Not even the devastating 2022 ‘April Floods’ in Kwa Zulu Natal could put a damper on the indomitable spirits of KZN Volleyball under the leadership of its astute and resourceful newly elected President, Aadil Khan, to set their minds on scooping the top honours in the Champions Cup, VSA’s prestigious annual club championship for both genders. The Champions Cup is a ‘gateway’ event for the African Zone VI club Championship.
Their efforts paid off when, in the men’s category the KZN teams dominated the podium winning gold, silver and bronze. Student team, University of Kwa Zulu Natal (UKZN) ended the tournament in a creditable 4th position.
The UKZN’s women’s team wrote themselves into the annals of history by being the first women’s team from Kwa Zulu Natal to be crowned champions in the 23rd edition of the Champions Cup.
The inaugural Champions Cup was staged in Durban in 2000.In addition, a first for the Champions Cup is that both the women and men’s finals were decided in a ‘nail biting’ 5th set. Crowd support at the finals was phenomenal. An illustrious line up of dignitaries joined the fans in their support of the KZN teams.
The dignitaries, inter alia, included the KZN MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, the Honourable Hlengiwe Mavimbela; Dr.Thobile Sifunda (HOD, KZN DSAC); Councillor Zama Sokhabase who delivered an address on behalf of the Mayor of Ethekwini Municipality; Mr.Thami Mchunu, President of KZN Sports Confed; Mr.Aleck Skosana (Secretary-General African Union Athletics); Mr.Yaseen Lombard (Secretary-General of Gauteng Sports Confed); Ms.Dalene Baksa (President of KZN Equestrian); Mr.Sbu Dlamini (President of KZN Indigenous Games); Dr.Survarna Buldeo (IHealth); Dr.Lulu Bodla (Deputy President KZN Rugby).
After an impressive on court Awards Presentation Ceremony the dignitaries, guests, National and Provincial Volleyball Federation officials and the top three teams in both genders from the Champions Cup were invited to attend a gala dinner, a first at the level of the Champions Cup. After the floods, a desolate second hall in the Tongaat Sports Centre was transformed in double quick time into a ‘’ theatre of dreams’’ to host the gala dinner. Post a series of speeches a sumptuous dinner was enjoyed by all.
A cake cutting ceremony signifying the enormous success of the five- day event brought the curtains down on the 2022 Champions Cup.