Chobe Enclave marked its 2014 Botswana Independence with a soccer and netball tournament sponsored for the first time by the African Bush Camps Foundation. This was the year of many firsts; the first time that all 8 soccer clubs and all 5 netball clubs from the region played in one tournament and the first time that the children from the 5 schools, one from each of the Chobe Enclave villages also participated in such an event.
The tournament was organised by the African Bush Camps Foundation community liaison officer for the Chobe Enclave, Wina Tabona, this being no small feat with him also being based on the Linyanti Bush Camp concession as general manager, more than 3 hours drive away. The day was made a success with the assistance of one of the local projects we support, twelve women of the Vuche Vuche Basket group arrived before 8am to set up, they served food and refreshments, looked after the local VIP’s and provided continual entertainment for the whole day until we finally wrapped up at 5pm, they seemed to have a store of never ending energy and they were fantastic hosts representing Mabele, their home village who were the chosen hosts of the tournament for 2014.
The tournament started on the 26th of September with the 8 soccer teams and 5 netball teams camping at Mabele Primary School for 4 days to compete in the play offs.
The day of the finals began with the national anthem and the neighbouring village Chief from Kavimba opening the tournament with the kicking of the first ball to start the semi-final match between Kachikau and Satau of which Satau were the victors and took third place.
The final was opened by the Chief from Mabele Village as the hosts, blessing the day for Botswana and the tournament. The final was a closely contended match with Mabele coming out Tournament Victors at 3 – 0, each goal celebrated with much fanfare by the local supporters.
The Netball final was already played on the 28th of September and the winners were the Desert Queens from Satau coming in first place, Chivwe from Kavimba in second place and Makanyane from Kachikau in third place. The prizes were handed out by the Kavimba chief, assisted by Mr Ndodana Masuku, the African Bush Camps Foundation Community Liaison officer from Hwange who has co-ordinated the Heroes Soccer Tournament in Dete for the past 4 years.
The soccer and netball prizes included new uniforms, netball and soccer shoes, nets, bibs and balls, all much needed equipment for the teams. The teams were also provided with meals in the preliminary play offs and each participant of the tournament received a T-shirt.
The school children from the 5 Chobe Enclave villages including Parakarungu, Satau, Kachikau, Kavimba and Mabele Primary Schools patiently waited for their turn in the prize giving, a moving distribution of goods so generously donated by US Law Firm Bennett Bigelow & Leedom who especially wanted the children to receive balls to play with, and each school received 17 soccer balls and 19 netballs, pumps, T-shirts, an amazing amount seeing that many of the schools with over 200 pupils did not have even 1 ball prior to this.
It is the vision of the African Bush Camps Foundation to bring people together, and sport being the favourite past time for most men, women and children provides an ideal platform for this. The adult’s teams inspire and mentor the primary school teams and in celebrating their achievements and successes together, instils a feeling of pride and identity in the community at large. It was without a doubt a resounding success and everyone is already talking about how to make the the tournament for 2015 bigger and better.
A huge thank you goes to Mabele Village for hosting the event and everyone who attended from all five communities for coming to support the event, Chobe Enclave Community Trust and all of the school teachers and community leaders who assisted with logistics and getting everyone there for the tournaments and organising the food, Joburg Online for sourcing and transporting all of the sporting equipment given out as prizes, the suppliers who threw in many extra’s, Tammy van der Heever for taking hundred’s upon hundreds of stunning photograph’s, a huge job in the searing heat, Mr Masuku for all of the assistance on the day, The Vuche Vuche Women’s group for all of their hard work, wonderful hosting and inspiring dancing on the day, all of the very generous sponsors of the day including Bennett Bigelow & Leedom and David Bennet for facilitated the donation and most of all to Wina Tabona, the champion of the whole event from start to finish who never gave up despite the many challenges faced.
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