PMB gets set for Salga Games
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.