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UJ’s Adu embracing student life and playing in the Varsity Cup

The life of a student-athlete is not always easy but knowing that your talents can alleviate the pressure that most students face eases this challenging journey.   

 


Philip Apea Adu who stars in his fifth FNB Varsity Cup says playing in the tournament has lifted some weight off his shoulders due to a sports bursary awarded by the University of Johannesburg since his first year.   

 

“It does so much for a person knowing that you can solely focus on rugby without that stress of wondering if my fees are paid. So being able to play Varsity Cup and being on a bursary helped take that weight off my shoulders,” says Adu.  

 

“It gives me a sense that I am being looked after and supported. It’s a humbling feeling looking at the people around you and what they have to go through.”  

 

Adu’s journey in the Varsity Cup started in 2020 after his two-year contract with the Lions came to an end.  

 

“It was during COVID [lockdown] when I found out I would no longer be with the Lions. For me, it was a discouraging point in my life being young and thinking that certain things can last forever.” 

 

The following year the tournament took place in a bio-bubble. Abu says playing behind closed doors was the moment he seized the opportunity to boost his rugby career.  

 

“I took full opportunity of that platform, and it really gave my rugby confidence a boost and got me back in the full swing of things. Being able to play and train again made up for the discouragement I felt.”  

 

The towering lock finished his undergrad degree in BCom Accounting last year and is now pursuing his Honours in Internal Auditing.  

 

“Being able to complete my degree last year, was a moment where I was like I had achieved something real. If you want to continue playing rugby, Varsity Cup is an amazing platform to continue that journey while getting the benefit of studying towards a degree.” 

 

by Karabo Peter  

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