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Shot in the arm for GUMBAKATOSE tourney

LINDIWE MOZOLA
The tournament draw was conducted in Mahalapye
PALAPYE: Popular rural football tournament, GUMBAKATOSE has received a P53,000 sponsorship from businessman, Thusani Dick. GUMBAKATOSE public relations officer, Jonah Bulawa said the annual tournament has seen rapid growth since inception in 1993.

GUMBAKATOSE is an acronym from the affiliating villages of Gungwe, Mbalambi, Kalakamati, Toteng and Sekakangwe, with 12 teams participating in the tournament over the festive season.

“In these villages, Christmas is never the same with this tournament. It has now become the household name in those villages and the villagers always look forward to it. It simply completes their festive holidays,” he said. 

This year’s tournament will be held in Mbalambi village beginning on Christmas eve with the final on December 29. The unveiling of the sponsorship at the Dipone Hotel in Mahalapye saw the tournament draw conducted.   Bulawa said the tournament is also an opportunity for talent scouting as some players lose opportunities due to their locations and lack of resources.

“When we started the tournament, our initial idea was to build relationship amongst our villages but over the years it has grown to become a scouting opportunity for clubs from our different leagues,” he said.

“Moreover, it exposes

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the otherwise disadvantaged players who lack recognition as they stay in rural areas.”

Bulawa said they are proud to have curved a path for some of the finest players in the country who have been scouted during the tournament.

 Some of those players include Zecco Makafiri who has been the star at Francistown City Greens, national team player, Onkabetse Makganthai, Tendai Kesekile of Sharps and Pelaelo Hlabano of Miscellaneous. Bulawa said the tournament also keeps the youth disciplined during the festive season, away from social ills.

The tournament winner will pocket P10,000, with the runner up walking away P7,000 richer.

The preliminary stage losers will each receive P2,500. The other prizes will include the best upcoming player, which is given to the best player below 15 years as a way of encouraging the young players and groom future stars. Defending champions, Ajax Sporting Club coach, Ian Fani said their wish is to take the crown once more.



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