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Champions crowned as Bhekilanga tourney wraps up

Running Stars FC came out victorious in the highly contested senior division final.

Running Star FC seniors, Amazion FC U21 and Siyaphambili netball club are the proud Bhekilanga Winter Games Tournament (BWGT) title holders.

The three clubs were crowned on June 24 at Ground D, Ext 6, Palm Ridge, Katlehong.

Mpho ‘Messi’ Maoke, Tokelo Mofokeng and Neo Gift’s goals helped Amazion FC claim the U21 division BWGT title after crushing Heroes FC 3 – 1.

They won a trophy, a cash prize of R10 000, kit and gold medals, and Heroes took the second prize of R5 000 cash, kit and silver medals.

Running Stars FC was victorious in the highly contested senior division final after winning 4 – 2 against Saint Ignatius College FC (SIC).

Ncebo Zulu scored the first goal for Running Stars FC, goalkeeper and team captain Sthembiso Mchunu scored from the penalty spot, and Ntokozo Shabangu extended the lead in the second half before Ayanda ‘Gwegwe’ Nyambose scored the last goal.

Running Stars FC won a trophy, a cash prize of R50 000, kit and gold medals, while SIC walked away with a R10 000 cash prize, kit and silver medals.

Amazion FC was crowned U21 champions of the Bhekilanga Winter Games Tournament.

The netball side of the tournament saw Siyaphambili NC crush One Heart NC 44 – 23.

Coach Philisiwe Xaba of Siyaphambili NC said they went into the tournament with a winning spirit.

“We knew we would win from the beginning. We gave all the teams a tough time. We are happy and proud. The team’s improvements were visible,” said Xaba.

She said they would redirect their energy to the league under the Ekurhuleni Netball Association.

Xaba said their centre and wing player, Akhona Ndlovu, was selected to represent Gauteng.

Tournament organisers Tshediso Sethole, Nomvula Thela, Bhekilanga Mnguni and Mawande Ngebeza.

Coach Visto Mbuyisa of Running Stars FC praised the organisers for a well-planned and coordinated tournament.
He said it was not easy for them because they faced difficult opponents but were happy to succeed.

“We are happy the boys are showing great improvement and commitment. We went there as a team, and we worked as a family, so we were able to win the tournament.”

He said they planned to invest their winnings in training equipment because they lacked many things needed by the players for training.

Coach Xolani ‘Disco’ Khoza of Amazayoni FC said he was glad they had something to show from this tournament, given that they were knocked out during the Prals tournament last month.

Goalkeeper of the tournament Sthembiso Mchunu (seniors).

“It was tough but better than the previous tournaments because we were building on our experience.
“We were happy, and it is a great achievement for us because we have been hopeful and giving our best. God responded.”

He said he encouraged the team to continue pushing and hoped to one day see one of his players in the Professional Soccer League.

Bhekilanga Wholesale and Palmridge Really Active Lifestyle hosted the BWGT.

Tournament sponsor Bhekilanga Mnguni said they celebrated 14 years of BWGT after taking a two years break between 2020 and 2022.

He said they had decided to include netball in the BWGT because most tournaments only sponsor men.

Siyaphambili NC was the netball champion of the Bhekilanga Winter Games Tournament.

“I want to thank our community and supporters. Without you, we are nothing. You have supported us from the beginning until we reached our 14th anniversary,” said Mnguni.

Special awards

The players of the tournament were Sphiwe ‘Bibo’ Nkosi U21, Ncebo Zulu seniors and Akhona Ndlovu netball.
The top goal scorers were Shaka Zulu Mazibuko and Ncebo Zulu seniors.

The goalkeepers of the tournament were Mnqobi ‘Majaivane’ Khumalo U21 and Sthembiso Mchunu seniors.

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