke de Kock, Ansunica Brits, and Reze Opperman.

Preparation for USSA

Apart from USSA, the Sun City tournament is the other major tournament in which the UFS annually competes. “Of course you want to win, but unlike at USSA, this was not our main focus in Sun City,” says Janine de Kock, the Kovsie team manager. “We wanted to try new combinations and provide exposure to new players.”

A total of five of the 12 players in the two teams were newcomers. They are Lienke de Kock (first team), Handré Hoffman, JC Conradie, Brieta Pienaar, and Daniel de Villiers (all second team). According to Janine de Kock, it was especially important to test new doubles combinations before USSA.

“We always knew the first team is a good team with a chance, but we are very impressed with the second team’s fifth place.”

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