Fives Football champions captained by Umvoto staff member Dylan Blake!

October 25, 2016

On the night of Tuesday 27th September 2016, Umvoto’s Associate and Principal Geologist Dylan Blake and the Umvoto Africa fives football team won the 2016 Grand Central Tuesday Division 1 Season 3 league. Dylan, who captained the team that evening, received the trophy for the team, a medal and bragging rights for a few weeks!

Umvoto Africa plays at one of the Fives Futbol venues scattered around Cape Town, namely Fives Grand Central, at Grand Parade in the city centre. Each year, the Grand Central Tuesday league has four separate seasons. Sometimes, if there are 10 teams in a season league, each team plays against each other once and then the winners play in semi-finals and finals. In the case of this season, there were 6 teams in the Tuesday Division 1 Season 3 league. The teams played each other’s side twice in a league format, with no semi-finals or finals in this case. Umvoto Africa’s team, which obtained the most points, won the league and received a team trophy and medals for each individual. There is no prize money or anything to that effect, with the leagues striving instead to promote fun and fitness (although most teams do try to play relatively competitively on the pitch).

Dylan and the Umvoto Africa team have played at the Grand Central venue since the beginning of last year, when it opened. They use to play at the Fives Futbol venue at the Waterfront for a few years before that, but the Waterfront started to develop the land where the courts were on, so Fives Futbol created the Grand Central venue as a replacement for the Waterfront venue.

By now you may be wondering how and when Umvoto Africa got involved in this sport?

Dylan explains that a bunch of Umvoto staff initially started playing together as a combination of fun and being caught up in the whole 2010 World Cup euphoria. Alex Kuhudzai (who still works at Umvoto) and Nisbert Chimboza (who used to work at Umvoto) played senior age group football for Zimbabwe, so they initiated playing football back then. Umvoto Africa team members used to play at a now closed fives setup in Sea Point. The team then moved to Fives Futbol several years later. There also used to be an Umvoto women’s side that played in the original women’s league in Sea Point.

At the moment Dylan is the only person from Umvoto who plays in the side, managing it as well. Greg D’Or who used to be an intern at our company also presently plays for Umvoto (he is currently back studying at UCT). Mike Hartnady, who worked at Umvoto, played for the team until he recently left to do his PhD in Australia. Keegan van Wyk, although not an Umvoto employee, has played for the side since Umvoto started back in 2010. Keegan used to play 11 man league football with Alex in Muizenberg.

Most of the men who end up playing in the side have some link to Umvoto through living or playing football in Muizenberg – Brent Weitz and Thulani Maxaku live in Muizenberg and play football here. Chris Lambert is a geologist at the Council for Geoscience and knows Umvoto through work and conferences. Mike Jones works for the navy and played against some of the Umvoto staff in league football. Scott Barrett started playing for Umvoto through one of our previous interns Mitch Jardine.

The composition of the team goes in fluxes. Sometimes, the team counts a lot of Umvoto staff and interns while at other times, it does not. These fluxes generally depend on who is keen and available. Umvoto’s current side consisting of Dylan, Keegan, Brent, Thulani, Mike, Greg, and Scott has been pretty constant this past year, which Dylan believes has contributed to them winning the league this time around. Five-a-side football is very fast and can be highly instinctive, so generally the more team members play with each other the better the team gets.

On a last note, the word is that Umvoto staff Alex will make his comeback once his fatherly duties have eased up. We sure hope sooner than later. And to round-it-up, a huge congratulations to all the member of Umvoto’s fives football team. Making us proud!