Top Sport Science Students Recognised for Academic Achievement
UKZN’s Sport Sciences Discipline recently held its annual prize-giving day which recognised first, second and third-year top-achiever undergraduates who were ranked among the leading five academic achievers in their class of 2014.
Mr Alexander Mckerrow was the top third year student, Ms Taylor Henry the high flier in second year and Mr Kyle Loganathan the top achiever in the first year class.
Certificates were awarded to the top five of each class and the students were congratulated by School of Health Sciences Academic Leader for Research and seasoned Sport Scientist, Professor Johan van Heerden.
Van Heerden said the same group of students had remained in the top five in the various levels since they enrolled in the Sport Sciences programme at UKZN. The same set of students were active members in the College of Health Sciences’ Academic Mentorship programme, juggling time from their studies and extra-mural activities to also mentor junior students in the Sport Sciences Discipline.
The day’s programme included fun-filled physical activities, with van Heerden reminding all that exercise was medicine not just for the body but also for the brain. He said research showed that individuals performed better cognitively after they became involved in regular sport.
‘Leading an active lifestyle releases endorphins which clear the mind and allow good cognitive processes,’ said van Heerden.
Mckerrow, who spent six months in Canada doing personal training, said he also enjoyed playing squash and swimming. He said he was excited to receive the award and looked forward to pursuing his Honours in Biokinetics after completing his degree.
The same sentiments were shared by Henry who is excelling as a gymnastics coach.
One of the award-winning second-year students, Ms Nokuthula Mtshali of Pietermaritzburg, said although the Sport Sciences programme was sometimes challenging, receiving the certificate and an invitation to join the Golden Key International Honour Society, proved that there was nothing she could not achieve in life.
‘The award-winning students were examples for others to follow,’ said Ms Benina Mkhonto, Academic Development Officer in the Discipline of Biokenetics, Exercise and Leisure Science.
The 2014 recipient of UKZN’s prestigious Distinguished Student Award, Ms Kelly Sloley, completed the Sport Sciences programme summa cum laude while Mr Zethembiso Mabaso completed his degree cum laude.