The Midweek Sun
GIRLS 5-ASIDE TOURNEY SUCCESSFUL
In a show of support for gender-based violence awareness, the Elite-Girls 5-aside tournament made a triumphant return in 2023 after its successful launch in 2020, the organisers have successfully hosted this year’s edition at Baisago University.
With 19 teams vying for glory, this fiercely competitive 5-aside football tournament has become a rallying point for communities to unite against GBV. Organizers cleverly chose football as the platform to champion this cause, as the sport enjoys widespread popularity amongst both men and women.
The Public Relations Officer for the EliteGirls tournament, Lebole Koontse stated that the tournament went off without a hitch, while hiccups are inevitable, they are proud of the success they have achieved.
She sent a heartfelt thanks to the Elite team organizers for their tireless work, and the teams for making the tournament possible, as well as the generous sponsors - Sublimation Hub, Fine Pharmaceuticals, and the media for unwavering support.
“Although it’s premature to gauge the impact of our campaign against gender-based violence, we remain steadfast in our belief that our efforts will be effective in cultivating a more sensitive society. Our commitment to creating a positive change was evident even before the tournament kicked off, as we organized a mixed-gender tournament in March to promote the idea of gender harmony and respect. With each event, we aim to build a movement that fosters a culture of empathy and understanding among all members of the community,” she mentioned.
Koontse emphasized that they also engaged a social worker at the tournament who educated the players on gender-based violence before the games kicked off. Furthermore, they were thrilled to have football icon, Dipsy Selolwane, grace the event with his presence and words of motivation with the players.
She stated that the efforts are starting to bear fruit, and they firmly believe that they are on the right track towards achieving their goals.
She said that what stood out at the tournament was the mood and skills displayed, with surprises and plot twists at every turn; the top three winners were completely different from the last edition, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats. The energy was palpable, with spectators cheering on their favourite teams, and creating a truly electric atmosphere for everyone.
“Another thing that stood out at the tournament was the emergence of some young and incredibly talented players. I was thrilled to see their parents also show up to support them, which is a massive testament to the importance of fighting GBV. It highlights how critical it is to educate not just the players but also the community. Moving forward, we aim to organize a tournament for kids and educate them about GBV - how to identify it, who to call, and where to go,” Koontse she added.
The 2023 champions are the unsinkable Sefalana FC, who clinched the title in a mindblowing final match against Diarora SC that had the crowd screaming! Diarora didn’t walk away empty-handed as they snatched the silver medal, while Molepolole Prisons took home the bronze.