World Student Games in focus

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The new leadership of University Sports South Africa (Ussa) is planning to start preparations for the 2009 World Student Games in earnest next month.

Sanele Madlala, Ussa president, said the process will start with a meeting with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

The tournament will take place in Belgrade from July 1 to 12 to avoid a possible clash with the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.

"The fresh mandate we received from universities is that we have to get the strongest possible team to Belgrade," said Madlala. "South Africa has talent in abundance. The first thing we have decided to do is to meet the Sascoc leadership.

"Sascoc assisted us at the Fasu [Federation of African University Sports] Games in Uganda in July, we appreciate what they are doing for us.

"Our aim is to ensure that there are resources for all our athletes to prepare for competitions, we want to start by winning medals in Belgrade.

"Most countries like the United States , Jamaica, United Kingdom and Australia use the World Student Games to prepare for the Olympics.

"We want to contribute to the success of South Africa at the London Olympics, as we used to do in the past when we had athletes like Hezekiel Sepeng and Frantz Kruger."

As a Ussa president, Madlala is following in the footsteps of the likes of Malumbete Ralethe, Malesela Maleka, Lerato Mogorosi and Glen Bentley.

The new Ussa leadership is:

Madlala - University of KwaZulu-Natal (president), Ilhaam Groenewald - University of the Western Cape (chairman), Roger Adams - Rhodes University (deputy chairman), Nomsa Mahlangu - University of the Free State (finance and marketing).