Sunday, 1 January 2017

Redefining what it means to be a student athlete.

Solly Chauke in deep conversation with JD McNeil.
There  is  no question that the club at Wits University is the oldest  affiliate of Mind Sports South Africa having started in 1982.

Since then the club has allowed several individuals to earn their University 'Blues' as well as  to receive financial assistance for their studies.

Shortly afterwards, North West University - Potchefstroom Campus affiliated under the  leadership of Carl Holliday and Marius Bester.

The  next university to affiliate to MSSA was University of the North. Under Solly Chauke's guidance the club's membership reached numbers in excess of 500 gamers.

Then University of Johannesburg affiliated, and with Mothusi Moabi in charge, UJ became one of MSSA's most important members. 


It was not until 2013 that University of Pretoria joined the fold, and in 2016 North West University - Vaal Campus, also joined.

So even though South Africa lead the charge in getting Mind Sports accredited as a true sport, it is the USA that is taking it to where it should  finally be.


Tiffin University (Ohio, USA) announced recently that they will join the world of digital athletics as video game competitions, also known as eSports.

"As the demand for eSports programs increase, Tiffin University is preparing to launch this cutting edge eSports collegiate program by fall semester 2017," said TU President Dr. Lillian Schumacher. "We have acquired land and have committed to the creation of a gaming arena--a stand-alone eSports complex. This complex will house a state-of-the-art eSports training room as well as a gaming lounge for all TU students to enjoy."

Two TU faculty members Steve Borawski and Dr. Michael Kidd are the champions for developing this program and will work directly with TU's Athletic Director Lonny Allen.

"This program takes gaming to the next level," said eSports Coordinator Michael Kidd. "Tiffin University has identified eSports as an untapped area of student interest to embrace, and has created an innovative program that will attract gamers from around the world."

"Parents may have thought that all those hours their kids spent playing video games was wasted, but they may have been training to be the next generation of athletes," Borawski said. "Just like the all-star football or baseball player, Tiffin University recognizes that today's college bound students are changing and this one-of-a-kind program will combine eSports with TU's high quality academic programs offering numerous scholarship opportunities. Tiffin's digital athletes will be held to the same high academic standards as all student athletes."

For additional information, contact Steven Borawski at borawskis@tiffin.edu or call 440-381-7379. Michael Kidd may be reached at kiddm@tiffin.edu or call 734-649-9518.

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