MUT Soccer Ace joins SA Universities camp as they prepare for an international tournament

Sphesihle Mazibuko

The University’s sport men and sport women keep shining at the high level of their chosen sporting codes. Mpumelelo Luthuli, a second year Information Technology (IT) student recently won two series with this blind Proteas team. They defeated their New Zealand in the One Day International (ODI), and the T20 series. Mpumelelo was instrumental in the team’s victory.

Mawande Mzulwini, a second year Electrical Engineering student, represented KZN U18 Volleyball at the Inter Provincial tournament in Limpopo last year. The KZN Team won gold. Now another IT student, Sphesihle Mazibuko, is among the players selected from all 26 South African universities to represent their country when CUCSA (Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sport Association) hosts the annual games at Tshwane University of Technology, from 8-12 July 2024. The other participants in the tournament are Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Angola and Eswatini. Mazibuko said that he was confident the CUCSA would do well in the tournament.

Mazibuko said he felt overwhelmed by being selected to take part in the four-day training at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre last week. But he was confident he would be among the 20 players that would be selected to represent South Africa at the event. “The training was easy; I am used to the kind of assessment they took us through. I was fully prepared. I was familiar with most of the drills,” said Mazibuko, a man they call after an Italian retired midfielder, ‘Gattuso’.  Mazibuko said his intention was to break through to the SA Premier Soccer League but would continue to put his studies first. “I need to first graduate for my studies,” said the fourth Information Technology (IT) 21-year-old. His MUT team manager Sizwe Cele agreed.

Besides doing well in the physical drills, Mazibuko is also mentally ready for the tournament. He said that he learnt a lot at the camp. “I learnt that if you are player you need to be versatile and be able to play in all kinds of weather conditions and be able to acclimatize well. Also, you need to learn to play and live with different players; players have different kinds of styles when they play. I was able to adapt to those styles, Some play ticky tucker. I was also able to accommodate them in my style of play,” he said. Mazibuko also added that it was vital for a player to have the correct attitude towards others.

Mazibuko said he found it easy to train with players from different backgrounds because these players were speaking either IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, or English. Most players South African players speak English, he said.

Mazibuko was selected for this camp during the annual USSA Games soccer games took place at the University of the Western Cape towards the end of 2023.