THE 40th ILenge Annual Tournament was held in Msinga near Greytown recently. The Ilenge Football Association celebrated four decades of success last month by hosting a series of sporting activities in Msinga as part of their annual tournament. The tournament had a prize pool of R50 000.Over 2 000 young people, their parents, grandparents and community members came through to the tournament that took place over five days. The association’s spokesperson, Bongumusa Mkhize, said: “The 2019 tournament reminded us of our elders that brought about the ILenge Annual Tournament as a means of uniting the people; to celebrate community life without any conflicts and as a way to remind the community that when we are united upon a single vision, not even conflicts will stop us. “[In this area], sport is seen as a resource to develop wholesome community life.”Mkhize said the tournament has proven the value of sport and recreation as a social connector.The 2019 tournament saw 16 football teams compete as well as 12 netball teams in the open division and four U15 netball teams. More than 90 games for football and netball were supervised by some very talented young men and women. Mighty Birds FC became the football champions for 2019 and walked away with prize money totalling R23 000, a trophy, gold medals, and jerseys. Ferry United, from Tugela Ferry, was awarded second place and they took home R12 000, silver medals and jerseys. In third place came the Young Chiefs from Mhlumayo, who walked away with R2 000, bronze medals and jerseys. Carnnubus FC from Tugela Ferry was placed fourth and received a prize of R1 000 and jerseys. In the netball, Girl Lovers from KwaHlathi secured first place in the open division. The winning team received R4 000, a trophy, gold medals and jerseys. Happy Hearts NC from KwaHlathi was placed second and they received R2 000, silver medals and jerseys. Dream Chasers from KwaHlathi came in the third place and received R1 000 and bronze medals. Wrapping up the prize winners, Young Chiefs NC from Mhlumayo took fourth, receiving jerseys. Taking the honours in the U15 netball event was Junior Vultures NC. The team received R1 000, gold medals and jerseys.In second place was the Junior Ilenge United Girls. The team received R500 and jerseys. Mkhize thanked the following sponsors and partners: KZN Sports Confederation, Bahle Zondo Foundation, Msinga Municipality, National Lotteries Commission, Department of Community Safety and Liaison, Ukhozi FM, Department of Health, Department of Sport and Recreation, Nhlanhleni SAPS, Majuba TVET College, Aquelle, Orange Grove, Radio Khwezi FM, Mzinyathi District-Water Services, and Soweto TV.