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Netball claims number 2 spot as most played sport in the region

Netball has rightfully claimed the number two (2) spot as the 2nd most played sport in the Mkhondo Local Municipality area jurisdiction. This was evidenced at the Mkhondo Netball League championship finale held at Thokozani Sport Centre, Thandukukhanya on Saturday 9 October 2021.

The netball governing body Mkhondo Netball Association made history with the record number of teams and matches that played in their 2021 calendar year. Apart from the occasional tournaments during the year, a total of 25 teams participated in the first ever Mkhondo Netball League which began at kwaNgema Trust, Mkhondo in May this year. The perseverance by members of the Mkhondo Netball Association paid off in a manner they themselves did not see coming. The league was launched with 10 teams but interest from other teams quickly grew the number of teams to 25. This led the association restart the league and introduce streams. Teams were divided into three streams/groups (A, B&C). The league matches were played at different venues including Lindelani Playing Courts at Saul Mkhizeville; Emoyeni Stadium, Amsterdam; Nohhemu Sport Grounds, Ngema Trust and at Thokozani Sport Centre in Thandukukhanya.

Rockstars Netball Club won the Stream ‘A’ championship which was made of the strongest teams including three male teams playing exhibition matches in the same group as the ladies. The champions defeated Black Mountain NC in the battle for first place while the 3rs place position was occupied by Commondale NC finished at 3rd place. At Stream B Troublemakers from Iswepe were crowned champions with 3rd place going to Libhaba NC from Commondale. The stream (C) containing the future of Mkhondo netball was won by DP Young Stars NC from Ajax. The runners up Real Stars NC also came from Ajax. The 3rd place position was occupied by the Commondale B team.

“As long as you continue playing beautiful like this the municipality will support all your activities,”

Mkhondo Netball League action from the final games held on Saturday 9 October 2021 at Thokozani Sport Center, Thandukhanya. Some matches were played by both male and females to assist with male teams development.

The prize giving was held immediately after the final matches. The office of executive Mayor of Mkhondo Hon. Cllr. Vusi Motha supported the games by providing the prizes which included playing attire, match balls, training equipment, trophies and medals.

The three male teams (Mkhondo, Libhaba & Commondale) played a supporting role at Stream A but were not included in the prize ceremony since they are still at development stage according to the organisers.

The association through the Chairperson Mr Sibonelo Shiba said they hope to have more male teams when the league resumes again next year. “We want to build on the success of our 2021 season and improve where we lack especially the male teams. We want to spread the netball league to faraway places of Mkhondo. Our challenge will be transport costs but we hope that other stakeholders will join the municipality to sponsor the league,” he said.

Biggest Cup Competition in the Region grows bigger

The much loved soccer tournament of all age groups (U13, U15, U17 & U19)has made a huge return this year after the unfortunate one year break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The 8th edition of Vumbuka Trust Cup began on Saturday 02 October 2021 with participating clubs from Thandukukhanya Sub Local Football Association.

The biggest tournament in the Gert Sibande Region got bigger with the addition of all clubs affiliated to the Mkhondo Local Football Association. The 2021 edition include teams from outside of Thandukukhanya Sub LFA for the first time in the tournament 7 year history. It is for the first time this year that Vumbuka Trust Cup will include clubs from Amsterdam Sub LFA, Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Sub LFA and the newly established Simakade Sub LFA which recently separated from Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Sub LFA. It will still feature the usual six (6) divisions (U13, U15 Boys & Girls, U17 boys, Ladies and Men senior division teams).

The tournament is used by the Mkhondo Local Football Association to give away playing kits, match balls and other football equipment to their affiliated clubs.

The addition of the Sub LFAs effectively doubled the amount of sponsorship from R60000 in the 2019 edition to a whooping R120 000 for the current season. The extra cash was included to accomodate Vumbuka Trust Cup preliminary round of matches where each Sub LFA will play a knockout round with the winner qualifying for the main finals on 31 October 2021. Each Sub LFA has been allocated a budget of R10000 for prizes to be won after the preliminaries. The winner in each Sub LFA will join other winners in the semi finals stage of the tournament set for Saturday 30 October 2021. The 2021 edition of Vumbuka Trust Cup will be played without Saul Mkhizeville, Sinethemba and Siyethemba Sub LFAs. The three (3) Sub LFAs have not registered with the Mkhondo LFA for the new 2021/2022 season, as a result their clubs do not have the required playing cards to participate in the tournament.

Vumbuka Trust Cup under 15 round 2 match between First Touch FC vs Mara Mara FC. First Touch won 2-0 in an exciting round 2 match played at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya on Saturday 23 October 2021.

A meeting and draw for the ladies divisions is set for Monday 16 October 2021 at 5pm at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya with the kickoff date set for Saturday 23 October 2021. All ladies clubs based at the Mkhondo Local Municipality area jurisdiction are allowed to enter the competition. There are two divisions for women football i. e. Under 15 girls and senior ladies (open).

The overall winners of the tournament will receive a trophy, gold medals and cash prizes for winning the preliminary round. The main tournament champions will receive a trophy, new kit, match balls and cash on all six (6) divisions.

The runners up will receive silver medals, training equipment, match balls and cash. The tournament is used by the Mkhondo LFA to give away playing kits, match balls and other football equipment to their affiliated clubs. The games continue this weekend with the quarter finals in the Under 17 and Promotion League divisions. The under 13 & under 15 semi finals are set for 23 October 2021 followed by the preliminary finals on Sunday 24 October 2021. Amsterdam, Ngema-Dirkiesdorp and Simakade Sub LFAs will begin playing their preliminaries this weekend on 16&17 October 2021.