‘Be your personal best’ – Sports Science Institute of South Africa and University of Cape Town partnership is a fit match for peak performance

We are excited to have finally launched the ground-breaking merger between the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM). The historical partnership foresees a new era in health, wellness, performance science and medicine, in which our two respected organisations will work together to create and roll-out highly advanced programmes, and ensure that results of our combined research are translated to reach the greater South Africa, and beyond.

‘Thought leaders, game-changers, and innovators with compassion are but a few of the descriptors attached to SSISA, so it gives us great pleasure to share our story with you 21 years on from when Professor Tim Noakes and former Springbok Rugby Captain, Morné du Plessis, first had the inspiration and vision to create it.

In 2017, SSISA continues to stay true to our founders’ mission to improve the health and sporting performance of all South Africans. Now, with access to the academic expertise of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, both entities will have the opportunity of combining our skill sets and resources to develop and deploy next generation services and products in the field of exercise science and sports medicine.

When asked about unveiling our new look and positioning created to celebrate the joint venture, SSISA’s CEO, Dr Phathokuhle Zondi, explained: “Be Your Personal Best captures the brand essence of SSISA and speaks not only to personal wellness, but to our social responsiveness as a community of South Africans.

Our new strategy reaches far beyond the constraints of this building. We are striving for a global presence, but with an emphasis on Africa first. Technological advancements, interactive, inviting and engaging digital platforms, and formal online learning qualifications are all in the pipeline. That said, our Newlands home will remain a living laboratory for our innovations and the hub of our research activities. Our sports performance pillar will focus largely on cycling, running and swimming, whilst we continue contributing to the global body of research related to Rugby Science.”

Professor Vicki Lambert, head of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, says: “UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, has improved the quality of lives and contributed to the changes in sports’ rules, strategies and policies both nationally and globally. It has advised such world bodies as the World Health Organisation, the International Olympic Committee, and other institutions on a plethora of matters relating to the benefits of physical activity for health and human performance. The division is also the first academic institution to offer sports and exercise medicine to economically disadvantaged South Africans through partnerships with not-for-profit organisations.

“We look forward to this merger, to ensure the broader translation of our science, so that we can make a difference in the day-to-day lives of all South Africans, for sport, for health, and for quality of life, to be their personal best.”

We are honoured to have celebrated SSISA’s new identity on the evening of 10 July by telling our family (our members) first and then wrapped up after a grand finale on the evening of 11 July. Events included two SSISA Members’ Functions, a three-hour live breakfast show radio broadcast with Good Hope FM, and the final celebration with VIP guests on last Tuesday evening. SSISA Brand Ambassadors, Africa Melane and Nigel Pierce – both very popular radio presenters were actively involved in all our launch functions, as well as SABC’s very popular “Women in Sports” talk show host – Cynthia Tshaka. Aside from sharing the Brand Reveal and Brand Essence videos, SSISA members were treated to presentations from two courageous and inspirational South Africans, Riaan Manser and Brandon Beack. Invited VIP guests had an experiential journey through SSISA, and our guests included politicians, top sportsmen and women, media, brand partners, research collaborators and, of course, Directors of the SSISA Board.

We look forward to having everyone experience our transformation and travel with us as we strive to touch the lives of all South Africans, to be their “personal best”.

You can view photos of all the action from the Member’s and VIP launches on Facebook!