South Africa: Varsity Cup Players Embrace Covid-19 Bio-Bubble Life


University teams take the pandemic protocols in their stride.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

On their sixth night in the biosecure bubble at the University of Pretoria (Tuks), known as the Varsity Cup Village, the University of Cape Town's (UCT's) Ikey Tigers held a "Varsity Cup's Got Talent" competition. There was singing, guitar-playing and a lot of laughing as four UCT teams - the tight-five forwards, loose forwards, inside backs and outside backs - took each other on. (For the record, the outside backs won.)

The night before, UCT had beaten Wits in their round-two match at nearby Loftus Versfeld, before returning to Tuks' Future Africa campus, which is hosting eight of the 10 Varsity Cup teams (Tuks and the University of Johannesburg are staying at the Tuks High Performance Centre, or HPC).

Teams are kept in separate "pods" while in the village and are not allowed to interact with each other on non-match days.

Under head coach Tom Dawson-Squibb, who has a degree in sports psychology and is also the Stormers' leadership and performance coach, UCT have taken a unique approach to this year's Varsity Cup, which is being played across three bubbles from 4...

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