By Ntokozo Magongo
Sport can transform the lives of many people as it bolsters physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being and development.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) adds that sport plays a significant role in cultures and communities around the world. True to this and wanting to make a positive impact on the lives of community members of Sigwe, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Pholile Shakantu through the Eswatini Network of Women has thrown support to the Sigwe netball tournament which concludes on Saturday with finals set to take place at the Decapol Sports Ground.
The day will see two finals, with Buffalo facing Lompala and Celtics up against JB Ladies. The teams will be battling it out for a E100 000 prize money and trophy.
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The finalists were presented with their kits on Monday morning at Ramblas Restaurant. During the presentation, which was also attended by Sigwe Inkhundla Member of Parliament David ‘Çruiser’ Ngcamphalala, it was announced that more than 5000 people were expected to attend the event.
Minister Shakantu said the tournament is set to empower women under the Sigwe Inkhundla and they hope to take it to other constituencies. She said usually it is men’s soccer that receives huge sponsors and women were left behind.
Globally, men’s tournaments turn to pull larger prize monies and sponsorships compared to women’s competitions of similar stature. Even national teams have disparities when it comes to compensation for representing their respective counties at different tournaments.
????????Honorable Minister Pholile Shakantu (Patron of Eswatini Network of Women, during the Sigwe Netball Tournament Kit Presentation)— Eswatini Network Of Women (@WomenEswatini) May 17, 2023
Join us and be part of the community which is bringing support, hope and empowerment to all women ????????#thankyouministerpholile#eswatininetwomencares pic.twitter.com/KyOkoWzPiX
“The sponsorships started with E30 000 and after seeing its success and the commitment shown by the women playing, it has increased to E100 000. All the participating teams received kits and balls to play. It is a tournament that is set to change the way people look at netball. The women must thank their MP David Ngcamphalala for his commitment as he was the one behind making sure that the tournament grows and it is a success,” she said.
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Minister of Tinkhundla Administration and Development David Cruiser Ngcamphalala said the tournament is aimed at empowering young women and so far, it has succeeded.
“There are about 300 women taking part in the tournament. This is an unusual sponsor as it was directed to a rural area while usually, it is the urban areas that benefit from such sponsors. This is part of government focus to decentralised resources,” he said.
The tournament Public Relations Officer (PRO) Comfort Shongwe invited the nation to come and support this good initiative.