KZN gunning for Indigenous Games gold

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The KwaZulu-Natal senior Indigenous Games athletes gathered at Margate Sports School for a training camp recently.

A coach and team manager accompanied each section of the squad and the final selection for the respective teams was made.

These athletes will participate in the annual National Indigenous Games tournament in Pretoria from 19-24 September.

Some of the games are jukskei (a target game), dibeke (a running ball game), kho-kho (a running game), iintonga (a stick-fighting game), morabaraba (a board game), ncuva (a board game), ugqaphu (a rope-jumping game) and diketo (a co-ordinate game).

At the training camp, members of the elite jukskei team assisted other jukskei players, especially in showing them tactics and other strategies to be used in a game.

Previously, the jukskei team only consisted of players who were not registered with Jukskei SA, but because jukskei is a developed sport, a decision was made that an extra elite team will also participate at the Games this year.

Each province is therefore allowed to select a team of six players – three men and three ladies – to be part of the elite team in addition to the traditional team, which also consists of three men and three ladies.

The 2014 KwaZulu-Natal elite jukskei team consists 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.

The coach is Leon Lombard from Dundee and the team manager is Barn van der Merwe from Umtentweni.

The KwaZulu-Natal team won gold medals at last year’s tournament and will look to emulate that feat.

KwaZulu-Natal will wrap up their preparations in a final training camp at Newcastle on Wednesday before the athletes travel to Pretoria for the national showcase.

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