While Kwa-Thema, through its Sports Confederation, hosted the groundbreaking Sports Festival during the Easter long weekend, the people of the nation’s capital city, Tshwane, held their own one-of-a-kind sports event, Pheli Easter Cup, in Atteridgeville.
The games, which were hosted by the Lucas Moripe Youth Development, in partnership with the City of Tshwane municipality and the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, at the Mbolekwa Grounds, included soccer, netball, tennis and table tennis, and took place between Good Friday (19 April) and this past Sunday.
The organizers meant to have even more sporting codes though, with rugby, basketball and volleyball, but the dearth of teams and players of these sports wishing to affiliate led to their exclusion. But notwithstanding the fact, the games were very successful, according to its chairman Itumeleng Moloto, and will be an annual event from next year onwards.
“Our tournament went well, but we had to reschedule the basketball because of a clash of fixtures with a tournament that was held in Mamelodi,” says Moloto, who explains that the basketball tournament has now been moved to the holiday of June 16 (Youth Day). “But we’re very happy with the progress we’ve made so far.”
Moloto also explains that the netball tournament also had to be rescheduled, and will therefore also be played on Youth Day, because they couldn’t get a lot of the players, who are mostly schoolgirls, to play on the two Sundays which their tournament was scheduled to play, because most of them stay far from the venue and therefore had challenges with transport.
Moloto also expressed his delight with the talent, particularly that of the soccer players, who were split between two tournaments – that of the Under 15’s and the seniors – and says he wished many more people had come to witness their tournaments. “It’s a pity the parents don’t come to watch their own children and what they can do, because there’s so much talent. I’m sure that if they watched their children’s games, they wouldn’t bother watching the PSL (Premier Soccer League) games. Really, I’m sure about that. It’s about goals, it’s all about going forward, getting goals. There isn’t the thing of managing a game so you can get a draw and all those things. The standard is very high.”
The winners of the different tournaments won prize monies, trophies and medals, which were supplied by the Department.