Athletes drawn from various townships of the Emalahleni Local Municipality scooped 18 medals of which 10 is gold, silver (7) and bronze (1) during the recent Nkangala District Mayoral games.
Six local municipalities, Emalahleni, Emakhazeni, Victor Khanyi, JS Moroka, Thembisile Hani and Steve Tswete, participated in the games.
The 167 athletes representing Emalahleni Local Municipality took part in all 13 sporting codes.
As the overall winner of the annual tournament in its fourth year, eMalahleni Local Municipality was presented with the floating trophy, which it keeps because they have successfully defended it for three years in succession.
A jubilant Solly Myakeni who is the Sport and Recreation officer in Emalahleni Local Municipality, attributed the success to good preparations.
“We are happy with the way we prepared for the games. The standard of the organisation and the competitiveness of the athletes was very high this year. Participants were from almost all areas under the municipality. The only challenge is the absence of our white counterparts but we hope that it will improve next year.”
“The objectives of these games is to keep the youth away from substance abuse and to encourage social cohesion,” says Myakeni.
Myakeni revealed that athletes were identified during trials conducted at every location that falls under the Emalahleni Local Municipality between 29 October and 19 November.
The medals which were awarded to Emalahleni Local Municipality were in the following sporting codes; Netball, gold (females) and bronze (Males). Basketball, gold (males) and silver (females). Volleyball, silver (males) and gold (females), Tennis gold (female).
Under indigenous games
Khokho, silver (male) silver (female). Kgati which is commonly known as Skipping Rope, silver (male) silver (female). Morabaraba, gold (female) gold (male). Ncuva also known as board game, gold (female) gold (male). Diketo, gold (male) and gold (female). Chess, male (gold) female (silver).
Emalahleni Local Municipality sport and recreation officer, and former professional football player, Dumisa Ngobe, was full of praise for football players who were selected to represent the municipality during the games.
He explained their lack of success in the tournament as a result of other municipalities fielding football teams which play as a unit under the SA Football Association (Safa) leagues.
“We choose not to field established football teams. We pick players who have never played together before and it takes time before they start playing as a team. Our intention is not to win at all cost but we also want to expose young talent,” he said.
Ngobe said through the tournament young talent would be unearthed like it happened last year when an NFD side, Mbombela United, identified Sibusiso Skosana who was part of the Emalahleni Local Municipality football side.
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