South Africa’s team won a total of 59 medals when they competed in the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games in Botswana last month.
This meant they retained the title they won in Zimbabwe two years ago when they picked up 31 medals.
Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka, who was deputy head of the SA delegation, said the Games were held biennially and involved 10 countries – Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. Angola and Mozambique did not send teams this year.
She was appointed to her position after University Sport South Africa advertised the post for the event.
“From my point of view, it is always an honour to be involved with the national structures, especially the university-centred structures,” she said.
As part of the management team, she says the head and deputy head are responsible for the smooth organisation of the delegation.
“You have to ensure that all planning and logistics are in place for the team.
“This includes pre-departure, departure, at the tournament itself and ensuring the safe return of the team.”
Funding for events of this kind is always a challenge, she added.
“The tournament was self-funded, which meant that either the institutions or the athletes themselves had to cover their costs.
“There were a few issues with the organisation of some events, but we learned that you just have to focus on always giving your best.
“Our goal for these games was 32 medals and we almost doubled that, which is an unbelievable feat.”