Athletics under lights

By Robbie White

Friday night was busy in many regards. The bitterly cold wind was an evident factor no matter what the circumstances and played a large part in many students participating in activities to warm the body and soul. Some chose the comfort and warmth of the Rat & Parrot or Friar Tuck’s, however others were far more constructive with their time and the Rhodes astroturf played host.

Inter-Res Athletics

While local hockey games continued on the astro itself, the field surrounding it hosted another successful inter-res event, the inter-res athletics which left sore feet and runners grasping for breath all around the racetrack.

Yes, this sport did involve less warfare than the taekwon-do inter-res event, but the battle raging within the competitors was evident as they took to the track. On the one hand they knew the importance of the race to the house, and on the other hand they had
to consider the pain of the race that lay ahead.

The races themselves varied widely and obviously meant involvement from various  people from the houses, which is always great for the development of sports as a whole. Some athletes were even seen running with headphones on during the race showing their
own idea of what running at Rhodes means to them.

For those without headphones, “The Eye of the Tiger” and other motivating songs blared from the stands. Although the crowd was mostly contained in the stands or otherwise the Sports Bar, their involvement was awesome as is usual from Rhodes students.

Many of the less athletic students who were involved in the event were cheered over the line by their compatriots or fellow competitors. Even out of breath and totally exhausted,
in some cases, those involved seemed to enjoy the evening as a whole. An epitomy of this
was one competitor lying on his back with a huge smile, only managing to squeak out the words “I am too buggered.”

Boerewors rolls sold under the Sports Bar seemed to help those who had worked extra hard in the their events. As usual, the 100 metre event was a crowd-pleaser.

However, with much work being done to restore the track, the race was run on the back straight of the track and so was a bit further away from the stand and the shouting crowd who watched the two heats with great intensity. This has been a problem for much of the season as work which has been done is often spoiled by people walking on the track.

Zane Plescia, who was one of the organisers and behind the microphone, said that the event had done very well in involving people from the various houses and, even from an outsider’s point of view, it could clearly be seen that many of the involved were not
trained in the disciplines in which they were taking part.

 The men’s 4×100 metre relay ended the event on a true high with teams shouting and screaming in their state of joy. This inter-res event benefits for the Athletics club in the near future as the Tri-Varsity 100–metre sprint as well as the cross–country relay will be strongly contested by many of the people involved.


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