The game of volleyball was revived at the recent Mkhondo Club Development Games held at Thokozani Playing Courts on Sunday 16 September 2018 at Thandukukhanya Township, Mkhondo Local Municipality. The least popular sport attracted a fair enough number of teams considering that this sport is not being taken care of in this area. There was a promising show up of six teams for the first time in the history of the four year old tournament.
The gods of volleyball descended in Mkhondo through a young passionate man Mr Nkosinathi Mhlongo from Phola Park, eMkhondo. The young man approached the Mkhondo Municipality sports office in early August for assistance in promoting volleyball. He was directed to Mr Ntokozo Simelane the chairperson of Mkhondo Sport Council who advised him to invite interested teams so they could be included at this year’s Mkhondo Club Development Games. The result was a six team tournament made up of schools and community teams. The school teams were made up of Inqubeko Secondary, Ubuhlebuzile Secondary, Ndawonye Primary and Harmony Park Combined while the community teams were Smashers Ladies VC and Smashers VC boys.
The teams enjoyed playing against each other for the first time and left the courts still wanting to play more games. The games success put hope in the hearts of volleyball fanatics, clubs and the players. The teams decided to form an interim committee that will look into matters of Volleyball in Mkhondo. They will meet in the coming weeks to elect representatives of the sport. The committee will first have to select a squad of players to represent Mkhondo at the Gert Sibande Volleyball League. Another task is organising a volleyball tournament in partnership with the Mkhondo Sports Council. The tournament will include all clubs based in Mkhondo Local Municipality’s area of jurisdiction. The sport governing body led by Mr Ntokozo Simelane has committed itself in providing the prizes for the tournament. “We received gifts in 2015 when the MEC for Sports in Mpumalanga Mrs Norah Mabena visited Mkhondo to commemorate Human Rights Day. She donated sports equipment to the local sports council. We got a brand new kit, volleyball nets and match balls which we did not know who to give until recently. The arrival of Nkosinathi made it possible for us to pass on the equipment,” he said.
The winners of the upcoming tournament will win the kit and receive the match balls. The growth of the sport is now dependent on the local teams and other new teams that will be formed in Mkhondo. Volleyball clubs, players and interested individuals can contact Mr Nkosinathi Mhlongo at 082 544 1882 or the Mkhondo Sports Council at 082 417 4055 to discuss matters of Volleyball in the area of Mkhondo Local Municipality. The game is also boosted by the renovation of the playing court in Thokozani section of Thandukukhanya Township to serve as a training and natch venue for the clubs.