The NMMU Madibaz continued their domination of local football when they drew 1-1 against old foes Caledonians in the Port Elizabeth Football Association league final to claim their second consecutive champions’ title earlier this month.
The university’s premier side did enough in the final to take a three-point win in the league and add the title to their list of achievements, which included winning the Safa Nelson Mandela Bay regional league promotion championships.
Their premier reserve counterparts put the seal on the win in their division long before the final match, topping the table by more than 10 points. In addition to their league title, they also successfully defended their Pefa Knock Out Cup crown this season.
According to Madibaz football manager Mark Tommy, these successes needed to be seen in the context of a long and demanding competitive calendar that his students had to navigate.
“The Madibaz have had the most dominant and successful teams in the Pefa leagues this year. But while local rivalry is important, it is by no means the be-all and end-all for student sport,” said Tommy.
He said the Madibaz were the only club in the Eastern Cape that competed at all levels of national competition.
“We have a national footprint in Varsity Football as well as the University Sport South Africa national club champs where we have proved that we are one of the top seven footballing universities in the country.”
Tommy said the Madibaz had won two from two matches in the Safa NMB regional league so far.
“To fully appreciate what the students have achieved one must fully understand the congested calendar and the academic demands they face.”
He said it augured well for the holistic development of every young player that they managed to strike the balance between the two priorities.
“Our objective is to show that it is possible to have a good tertiary education and still achieve on the football field.
“We hope that our successes will motivate current grade 12 learners to enrol at NMMU for the 2016 academic year.”