CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Vanderbilt played its first international friendly against the University of Western Cape on Saturday.
The Commodores arrived on the campus early Saturday morning and were greeted by UWC team personnel, who led a tour before heading to the stadium.
Western Cape is a historical university in South Africa where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu both went to school. UWC is also well-known for its struggle against apartheid and its continued fight against oppression, discrimination and disadvantage in modern-day South Africa. Among academic institutions it has been at the forefront of South Africa’s historic transformation, playing a leading and unique academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation.
In 1959, Parliament adopted legislation establishing the University College of the Western Cape as a constituent college of the University of South Africa for people classified as “Colored.” The first group of 166 students enrolled in 1960. They were offered limited training for lower- to middle-level positions in schools, the civil service and other institutions designed to serve a separated Colored community. In 1970, the institution gained university status and was able to award its own degrees and diplomas.
In the game, Vanderbilt topped Western Cape 3-2, with a pair of goals from Caroline Betts and another from Addie Porter. Following the game, the Dores stayed and watched the Hollywood Bets league game featuring Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Western Cape A.
After the contest, the Dores–along the other teams who competed–participated in a South African Braai, a traditional South African barbecue. This was a fun-filled evening with a full dinner spread followed by speeches from head soccer coach Darren Ambrose, UWC director of sport Mandla Gagayi and US Consulate Stacey Barrios.
“Seeing this sport gives friendships and relationships is heartwarming”, said Ambrose. “It knows no language; it knows no race and it knows no social standing. And that was really evident on Saturday.”
“When we talk about growing leaders throughout sport this is one way we are able to do that,” said associate head coach Ken Masuhr. “By giving them perspectives and allowing them to be immersed in something different than what they are used to on a day-to-day basis in Nashville and in their lives at home.”