Sassu plan on track
The South African Student Sports Union is pleased with preparations for the World Student Games in Bangkok, Thailand, in August.
"So far, so good," said Kirsten Nematandani, chairman of the country's governing student sports organisation, at the weekend.
The World Student Games, a biennial event which attracts more than 10 000 participants, will take place from August 8 to 18.
"We are busy finalising the teams to represent South Africa in Bangkok, but I must say there are challenges that we have to deal with.
"The issue of funding is one of the challenges as we prepare for the competition. There are discussions going on with various tertiary institutions," said Nematandani.
"We hope to get some assistance for the trip as we are now part of Sascoc [South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee].
"The World Student Games are very important. Countries like the United States, Jamaica, Australia and many others use them to sharpen some of their athletes for the Olympics."
Nematandani, who is the director of sports at the University of Venda in Limpopo, said Sassu will send a total of 280 people to Thailand.
"They will represent both the individual events and teams. In soccer we will only be represented by women this time round.
"Our men's team performed dismally at the 2005 tournament in Izmir [Turkey], our aim is to take people that we know will not just add up the numbers.
"I believe Morocco are coming on board to replace our men's team in the competition from Africa. The problem is that the slots are limited.
"We just need to build a strong men's soccer team. The whole world is now watching South Africa ahead of the 2010 World Cup."
Nematandani said Sassu would like to see all the tertiary institutions on the African continent taking part in sport.
"That will help to build the Federation of African Universities into a solid structure," he said.