UKZN Indoor Soccer World Cup
Kenya scooped top honours at UKZN’s second Indoor Soccer World Cup when they beat Turkey 2-1.
Held at the Westville Sport Centre, 12 teams took part featuring UKZN students and staff from Brazil, DR Congo, Germany, Holland, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Swaziland, Turkey, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Led onto the field by cheerleaders dressed in traditional attire and waving country flags, teams comprised both male and female players.
Participants included under and post graduates, post-doctoral research fellows, study abroad and exchange students, researchers, asylum seekers, refugees and visitors.
Opening the proceedings, Director of Marketing and International Relations, Mr Len Mzimela, welcomed the participating teams and encouraged spectators to enjoy the festivities.
‘We are proud to host the second Indoor Soccer World Cup at UKZN and plan to make this an annual event on our social calendar. This is the perfect way to bring together our students in a fun-filled and engaging manner,’ said Mzimela.
All teams received medals for participating as well as promotional items while spectators were entertained with music and giveaways for best supporter and traditional attire.
Originator of the event, Dr Prem Ramlachan, said: ‘Soccer is the most popular team sport in the world bridging the gap between theory and practice in 90 minutes. It helps brings about unity, peace and togetherness making UKZN a global destination of choice.’
One of the players, Mr Teboho Hlao, a potential doctorate student from Lesotho, said: ‘Sport such as soccer is a tool for the promotion of inclusivity and integration among students and staff.’
Another participant, Mr Zayne Njapha, a third year South African under-graduate student, said: ‘The event was one to be remembered - the hard work and enthusiasm put in by the organisers paid off big time. The event proved to be a melting pot of languages, cultures and nations. There was a large amount of team spirit and unity that echoed throughout the venue in the various cheers and ululation. A spectacular event to show our visitors what South Africa is all about.’
Captain of India, Dr Vikas Sharma, post-doctoral research fellow commented ‘that people from different disciplines, countries, continents across the world came together to know, learn, understand and interact with each other under one roof’.
*Videos and photos from the festivities will appear on YouTube and Facebook soon.
- Rakshika Sibran and Prem Ramlachan