Large Kovsie contingent at Commonwealth Games

Elmé de Villiers (badminton) is one of several former or current Kovsies who will be in action at the Commonwealth Games between 5 and 15 April. Photo: SASCOC

The University of the Free State (UFS) will be well represented at the Commonwealth Games with 11 current or former Kovsies participating in Australia.

The Games will take place from 5 to 15 April on the Gold Coast. For many of the sporting codes, this is the second biggest sporting stage after the Olympic Games.

The eight athletes are Ts’epang Sello, Juanelie Meijer and Karla Pretorius (current students) and former Kovsies Juanré Jenkinson, Elmé de Villiers, Nicole Walraven, Maryka Holtzhausen and Philip Snyman.

In addition, three members of the management team, Neil Powell, Kate Roberts and Jan Wahl, all previously studied at the UFS.

Sello will be competing in the 800 m in the colours of Lesotho, her country of birth.

Pretorius is the vice-captain of the netball team and Holtzhausen was the former captain before her serious injury in 2016. Pretorius is doing a postgraduate in Dietetics and Holtzhausen is a contract worker at Kovsiesport. She will be competing at her third Games.

De Villiers is a member of the South African badminton team and Walraven is with the Protea hockey team. Snyman will captain the rugby team.

Meijer (long jump) and Jenkinson (shot put) will battle in the para-athletic programme.

Powell will coach the Blitzboks who are the defending champions from 2014. It will be his second Games in charge. He also won the bronze medal as a player in 2010.

Roberts is the manager of the triathlon team and was a participant in 2006. Wahl will act as the manager of the para-athletics team.