On Monday a strong contingent of Ikey Tigers got together in support of another fellow UCT sports team and attended the UCT Netball ladies’ game against TUT in the sport centre.
The players in attendance included Ikeys’ Varsity Cup captain Levi Odendaal, Ikeys’ SA U21 star Dillyn Leyds, and a host of Ikey Tigers and U21 players representing. The game itself attracted a huge crowd who all came out to back the ladies.
Resident Ikey, Richard Stewart, was also at the game, and was keen to speak about the significance of cross-sport support at UCT. When asked about how he enjoyed the game he replied “It was a brilliant game to go and watch. The atmosphere in the stands was amazing with the music pumping and a very vocal crowd.”
The match was UCT’s first home game of the Varsity Netball tournament that is currently underway, and the university pulled out all the stops to ensure that it was a great ‘vibe’ in the full sense of the word. Upbeat music was blaring throughout the match, and diehard Ikey himself, Anton Taylor, performed the role of MC. Stewart went on, “I didn’t expect there to be so much vibe and it was awesome to see the passion being shown by UCT students for their university.”
The game itself was slow to start, and UCT fell behind in the first half. However, they clawed their way back into it in the third quarter and even levelled the scores at moments. In this manner Stewart said, “in terms of the game, I really enjoyed watching the ladies playing so hard out there. When they were quite significantly down they put together a great comeback in true Ikey spirit to tie it up with moments to play.”
The crowd were fully behind the team alternating between screams of joy and chants of “Defence! Defence!” when the players were at their most vulnerable. This is something that the Ikeys winger knows a lot about.
“The crowd makes a massive difference to the players and can inspire you a great deal. Seeing a packed Green Mile is something truly special and the players don’t take that for granted. I’m sure the Netball team felt the same way with the awesome turn out and energy in the UCT Sports Centre on Monday night,” he said.
He goes on to state that having a packed Green Mile is always a massive boost to the players, and having the crowd there can only make them play better. Sometimes, he said, it can be the difference between winning and losing. And, representing UCT is bound to be a proud feeling no matter what the sport.
In terms of cross-sport support at UCT in particular Steward said, “I think it is vital to show our support to clubs which work so hard to produce world class results against the odds. It’s important to continue to build on our incredible sporting culture through this support.”
UCT is one of a few universities in South Africa where the students run their own sports clubs, and this is bound to be tough at times. However, it is also something that unites the various sports teams. “We are all in this greater goal together to love and succeed in our sports in the distinct UCT way and this likeness binds us. We need this cross sport support to grow together and inspire each other to greater excellence and enjoyment of the game,” Stewart said.