To encourage youth participation in sport, while honouring their fallen political stalwart and freedom fighter Malcomes Mgabela, Dodgers Rugby Football Club from Zikhova Location in Tsholomnqa will be hosting the 2017 Annual Heritage Tournament in memory of the late Mgabela at Zikhova Location grounds from September 23-25.
The heritage tournament is supported by the Chalumna Rugby Union (Charu) and Border Rugby Union (BRU), with both unions part of the local organising committee.
Teams under BRU will participate in the heritage weekend spectacle.
Secretary of Dodgers Rugby Football Club Mlungiseleli Qondani said they were “ecstatic” to host the tournament which honoured former Robben Island prisoner and unionist Mgabela who died after being assassinated (multiple gunshots) in 1965. “It is our wish to even build a rugby football stadium named after our hero Mgabela,” said Qondani.
This rugby tournament will be the first-ever heritage tournament being staged at Tsholomnqa as no other club under Charu has done this before. “We are confident that the tournament will be of a high standard as all our sponsors have requested,” said Qondani.
“We will appreciate everyone who will be in attendance as the participating teams will need full support from the community members, especially those from where comrade Mgabela was born.
“Supporters, family members and civil organisations are all welcome.”
Qondani added that they were expecting to host 45 clubs which will be competing in two sporting codes, rugby and netball. He claimed more codes will be added in coming years, as they plan to now host the event every year going forward.
“We could not consider other sporting codes now since it is our first tournament,” said Qondani.
“From the committee it seemed insignificant for them to include soccer as that would have excluded female participation.
“However we are willing to improve in the next tournament and include other sporting codes.”
The tournament will comprise of two sections, to accommodate all teams under Border Rugby Union.
These teams will be grouped according to their divisions and standards of league that they participate in. Teams playing in the union’s Sunday League and the First Division league will compete against each other in the Sunday League section.
While teams playing in the union’s premier and super leagues, will compete in the other section which will be known as the premier league section. In netball there will be no sections as all participating teams will compete under one section.
More than R214000, Qondani said, has been set aside for the prizes which will include cash, playing kits, medals and floating trophies.
For more information about the tournament Qondani could be reached on 078-647-8140.