The two formed part of team SA that has officially taken the 10th spot overall in the 30th Summer Universiade. Milton Kekana ran fastest in the men’s 10,000m final securing him a gold medal. Kefilwe Mogawane’s hard work earned him a silver medal in the 4 X 400 m relay.
Hosted by the Directorate of Sport and Recreation, Shadrack Ntangeni, lauded the student athletes for being true TUT Ambassadors at the WSG. '
He praised and thanked the students for their endurance and outstanding performance that helped the team to return home with 18 medals.
Addressing the athletes, Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said in the wake of TUT celebrating its 15th birthday, it is imperative to highlight the significant role sport has played in elevating TUT to become a leader locally and internationally.
“One has to respect and admire the extraordinary discipline our athletes continue to invest in putting this young university on the map. We often compete against universities with histories decades, and even centuries, longer than ours, which makes our achievements even more remarkable. I must commend our staff and students in the sport and recreation environment for their dedicated work and their remarkable contributions to our achievements on and off the track,” Prof van Staden said.
“I can really say, on behalf of the entire TUT community, you guys deserve this fame. I am extremely proud of you, for I know the depth of sacrifices that come into play for every athlete - from balancing your studies with a rigorous training programme to sticking to a strict diet. I would like to commend you for your discipline and urge you to continue to excel in your sports, but more importantly, never neglect your studies for they are your priority,” he added.
Prof Elsabe Coetzee, (acting) DVC SAED said, having travelled with the team to the WSG, was a revelation. It made her aware of the complexity of the competition, which demands athletes to be 100% physically and mentally prepared.
She made special mention of the TUT students’ disciplined behaviour in the plane on their way back. “While other groups were loud and not well organised, I was very proud to be associated with TUT for their attitude and good manners. I want to emphasise your survival in life’s journey will depend on your attitude and the humility you displayed in Italy. There are thousands who came before you, but for you to survive, be remembered and remain the stars; you must continue to be disciplined and humble.”
Addressing the Vice-Chancellor, she said: “Prof Van Staden, I was inspired by the hard work of our staff at those games. We often would think people go there just to watch the games, but not our staff. They are a dedicated group who worked extremely hard in taking care of the athletes and their needs.”