Sport & Recreation

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Several Sport and Recreation facilities have been and continue to be constructed in the Free State to promote access to sport for communities in this Province. These facilities include the following:

Multipurpose Sport Courts

These facilities serve as a sport field upon which several sport codes can be played. The sport codes include soccer, netball, volleyball, indigenous games and so on.  The facilities have been built in 11 towns of the Free State: Heilbron; Van Stadensrus; Luckhoff; Virgninia; Diyatalawa; Makgolokweng; Vredefort; PetrusSteyn; Tweeling; Kgalala and Steynsrus. More facilities will be built in other towns of the Province in the next financial years.

Community Gyms

Community Gyms have been built and established in the following towns: Wepener; Heilbron; Warden; Virginia and Odendaalsrus. More Gyms are earmarked for the other towns of the Free State.

District Academies for Sport

District Academies of Sport work in tandem in the identification and development of local talent. These facilities are being built in all the municipal and local districts of the Province. The process started with the building of these facilities in the following districts: Thabo Mofutsanyana (QwaQwa); Fezile Dabi (Sasolburg) and Lejweleputswa (Welkom).

Free State Sport Science Institute (FSSSI)

The core business of the FSSSI is to:

  • Enhance athletes’ performance, and
  • Empower coaches with sport-specific skills, technical, as well as administrative knowledge.

The sport scientists work daily with athletes and coaches on different levels with the specific aim of achieving sporting excellence in the Free State. We work as a multi-disciplinary team to provide a holistic service that supports athletes and coaches Sin helping to improve the training, preparation and performance of our athletes.  See FSSSI –


The Sport and Recreation programme in the Department runs several programmes and events to enable Free State communities to actively take part in sport. The programmes and events include the following:

Sipho Mutsi Games

The Games are dedicated to the hero of the liberation struggle from Kutlwanong/Odendaalsrus who was brutally killed at a tender age by the security forces during the height of the liberation struggle. The Games are a multi-coded sport tournament involving schools in the Province. This is one of the programmes that forms part of the School Sport programme in the Department. The Games are an annual event with the finals held in Kutlwanong/Odendaalsrus.

The Games were launched in 2010 as the Department deemed it fit that it fit that an 18 year old activist and leader of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), Sipho Mutsi, who died in police custody during interrogation at the Odendaalsrus prison, should be honoured by the Free State through sport. The inaugural Games were played in Odendaalsrus in 2010. The Games are now growing into the biggest sport event in the Province played from Sipho Mutsi Town School Leagues to the provincial level. The codes involved in the Games are Netball; Football and Volleyball. Provincial and National coaches and scouters are invited to come and identify talented players and future stars for possible selection for different clubs at national level.

Golden Games

The Games involve senior citizens in the Province who are engaged in various sport activities during the tournament. It is the mission of the Department to promote healthy living amongst all citizens of the Free State, young and old. In engaging in the Golden Games for the elderly the Department strives to promote the realization of the government priorities on healthy lifestyles.

People with Disabilities Games:

The Games provide disabled athletes with the opportunities to participate in sport as rightful citizens of the Free State and South Africa. The Department strives to provide facilities and equipment, provide coaches and mentors with the necessary skills to facilitate the successful implementation of the sport programme for people with disabilities.

Indigenous Games

Indigenous Games provides a window for the expression and showcasing of African values and talent.Participation in Indigenous Games emphasizes physical development, skill training and maintenance, reinforcement of the community’s values and interaction between communities. The Games include the following codes: Iintonga, Morabaraba, Jukskei, Dibeke, Ncuva, Khokho, Diketo, Kgati and DrieStokkies. The games were neglected in historical and anthropological accounts of the indigenous people of South Africa. The rebirth of Indigenous Games in 2005 was launched in the Free State at Basotho Cultural Village.

Although there is cultural diversity in Africa, African people do share some general common values and have faced some similar struggles in life. Despite the fact that global influences have had a marked effect on the identity of African culture efforts are continuously being made to guard against the erosion and adaptation of African heritage as exhibited by Indigenous Games.Participation in Indigenous Games emphasizes physical development, skill training and maintenance, reinforcement of the community’s values and interaction between communities.

The challenge is to trace and bring this rich indigenous heritage to life for everybody to share and actively join in these games. The games were neglected in historical and anthropological accounts of the indigenous people of South Africa. The rebirth of Indigenous Games in 2005 was launched in the Free State at Basotho Cultural Village by the then Minister of Sport, Mr. Ngconde Balfour. Through the Indigenous Games programme the Department strives to achieve the following:

  • Popularize the games.
  • Promote active and healthy lifestyles
  • Discourage unwanted social behavior by keeping the youth engaged in the games.
  • Campaign for the recognition of the games as part of international festivals and sporting events.

Provincial Boxing League

The Free State province is the only province in the country that runs a Boxing League and ranks number three (3) in boxing. As part of realising its objective of promoting all sporting codes the Department launched Boxing as one of the sporting codes. The Free State Boxing League was launched as part of an effort to revive, promote and elevate boxing in the various communities in the province. The launch of the Free State Boxing League in the province is based on the rich history of the sport in the province. This programme aims to provide amateur boxers with a platform to hone and showcase their skills whilst also providing a conducive environment for them to join the professional ranks.

The Department, through this initiative, has embarked on a programme of organizing a provincial amateur boxing league that will be tasked with providing the necessary capacity to empower athletes, administrators and technical officials to maintain the highest ethics and standards of professionalism in the sport of boxing throughout the province.

The Free State Boxing Championship is being implemented in all the five districts of the province and affords all boxing clubs and stables the opportunity to participate. Participation from each club/stable ranges from the elite men and women, youth and junior boxers. Currently there are 26 stables throughout the province. All stables take part in this league which takes place every second week in different districts. Boxers participate on the following weights:

  • Firstly, elite men and youth boxers aged 17 to 34 will take part in ten weights ranging from 46 to 91 Kilograms;
  • Secondly, elite women and youth boxers aged 17 to 34 in three weights ranging from 48 to 75 kilograms;
  • Thirdly, juniors aged 15 to 16 in ten weights ranging from 46 to 80 Kilograms;

During the implementation of the league boxers engage each other in a round robin system. The boxer with high points proceeds to the provincial finals during the competitions. The winners receive medals, trophies and prize money. During the finals, Free State team is selected and taken through the Free State Boxing High Performance Centre to receive scientific support and training. To ensure that this programme becomes fully effective the Department continuously awards boxing equipment and attire to all stables.

Motlalepule Ntsala Games

This football tournament is held to pay homage to the life of a young, talented and aspirant soccer player who was a learner at the Boitumelo Secondary School in Meqheleng, Ficksburg. Motlalepula Ntsala passed away during the hosting of the 32 Schools Mini Soccer World Cup in 2010. The Schools Mini World Cup was held as part of the department’s build up towards the 2010 Soccer World Cup hosted in South Africa and to invoke a sense of enthusiasm amongst young and aspirant soccer players ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

The incident that involved Motlalepula and another player was unexpected and tragic. It is within this context that the Department initiated the Motlalepula Ntsala Football Tournament keep his memory alive and to present other young soccer players with the opportunity hone the skills and showcase their talent in honour of Motlalepula’s life. A total of 15 secondary schools from 4 towns that constitute the Setsoto Local Municipality take part in the tournament. The tournament will take place over a period of 5 weeks culminating in the finals being held in June at Ficksburg Stadium. The following Awards are awarded to winning teams after the tournament: Medals (Gold, Silver and Medal); Floating Trophy; Player of the Tournament Trophy; Goalkeeper of the Tournament Trophy:

Dr. Irvin Khoza Games

The Dr. Irvin Khoza Games are staged in honour of the Chairperson of the Professional Soccer League, Dr. Irvin Khoza, for his meaningful contributions that Dr. Khoza has made towards the development of soccer and sports in general. When our country was selected to host the 2010 world cup in 2006 we were aware of the enormity of the challenges that we faced as the hosts of the first ever Soccer World Cup on African soil. Questions were posed as to whether we could be in a position to stage an event of that magnitude. The commitment and dedication of people such as Dr. Khoza, Mr .Danny Jordaan and others proved all those that had a doubt to be wrong because we host one of the best ever FIFA World Cup tournaments ever.

In his illustrious career as an administrator in football, Dr. Khoza and his colleagues have contributed towards bringing an international level of professionalism to soccer in our country. We are proud that our Professional Soccer League and other divisions are considered to be on par with other world class soccer leagues in the world. The tournament is staged under the School Sport Mass Participation Programme and will provide an opportunity to identify talented soccer players at school level and therefore develop and promote competitive school sport programmes in the province.

During the 2011 edition the tournament involved 10 schools from across the province namely Louis Botha, Seemahale, Lere-la-Thuto, Concordia, Diamandhoogte, Dr. Cingo, Harmony, Motake, Ntsu and Iketsetseng. The participating schools in the semi-finals and finals of the Dr. Irvin Khoza Schools League Tournament are: Dr. Cingo Secondary School (Kroonstad), Harmony High School (Virginia), Loius Botha High School (Bloemfontein) and Concordia Secondary (Theunissen). Prizes for the tournament are sport equipment divided as follows: 1st Prize – R 100 000.00, 2nd Prize – R 60 000.00 and 3rd Prize – R40 000.00.

Sanlam-Kay Motsepe Games

Mr. Patrice Motsepe has been one of the influential individuals who have played a critical role in shaping the socio-economic transformation of our society. Following the vision of Motsepe Foundation, Sanlam and other sponsors in realizing the importance of promoting sports in schools the Sanlam-Kay Motsepe Games were launched.