National Indigenous Games close off Heritage month
Heritage month closed off with the National Indigenous Games simmering to a close in Durban’s Hoy Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The Indigenous Games Festival is an annual event hosted by the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture (DSAC) to highlight nine of the most popularly played indigenous games in South Africa. The 17th edition of the games were held from the 24-29 September 2023, in a week-long jostle for the gold.
Top athletes from each of the country’s provinces competed to represent their respective provinces in the various codes, namely: dibeke, kgati, drie stokkies, jukskei, upuca, morabaraba, iintonga, kho-kho and ncuva. Balance, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, and patience are some of the vital skills that are strengthened when participating in the indigenous sporting codes. These abilities are often learnt at a young age through indigenous games and are retained through play throughout adulthood.
The Indigenous Games Festival is part of the national department’s effort of promoting social cohesion and nation building through the revival of indigenous games, as well as encouraging an active lifestyle, particularly in youth.
Among the standout performances from the Eastern Cape team, drie stokkies champion, Dellarise ‘Kleintjie’ Christian set a new record of 10,67m, breaking the previous 10,55m record.