Sports for Steve Biko

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Eastern Cape sports people displayed their skills when commemorating Steve Bantu Biko's death in King William's Town at the weekend.

The seventh Steve Biko memorial tournament was held at the Victoria Grounds - the same venue where the black consciousness leader's funeral was held 30 years ago. The

Steve Biko Foundation sports development programme officer, Mandisi Aplom, said this year's edition was unique.

"The tournament was bigger than all the previous tournaments because it was in line with the Biko 30:30 events. We also had a team that travelled all the way from Cape Town to participate in this tournament," said Aplom.

The event coincided with a commemorative 30km run from the Old Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth - where Biko was interrogated before his death on September 12, 1977.

The run was the Steve Biko Foundation-endorsed commemorative events project of the Steve Biko 30th Anniversary and Legacy Committee.

The race was organised by Athletics South Africa. Another celebratory 30km run also took place in Pretoria on September 16. Actor Vusi Kunene portrayed Biko in both events.

The committee organises the events in association with Sowetan and the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

The tournament, in which hundreds of sports people participated, included various sporting codes such as soccer, rugby, cricket, golf for juniors, 15 boxing amateur bouts and four professional bouts, as well as three women's bouts and eight netball school teams. There was also a 15km walk, a 15km cycling race and a 15km marathon. It all started with a cricket tournament in which 10 schools participated.

Aplom said: "The tournament kicked off on August 18. We chose that date specifically because it was the same day, 30 years previously, when Biko was arrested together with Peter Jones in Grahamstown," Aplom said. -Additional reporting by Victor Mecoamere