PMB gets set for Salga Games

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - SITHEMBISO DINDI • [email protected]­ness.co.za

OVER 5 000 bud­ding ath­letes are set to de­mon­strate their nat­u­ral tal­ents in the KwaZulu-Na­tal South African Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (Salga) Games in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg this week.

Of­fi­cially hosted by uM­gun­gundlovu Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, this 20th edi­tion of the event runs from to­mor­row un­til Sun­day at var­i­ous venues in and around Mar­itzburg.

The par­tic­i­pants, who will be aim­ing to use the games to de­velop them­selves, come from the prov­ince’s 10 dis­tricts and one metro. The par­tic­i­pat­ing dis­tricts are the hosts, eThek­wini Metro, Ama­juba, uMziny­athi, Zu­l­u­land, uMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo, Ilembe, uGu and Harry Gwala.

The young­sters will com­pete in 15 sports codes, in­clud­ing ath­let­ics, bas­ket­ball, net­ball, foot­ball, box­ing, rugby, chess, golf, swim­ming and indige­nous games.

In last year’s edi­tion, eThek­wini Metro reigned supreme af­ter they col­lected eight gold medals, three silver and five bronze. They were fol­lowed by then hosts King Cetshwayo Dis­trict with two gold medals, nine silver and one bronze.

uM­gun­gundlovu took third spot with one gold medal, four silver and three bronze. They will be look­ing to do bet­ter in their own back­yard.

The event is known for help­ing young­sters gain much-needed ex­po­sure to make it in their sport of choice as pro­fes­sion­als. Many prom­i­nent cur­rent and for­mer ath­letes are prod­ucts of the tour­na­ment, in­clud­ing de­fend­ing Com­rades Marathon cham­pion Bongu­musa Mthembu and SA net­ball team cap­tain Bongiwe Msomi.

MEC for Arts, Cul­ture, Sport and Recre­ation, Bongi Sit­hole-Moloi said: “The Salga KZN-DSR Games are an im­por­tant plat­form for mass par­tic­i­pa­tion of young peo­ple in sports, start­ing with the elim­i­na­tions at lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal level, to dis­trict games and ul­ti­mately the pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion where all 11 dis­tricts bring their best tal­ent to com­pete in dif­fer­ent sports codes. They re­main a solid foun­da­tion for tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and ex­po­sure. We wel­come all teams to uM­gun­gundlovu Dis­trict and we are con­fi­dent that a lot of tal­ent will be un­earthed dur­ing the tour­na­ment.”

The ath­let­ics com­pe­ti­tion will be staged at the new Pi­eter­mar­itzburg Msun­duzi Ath­let­ics Sta­dium and the cross coun­try as well as indige­nous games at Alexan­dra Park.

Bas­ket­ball, ten­nis and net­ball will take place at Ker­shaw Park, while box­ing is be­ing hosted at East­wood Hall.

Wood­burn Sta­dium will host rugby games for the tour­na­ment while swim­mers will bat­tle it out at Seals Swim­ming Pool in town. Sax Young, PMB Oval and Protea Sports Com­plex will all host cricket games, while chess fa­nat­ics can head to Truro Hall. The hall will also play host to the dance com­pe­ti­tion, while Caluza Hall is set to be a play­ground for de­vel­op­ing ta­ble ten­nis stars.

The open­ing cer­e­mony for the event is to­day at the ath­let­ics sta­dium at 2 pm.

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