The Eastern Cape’s universities will gather for a celebration of student activities when the annual intervarsity takes place at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday.

While the sporting fixtures will be a big attraction, Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka said the occasion lent itself to a wider programme of events, which they were excited about hosting this year.

Starting in 2017, she said the institutions – Nelson Mandela University, Rhodes, Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu – had discussed the pathway for the annual intervarsity.

Madibaz vs WSU

Madibaz centre Chris Hollis goes on a run in the Varsity Shield rugby match against Walter Sisulu University early this year. The teams will meet in the final match of the annual Eastern Cape intervarsity at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Photo: Carlo Jonkerman

“We crafted a document to showcase the purpose of intervarsity, as well as the inclusion of other events that will involve a lot more students of the four institutions,” said Lumka.

“For instance, this year a fashion show, a flash mob and a Women’s Day mentoring programme have been included.”

She added that it was a once-a-year opportunity for the students to participate in as many activities as they could and to enjoy themselves.

“My message to both Madibaz students and our visitors is the same – go out and support your teams, enjoy all the activities on offer and see as much of our beautiful campus as you can.”

Lumka felt the intervarsity played a critical role in maintaining important links between the institutions.

“There is only one opportunity where all four institutions in the Eastern Cape can interact with each other,” she said.

“It is crucial that the bonds and links between the students and staff of the institutions are strengthened on an annual basis.”

Significantly, Madibaz Sport will be hosting several other visitors this weekend.

“We have a number of guests from other institutions around the country who will be joining us to observe the programme on Friday and Saturday, so we are definitely doing something right,” said Lumka.

“The Eastern Cape is the longest-running intervarsity in the country and it inspires varsities in other provinces to try to establish similar occasions.”

Starting at 11.30 on Friday morning with the golf competition at Humewood, a total of 19 sports and activities will take place, culminating in the intervarsity prize-giving at the Madibaz Stadium on Saturday at 6pm.

There will be a programme of high-quality sport at the stadium on Saturday, beginning with the women’s soccer final at noon.

This will be followed by the rugby clash between Fort Hare and Rhodes at 1.30pm and the men’s soccer final at 3pm. The sporting action will end with the rugby match between Madibaz and Walter Sisulu at 4.30pm.

In sports where at least three institutions have entered, points will be allocated which will count towards the total for the overall intervarsity trophy.

The activities for Saturday, however, kick off at 8am at the South Campus (Building 6) with the institutions debating various trending topics related to the student environment.

There will also be a moot court set up from 9am in the Law Faculty on South Campus where law students from the various institutions will engage in oral arguments.