The Madibaz tennis team will go back to competing in the top division of the University Sport South Africa tournament next year following their performances in Bloemfontein this month.
Having been placed in the B section after missing last year’s tournament, the Nelson Mandela University team overcame cold early-morning conditions in Bloem to earn promotion to the A section.
Team manager Hennie de Klerk said Madibaz faced tough opposition from teams such as Wits and the B sides from the Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom universities.
He added, however, that the promotion was just reward for the work the players had put in.
“Our performance showed that we are competitive against the top sides. The whole team must be congratulated for their efforts.
“They showed great character and grit to win some long three-set matches. There was good player support and pride in Mandela University.”
Two Madibaz players, Michael Carse and Elaine van Zyl, were selected for the USSA national training squad after the tournament.
“They will form part of the national training squad that will have training sessions and camps, play in local tournaments and then undergo final trials for selection of the SA team,” said De Klerk.
“The purpose of the training group is to select a team to compete at the World Student Games in Italy in July next year.”