ILENGE Football Association will host their annual Spectacular Tournament from December 25 to December 29. More than 40 soccer, netball and chess teams are expected to participate in the tournament, which is being held to promote social cohesion in the community through sporting activities. The executive chairperson of the association, Bongumusa Mkhize, said: “Among other things that the club aims to achieve is to create a good atmosphere in the community, fight against gender injustices, protect cultural rights, promote unity and tolerance among political parties, and promote human dignity, socio-economic growth and human rights. “We want to build a community that is tolerant and a nation that is united,” Mkhize said. The association also aims to use sport to strengthen resilience, especially among young people who typically face barriers to social integration for finance. It also aims to reduce incidences of violence in Msinga communities by implementing sports-based development programmes for young people.Mkhize said the association believes that there is great potential in young people in communities that have been affected by crime, violence and social exclusion.“The association intends to foster peace and collaboration through the engagement of various sporting codes in a tournament that will bring together the community and encourage unity. “We want to teach, train and to capacitate [people] in various life skills and community development, raising the standard of living to many who are impoverished,” Mkhize said. On December 8, the association launched all soccer programmes that will be featured at the tournament at Msinga. “These games take place annually, and we have been hosting these games for many years. “Every year, residents come out in their numbers to be part of this spectacular tournament that has attracted scores of people from surrounding areas. Residents want to ensure that these games continue and flourish throughout the communities within the precinct of Msinga. “Since the inception of these games, we have managed to bring peace and stability in Msinga.“At the launch, soccer, chess and netball players were ecstatic to be part of the upcoming event. There are 16 soccer teams and 16 teams for netball. There will be two categories — Open and U15. “In addition to this, twelve chess players will be competing at the tournament. “This year the association is celebrating 40 years since it was established in 1979 under the oath to promote peace and stability in the community,” Mkhize said. The winning soccer team will walk away with a prize of R23 000, a trophy, gold medals, and soccer kits. The runner-up will receive R12 000, silver medals and soccer kits.The third prize is R2 000, medals and soccer kits while the prize for fourth place is R1 000, medals and soccer kits. In the netball (Open) event, the winning team will walk away with R4 000, a trophy, gold medals, and netball kits. The runner-up will receive R2 000, silver medals and netball kits. The third-placed team will receive R1 000, medals and netball kits and the fourth-placed team will receive netball kits. In the U15 netball event, the winning team will receive R1 000, a trophy, gold medals. and netball kits. The runner-up will receive R500, silver medals and netball kits. The champions of the chess event will receive R300, a trophy and a certificate while the runner-up will receive R200 and a certificate. The third-placed contestant will receive R100 and a certificate. Mkhize added: “Sponsors of the tournament include: Friends of Ilenge Football Association, Bahle Zondo Foundation, National Lotteries Commission, KZN Sport and Recreation, Msinga Local Municipality, KZN Department of Health, KZN Community Safety and Liaison, KZN Sports Confederation, Orange Grove, and aQuellé.” A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TOURNAMENT The tournament was established in 1977 by the youth from the Ilenge area. The first event featured three teams, from KwaNomuja (Entantshananeni), Esambaneni and kwaMkhono. In 1979, the youth of KwaNomuja and Esambaneni formed an informal team, called Amajuba-Adlukhethe FC, which eventually became a formal team called Jobskop Heroes FC. In 1980, many teams were formed. This included the Winter Roses from Debedebeni, led by Mbongeni “Sikhasa” Zondi and Themba Khanyile; the Ilenge Vultures, led by Mbongeleni Ndebele and Sika Ndlovu; the All Stars, led by Maxhaphozi “B” Sithole and the late Mduduzwa Mweli; and Mhlumayo United, led by Thulebona Zwane and Makhathini Madondo. In the 1980s, other soccer teams were formed, such as Sun Rise led by Phikinkani “Mashayandawonye” Hlatshwayo. The Douglas Buffalos were formed in 1982, led by the late Siphiwe Mkhize, Duma Mkhize and Gilandi Buthelezi. In 1984, Invitation Eleven FC was formed, led by Nqanyane Ntini, Zenzinkosi “Disco”Ntini and Mehlo Ntini.In 1987, Computer United was formed. It was led by Babo Sithole, Nqulunga Sithole, Shokwakhe Dlamini, Mbongeni Mhlongo, and Mdabuli “Sikibha” Sithole..