The MUT Sport Strategy is embedded in the University’s Anchor Strategy because sport at MUT needs to make some headway on empowering the MUT students, the youth and people of Umlazi. On 11 July 2019 the Division of Institutional Planning and Research (DIPR) convened a workshop to consult on the draft sport strategy. Present at the workshop were members from the University’s Student Affairs department; Student Representative Council, MUT Staff Sports Club, Finance, the Department of Marketing and Communications (MarComms), Operations Directorate, Risk & Compliance as well as Phinda Nene, one of the leading sport administrators in the country, and Senior Manager from an Accounting firm, Price WaterhouseCoopers, Thasleem Osman. Paulo Braga, Hemis Officer at the DIPR, said the renewed focus on sport was as a result of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Enoch Duma Malaza’s vision for MUT to be a global player through sport excellence, and contribute in community development by allowing MUT’s surrounding communities to leverage the University’s resources and sporting facilities. “Considering that the new Strategic Plan, MUT 2020-2025 focuses on a holistic learning experience, it is only natural to focus on this area where MUT has such a high student participation rate. Moreover, the cognitive, social, and physical benefits of sport participation at universities are the reasons to focus on sports at MUT.” Braga was the facilitator of the meeting.
Nene’s involvement in the MUT Sport Strategy development has shown a potential for MUT sport to move towards a new paradigm shift. Nene is networked and understands how SA’s ‘Ivy League’ institutions are leveraging sport through sponsorship and using sport to attract students that excel in it. In his presentation which was described as ‘great and valuable’ by the participants, Nene advised that MUT should craft a sport strategy that would make it a global player. Nene said the University should be bold and daring, and knock on doors of prospective funders with a list of what is needed. “You need to decide on what you want to have. Don’t look at this as just sport; look at every sport code as a product that you need to sell to funders and sport supporters. At the end of it all, the sport strategy needs to result in sport as a product that will contribute to the overall MUT strategy,” said Nene. Nene and Mbali Mkhize, Senior Director at the University’s Department of Marketing and Communications, emphasised that the culture at MUT should change to promote sport activism at the University. Njabulo Xaba, Secretary of the University’s Sport Club, said they were ready to support Management in all its efforts to grow sport culture at the University. The Staff Sport Club was founded in 2009. It has visited a number of higher education institutions in the country and those of some of South Africa’s neighbours, eSwatini and Mozambique. The Staff Sport Club is natural fertile ground for sport at the University.
Braga ensured that all participants contributed to the strategy see to it that all aspects of the plan were catered for. Some of these aspects were the risks that are inherent in sport, particularly those that have to do with finances. Osman made a presentation on this area; and Rodney Delomoney, the University’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), made a presentation on the budgeting side of the plan. Other participants in the workshop were leaders of the Student Representative Council.
Fair corporation! The team that met to craft the strategy