Martin Sass softball tourney settles in Alex

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Alexandra will be the permanent home of the yearly Martin Sass Memorial softball tournament, starting with this year's instalment.

The event is staged in remembrance of Martin "Bhula-Sangoma" Sass, who lived in Alex.

Sass, who died in 1994 after a long illness, was regarded as the father of local black softball.

He contributed immensely to the development of the ball game, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Devotees of the ball game are expected to flock to Alex when the tournament gets under way, considering that it was not staged last year because of floods and the xenophobia attacks.

Junior Ramovha, the man responsible for all the Martin Sass tournaments, yesterday confirmed the tournament will pitch off on April 25. The finals will be played two days later.

"The tournament has been a great success in terms of the standard of play and attendance since we launched it in Siyabuswa back in 1998. We are also anticipating enthralling matches and good turnout this year," said Ramovha yesterday.

"It has been staged in different provinces and we felt as the organisers, and the Sass family and the Martin Sass Foundation that it should now be staged in Alexandra permanently.

"We want to celebrate his life in his home town."

The tournament was also staged in Botswana in 2007 as a token of appreciation for that country's teams, especially Paper Club, who have been part of the tournament since its inception. Paper Club return this year, along with compatriots Bears, BDF, Wells, Vikings and the Police team.

The local teams are Lebowakgomo Wildbeasts, Mahwelereng Spikes, Seleteng Giant Killers, Tshwane University of Technology-Pretoria Campus, Atteridgeville Jets, Vaal University of Technology, Tsakane Marauders Tembisa Classic and Unicorns-Rovers.