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04/06/2024

The Madibaz Volleyball tournament is set to take a permanent slot on Mandela University’s sporting calendar after the successful staging of the second edition last weekend.

Madibaz Sport volleyball manager Bernard Petersen said the club was encouraged by the positive response as it went a long way in boosting the development of the sport in the region.
 
“We received some really good comments on the running and presentation of the event, which has a unique impact at a local level,” he said after the two days of intense competition at the university’s South Campus.
 
“Hosting occasions such as these are the key to growing the sport in the Nelson Mandela Bay region and it also provides a platform to show what we, as a university, can offer potential student-athletes.”
 
Petersen felt the inclusion of a section for schools had been an important addition to the event.
 
“It was great to see the learners in action because the schools structure in the region generally lacks depth and competition.
 
“So any attempt to develop schools volleyball will always have the desired effect and that is to be welcomed.”
 
The overall honours went to the Gelvandale and Volkswagen clubs, who defeated University of Fort Hare and Falcons in the men’s and women’s finals, respectively.
 
Lawson Brown High took the boys’ title while Willow Academy were crowned girls’ champions among the schools.
 
The timing of the tournament would be revisited in 2025, Petersen said.
 
“The date did have an impact on the numbers attending as it fell within the school exams. That is something we will take into consideration in our planning.”
 
Madibaz women’s coach Nolan Bentley said there were plenty of positives to take from the tournament as they ventured towards the University Sports South Africa week in late-June.
 
“This event and the league in which we compete are all aimed at preparing us for the USSAs, where we have moved up the rankings in recent years,” he said.
 
The university were 19th in 2022 and 11th last year and no doubt want to continue the upward trend.
 
Bentley said the goal for the recent Madibaz event was to improve each time they played.
 
“We just tried to be better than our last game.”
 
These tournaments were great at sharpening their game ahead of high-quality contests such as the USSAs and National Champions Cup, “which features the best clubs in the country”, he explained.
 
Men’s coach Bakier Jallil said the tournament had proved invaluable.
 
“We learnt very quickly that we needed to work better together to form a more cohesive unit, rather than standing out individually.”
 
That, as well as improving their defensive patterns, was something they would focus on going forward.

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