By AMOGELANG RAMELA and PRECIOUS RAJANE
THE department of Sports, Arts and Culture in North West wrapped the Oliver Reginald Tambo Month is style with the launch of the inaugural OR Tambo Soccer Challenge.
The tournament which will see the Absa Premiership clubs, Bloemfontein Celtic taking on Orlando Pirates with Mamelodi Sundowns entertaining Platinum Stars will take place on November 13 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture, Hlomane Chauke said this initiate is in line with the honour of the great man in OR Tambo’s calibre.
“It is through initiates like this where the lives of great men such as OR Tambo can be celebrated while at the same time reminding ourselves the effort put by this icon who gave up his life to liberate our country,” Said Chauke.
Chauke added: “Not only will the tournament bring the North West’ crazy sporting fans together, but it will also give us as the government a platform to highlight to the youth about the life and commitment which this patriotic leader (Tambo) who gave his life to liberate the country.”
Chauke confirmed that they are intending to open a Trust Fund which will see all the proceedings from this tournament channeled into its account while some of the money will be transferred to the newly launched OR and Adelaide Tambo’s Trust Fund which was launched on October 24.
“We are currently talking to the stake holders of the OR and Adelaide Tambo Trust with the hope of reching an aggreement that we contribute to that trust as we felt that it was necessary for us to be part of it. This tournament will afford us that platform to do so,” explained Chauke who said they are aiming to grow this event by involving other cultural activities and musician which will see the province come together as one.
Team representatives who were present at the launch urged supporters of all 16 teams in the Premier Soccer League to come in great numbers to support the tournament in the name of football and entertainment.
“This is a great initiative to honor the great man OR Tambos, it’s an ideal way to celebrate his legacy through soccer. We would like fans to come, regardless of which team they support, whether their clubs are part of the tournament or not,” said Alex Shakoane, the Sundowns communications director.
The hosts, Platinum Stars were honored to be hosting such a tournament with the hope that it will be a great annual event and more clubs will be involved.
“It is a great privilege to be part of the event, we will put all our efforts to winning the tournament as the hosts, we were the first to sign the contract and we hope more teams will follow and get involved.” said Stars’ general manager, Jason Raine.
The tickets are for the tournament are available at R60 for Adults and R20 for children.