The Maroon Machine end 2023 with multiple USSA titles

Maties Sport ended a successful University Sport of South Africa (USSA) campaign, claiming titles in a number of sporting codes.

The Maroon Machine took home gold in the A Section of women’s and men’s water polo, chess, women’s golf, as well as gold for men’s football in the B Section. While adding a bronze for table tennis and men’s stroke play for golf. Additionally, the student-athletes received several impressive individual accolades.


Water Polo

Maties water polo made it four years with consecutive USSA titles for the women and men’s team in Gqeberha. After an exciting and competitive tournament for three days, both teams were rewarded with gold medals.

After losing out to UP-Tuks in the round robin stages, Maties women’s side were out to prove a point by beating the Pretoria side in the final. It was only 3 goals that separated the sides at the end with Maties defeating UP-Tuks 7-4.

A fourth consecutive title for the women’s water polo team at USSA.

It was a Cape derby final, that had the water polo men’s side compete with UCT for the USSA title. The side kept up their unbeaten streak by winning 14-12 and retaining their title and repeating the feat the women’s team made earlier in the day.

The men’s side were unbeaten throughout the USSA tournament and claimed gold.



Maties football men’s team remained unbeaten and were triumphant as the USSA B section winners. The team’s hard work and dedication in the build-up to the tournament was rewarded after some tough competitors were toppled in the lead up to the final match of the tournament. Maties faced DUT in the final and after a fierce battle in what ended up being a heated encounter, the Maroon Machine came out on top by winning 2-0.

Our men’s side had an outstanding campaign and with their final win were promoted to the A section. Some other individual accolades included:

Coach of the Tournament – Desmond Crowie

Player of the Tournament – Waasim Holtman

Team of the Tournament – Maties Football

Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Slade Jewell

Maties Football men’s Head Coach Desmond Crowie said: “After last year’s unhappiness, we as a technical team/Maties Sport sat down and formulated a plan to get us where we want to be. It has been a long journey, but most of these players play in the ABC Motsepe league which helped us a lot. Hence we went through the tournament not conceding a goal, scoring two or three goals per game – that in itself shows us that the programme we are busy with at Maties football is bearing fruit.

Ninety percent of these boys will be with us in the A section next year, we’re only losing one player and we recruited 2 or 3 very good players so I think our squad can only get stronger and stronger especially with the support of Maties Sport and the football programme.

I would personally like to say thank you to Ellroy Smith who has been the club manager since I joined in 2017. He has always been there and getting us to where we want to be. From top management down to the kit man, we had support and for that I am grateful and thank everyone.”

The women’s side had a mixed campaign and played in the playoff matches which saw them face UFS for the 9th/10th position. It was not meant to be for the ladies side as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to the Free State side despite opening the scoring with an early goal. We settled for 10th spot in the women’s A section.

Maties Women’s Football Team at USSA 2023 finished 10th overall in Section A.



Maties Cricket were based in Cape Town for their USSA championships, a promising start on day one against neighbours UWC kicked off their campaign. However, loses against UP-Tuks and Wits meant that their fate was left to net run rate after the pool stages came to an end.

The team swept past Madibaz in the first playoff match to win by 195 runs on the penultimate day with captain Lehan Botha taking a hattrick and ending the day with 73 runs and bowling figures of 6 wickets for 23 runs.

In the 5th/6th playoff, Maties were set to face UWC once again and hoped to end the week the way it started. A tightly contested match saw us winning by 25 runs with Ryan Jairaj coming away with 3 wickets for 24 runs.

Team manager for Maties Cricket, Keagan van Aarde said: “It was a tough week for the boys, we are happy to finish on a high note after beating UWC and we will get back into planning again for the new year. Shout out to our newcomers who have really excelled and we are really happy about the progress that they have made over the last week especially Ryan Jairaj and George van Heerden who came in and gelled well with the team.”

At the award ceremony the following Maties were included in the USSA squad:

  • Lehan Botha
  • Maahir Joseph
  • George van Heerden

First year student Maahir Joseph also received the highest run scorer and player of the tournament awards for his consistent performance throughout the week.

Maties Cricket at USSA 2023 in Cape Town where they placed 5th overall.


We fought for the 3/4 position in the 2023 Tennis USSA Championship. A tough week of competition for the Maroon Machine, we narrowly miss out on the dirty gold to Tuks in our final match of the competition.

The results of the week were as follows:

Day 1 vs Rhodes (win)

Day 2 vs NWU Mahikeng (win)

Day 3 vs Tuks (loss)

Semi-final vs Kovsies (loss)

3rd/4th vs Tuks (loss)

Maties tennis finish 4th overall at USSA.


The USSA Chess Championship took place in Durban and our Maties masterminds placed in the following sections:


1st – Nico Martin

4th – Simamnkele Hemeni


1st – Anika du Plessis

2nd – Thembisele Makhubu

An amazing achievement by Nico and Anika, congratulations to them both for winning after a week of ten rounds of chess.

Left to right: Anika du Plessis (1st place), Nico Martin (1st place) and Thembisele Makhubu (2nd place) at USSA


Though golf is an individual sport, the Maties team banded together to bring about some exceptional performances in Makhanda. A huge congratulations to Crystal Beukes for taking home the gold and Anita Chen for securing the silver in the women’s section. A proud moment for the ladies who take the podium for the very first time at USSA! The Maties Men’s stroke play team added to the team’s delight as they claimed bronze overall to end off a fantastic week.

Maties golfers had a great tournament at USSA, both individually and teams.


Table Tennis

Maties came away with third place in the team competition of table tennis at USSA, the team consisted of the following players: Le Roux Strydom, Christian Louw and Dewald Swanevelder. It was not meant to be for the singles and doubles of the men’s and women’s competitions as we bowed out in the quarterfinals.

Maties table tennis took bronze in the USSA team competition.


An epic week for our Maties sailors at USSA, they were unbeaten going into the final race and claimed second place against our local neighbours UCT.

Overall week results:

  • Round Robin: 8 wins out of 8 races
  • Semi-final vs Rhodes: 2 wins out of 3 races
  • Final vs UCT: 3 losses out of 5 races

Maties sailing snatched silver at USSA.

By Kimara Singh