ENDLOVINI in Port Alfred hosted the third official Sarah Baartman Indigenous Games Festival at the Mamityi Stadium last weekend, where teams from Ndlambe, Makana, Blue Crane, Kou Kama, Beyers Naude and Sundays River gathered for a day of fun and friendly contest playing some of South Africa’s most loved indigenous games.
Each year the district event attracts several teams who participate in games like Puca, Gqaphu, Drie Stokies, Morabaraba, Jukskei, Kho-Kho, Dibeke, Ncuva and Intonga. They compete against each other with the aim to qualify for the Provincial Indigenous Games tournament from July 21-24.
Saturday’s event also coincided with youth month celebrations, organiser and district chairperson Boniwe Hendele said.
“As everyone is focused on soccer, the aim is to promote more unity in our district and local municipalities,” Hendele said.
“We also would like to encourage the youth to participate in different sport like games if they are being excluded from competitive sports like soccer. We want to prevent kids from involving themselves in crime and drugs,” she said.
Hendele said the games are not physically demanding as often is the case with other sporting codes.
“In other sporting codes you don’t feel welcome as they put you through too much pressure and also take you away from school work .But these games require discipline just like any other sporting code,” she said.
Furthermore by participating in indigenous games, the participants also learn skills, discipline and develop a healthy attitude.
Last year the event took place in Station Hill and was reported a hit with the locals
“Everyone enjoys the games; it was the first time for some of them to be in these games with people other than those they practise with in their municipalities. Port Alfred residents were so happy to see their friends and children play these games,” Hendele said.
“We hope this festival can grow even more and that our municipalities will continue to assist us when we have our games alongside other stakeholders.”