The local football clubs were delighted when the local mayor rescued them by providing sponsorship towards the annual Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge tournament which played on 19 to 22 April 2019 at Thandukukhanya, Mkhondo. The rescue came after the Mkhondo Local Football Association failed to secure a sponsor for the games that have been playing at Thandukukhanya for more than five (5) years.
The association was relying on the affiliation fees for prizes before Mkhondo Local Municipality mayor the Hon Cllr. Vusi Motha dipped in his pocket to assist the association. The Hon. Cllr. Motha said he was delighted that the community would be kept busy during the holidays which is the reason he wanted to donate to keep the ball rolling. The cash prizes for the winners of the annual Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge 2019 got better. The organisers quickly went to buy trophies, match balls and medals for the winners of the two division competition.
"We did not even send a request to his office. He just called to say he wanted to assist us after seeing the low prize money in our fixtures on WhatsApp and that was it. He showed leadership right there,"
The 2019 Mkhondo Easter Diski Challenge was divided into two tournaments made up of Promotion League and open teams. They used the same rules as applied in the Mkhondo Promotion League for the tournament featuring only promotion league teams. The open challenge tournament had no restrictions, it was wafa-wafa. Both tournaments had twelve (12) teams each making a total of twenty four (24) teams that took to the field over the Easter weekend at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya. "We are grateful to the executive mayor for helping us at such a short notice. We did not even send a request to his office. He just called to say he wanted to assist us after seeing the low prize money in our fixtures on WhatsApp and that was it. He showed leadership right there," said Mr Ntokozo Simelane the secretary of Mkhondo LFA.
It was not the first time that Mayor Hon. Cllr. Motha donated to football. He was part of the sponsors of iNtokozo Under 19 Cup in December last year.
The former MMC for Community Services in the Gert Sibande District Municipality was also very instrumental in bringing Mbombela United FC and Witbank Spurs FC to play against Gert Sibande XI teams at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya in December 2015. The games went well for the tournament featuring promotion league clubs. Shining Stars FC were crowned champions for the first time after defeating Total Football United FC from Phola Park 2-0 in the final played at Mandla Magudulela Stadium on Easter Monday. “We managed to raise the prize money from R5000 to R7000, R3000 for the runners up and a match ball and R1000 each for Mara Mara FC and PR Barcelona FC who both lost in the semi-finals,” said Mr Simelane.
The open tournament was disturbed by the rain on Sunday afternoon during a quarter final match between Total Football United vs PR Barcelona. They could not continue the following day due to SAB League matches involving PR Barcelona and Flymingo United. The tournament will continue this Friday afternoon with the match between Total Football United vs PR Barcelona at 5pm tonight at Mandla Magudulela Stadium. The winner will join Dangerous Darkies, Flymingo United FC and Mkhondo Municipality in the semi-finals to be played on 01 May 2019 also at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya. The winners will pocket R10000, R3000 to runners-up and a R1000 each for the two semi-finalists.