RAJA Xmas tournament celebrates 20 years

X- mas joy: Festive season tournaments are popular in villages
X- mas joy: Festive season tournaments are popular in villages

As the year comes to an end, various villages come to life with festive season social soccer tournaments.

One such competition is the RAJA tournament, which has been running for the last two decades.  RAJA is an acronym for Ramokgwebana and Jackalas 1 villages. The tournament spokesperson, Modesto Madzambi said RAJA will be celebrating its 20th anniversary over the festive season.

He said the tournament was established as a sports body, although not formally registered in 1997. “Our objective is to host an annual soccer tournament comprising social football clubs from the villages of Ramokgwebana and Jackalas 1.

The event was previously named RAMOJA, but changed its name in 2016 when Moroka village football teams set up their own tournament,” he said.

Madzambi, who is also involved in other sporting codes such as rugby and badminton, said the vision of the tournament is to be a registered sports development body. He said they intend to include other sporting codes once they register.

Madzambi said over the years, the tournament has produced some players who are currently in the Botswana Premier League (BPL) such as Lesego Lubinda, Gofamodimo Machola and Jerry Moanga. He said this year’s tournament is scheduled for December 24 with the final billed for December 31 in Ramokgwebana. He said 10 teams from the two villages will meet in the group stages, before the knockouts. “Inno Veb Events and Promotions Management came onboard as sponsors last year on a three-year deal. The sponsorship for this year is P40,000,” Madzambi said. He said the sponsor has established an entertainment schedule to run parallel with the tournament. He said the event is intended for family recreation at the sports ground and at Chitawa Lodge. Madzambi said small businesses are allowed to set up stalls during the tournamemt.

Madzambi said as part of the celebrations, they are going to host a vehicle spin challenge. He said it is the first time such an event is going to be held in the area.  Madzambi said they have also included netball in the line-up, which is meant for villagers who do not follow football.

He said the winners qualify for the Dzalobana tournament to be held in September next year. Madzambi said the Dzalobana attracts teams from Moroka, Mapoka, Zwenshambe and Kgari. 

The teams that will compete in the RAJA tournament are: Ramokgwebana United, Ramokgwebana Junior Chiefs, Ramokgwebana Top Stars, Ramokgwebana Wonderous, Real Movers, Ramokgwebana Tegwi, Ramokgwebana Central, Jackalas Home Defenders, Jackalas Warriors and Jackalas United.

Prize money: (1) P11,000, (2) P7,000, (3) P3,500, (4-10) P2,000.

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