On September 2, 2006 the Kruger National Park (KNP) held a funfilled sports day. Four staff teams competed against each other in touch rugby, volleyball, netball, cricket, tennis and soccer. The teams were Nkayeni, Marula, Nxanatseni (the three regions of the park) and Corporate. There were also additional soccer matches between Skukuza Masters Team and Ligwalagwala, Regional and TSB and also between Standard Bank and the KNP Management representative team.
The games were opened by William Mabasa, head of communications, where after Johan Oosthuizen, chairperson of the KNP sports council, welcomed everybody present. Gerald van der Walt of TSB, one of the event’s sponsors, addressed those attending, saying that TSB is proud to be associated with the KNP and that he hopes that the sports day will become an annual event. He said that everyone must enjoy the day and that he hoped that participating would contribute to the wellness of everyone taking part. TSB went further and issued each of the soccer teams with full soccer gear.
The netball teams were not left out as Heidel Eggs sponsored each of the teams with full netball kit. Kruger’s executive director, Dr Bandile Mkhize, expressed his gratitude to all the sponsors who made the day possible. He said that although people must work hard they must also play hard and that this was the place to do so. He added that a healthy mind also needs a healthy body. Dr Mkhize said that although there were a lot of people present he was a little disappointed that more did not participate.
Dr Mkhize said that people should take sport more seriously and that he would like to see more people from the KNP participate in sport outside the Park in the near future. He commented that sport is a unifier and that he would like to see the people of the KNP unite and support their teams. “We have all got an important role to play and may the best teams win,” he concluded. With these words of encouragement everybody went off to the different venues to participate in what developed into a very successful tournament.
The day was marked by keen sportsmanship and although several small injuries hampered the not-sofit contestants no serious injuries occurred. Ligwalagwala FM broadcasted live from the arena and entertained the crowd throughout the day. The organisers once again expressed their gratitude towards the sponsors, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, Coca Cola, TSB, Heidel Eggs and Spar.