From Springbok to Cape Agulhas, Port Alfred to Kosi Bay, then Musina and all 1 221 037 km² in between: there is no better athletics club than that of the NWU-Puk.
The NWU-Puk recently successfully defended their crown as the South African Athletics Meeting Champion (USSA) at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch by getting 37 pairs of feet on the podium.
This includes eleven gold medals, thirteen silver and thirteen bronze.
The Puk’s men’s team finished first and their women’s team second to walk away with the honours as overall winners.
Tukkies was second, UJ third, Kovsies fourth and the Maties fifth.
Since the first USSA meeting in 1994 the Puk has won on nine occasions, with the men’s team that won this competition seven times and the women’s team an outstanding nine times.
“It was an incredible team effort from all the participants and coaches. One person cannot whistle a symphony, it takes an orchestra to do it together,” Terseus Liebenberg, athletics manager, said.
One athlete that struck a high note was Patience Ntshingila who won the long jump and hop, skip and jump for women.
Where the athletes from Gauteng dominated the hammer-throw in the past, Basie Koen can sit with a broad ten pound smile today. Two athletes from his stable, Thehann van Niekerk and Nanette Stapelberg, won gold in this discipline.
But, what about Tumelo Thagane, Edwin Malepo, Simon Magakwe, André Olivier, Dean Wattrus and Bernard Crous?
And Justine Robbeson who, with her last javelin throw of the day, had to delve deep to pass Sunette Viljoen to add gold to her silver in the shot-put?
Dean Brummer and Gert Manora’s inexhaustible spunk… it is a huge orchestra to mention.
On top of that, five Pukke, Inge Kotzé (20 km walk), Ruan Wessels (20 km walk), Liesl de Swardt (javelin), Dean Goosen (javelin) and Shaun van Wyk (400 m hurdles) will be representing South Africa from 12 to 15 May during the Junior Africa World Championships in Botswana.
They are accompanied by Gimmies’ wunderkind, Roelf Pienaar (long jump).
Article by Bertie Jacobs.