Games & Sports

South Sudan is popular for many traditional and modern games and sports. Among these wrestling and mock battles were the most popular. These sports were mainly played after the harvest seasons to celebrate the harvests and wind up the farming seasons. The wrestlers were generally strong young men who were well trained. During the matches, they smear themselves with ochre - perhaps to enhance the grip or just to heighten their mysterious perception. The matches attracted large numbers of spectators who sang, played drums and danced in support of their favorite wrestlers. Though there were perceived as competition, they were basically for entertainment. At the end of it all, people feasted and generally made merry.


A wrestling match in South Sudan


Apart from these, South Sudanese have excelled in other sports as well; even beyond the borders. For instance, Luol Deng is basket-ball star with Chicago Bulls in the USA. Other leading international basket-ball players from South Sudan include Manute Bol, Ajou Deng, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai and Ater Majok, among others.


A tug of war


Soccer is also picking up in country and there are many initiatives by the Government of South Sudan and other partners to improve the sport. One of these initiatives is South Sudan Youth Sports Association (SSYSA). SSYSA is already holding football clinics in Konyokonyo and Muniki areas of Juba in which young boys and coached to become good footballers. It is envisaged that super-players will emerge from these dusty make-shift football fields both the short and long term. In recognition to these efforts with youth football, the country recently hosted CECAFA Youth soccer competitions. Barely a month earlier, it had also hosted the larger East African Schools Sports tournaments.

This article was updated on Jul 12, 2011

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This article was updated on Aug 19, 2011