Team KwaZulu-Natal successfully defended the National Indigenous Games title, dominating the competition and claiming first prize for the fourth time in a row in Pretoria last week.
The team won gold in dibeke, khokho, amagende (stones), incuva, inqathu (skipping), umlabalaba, boxing and jukskei juniors.
The elite jukskei team – consisting of captain and national stalwart Annetjie van der Merwe from Umtentweni, Petro Marais and Lukas Snyman from Newcastle, Jan Lourens from Vryheid, Janet van Staden and Andre Griebenouw from Richards Bay – claimed bronze medals.
The 180-strong team, consisting of athletes and support staff, had left KwaZulu-Natal confident of victory due to the intense preparations athletes had undergone ahead of the tournament.
Speaking during a three-day camp in Newcastle before heading to Pretoria, both athletes and coaching staff were confident of making the people of KwaZulu-Natal proud.
Having beaten competition from the North West and Limpopo, who came second and third respectively in the 2014 competition, the success by KwaZulu-Natal augurs well for the promotion and preservation of the province’s cultural heritage through sport and recreation.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation is investing enormous resources to ensure this form of sport continues to be enjoyed by the generations to come.
While there is a competitive spirit among participants, the Indigenous Games has become a family orientated event with activities for young and old, highlighting the celebration of South Africa’s Heritage Month.
Other sport codes that form part of the Indigenous Dames include drie stokkies and induku (stick fighting).
Although there is no age restriction, participants are categorised into different age groups in contact sport like stick fighting.