On 21 and 22 May 2022, soccer and netball teams, as well as sports fans, came together at Kempville Stadium, eMkhondo (Piet Retief) for the inaugural PG Bison Piet Retief Knockout Cup.
The winning soccer team was Total Football United from Phola Park, taking home a trophy and R15 000 in prize money, while the second-place team, Kunene FC from Ngema Tribal Trust, received R10 000, and in third place, India Kilo FC from Emaphepheni, won R5 000.
The netball tournament winners were Ndlela Secondary School from Thandukukhanya, taking home a trophy, and a prize of R15 000 cash. The second place was Ubuhlebuzile Secondary School, which received a R10 000 cash prize, and the third place was Mlilo Comprehensive School which received R5 000.
PG Bison is one of the largest employers in the area and has been steadily investing into its eMkhondo facilities since 2015. Recent investments include a R560 million project to expand its particleboard production capacity. The Piet Retief Knockout Cup is one of PG Bison community development initiatives that is underway. The idea is based on a similar and popular annual tournament at PG Bison’s Ugie facility in the Eastern Cape that has been running for 15 years.
The event consists of two days of soccer and netball events with teams competing from eMkhondo and surrounding communities.
The local municipality’s Social Services Manager, Ntokozo Simelane, expressed his gratitude and said that it is the first time there has been a big soccer and netball tournaments event in the community. “We are pleased that PG Bison chose sports, because such events give hope to the community and that these sporting activities keep them busy and teaches them the value of team sports.”
Local Football Associations Deputy Chairperson, Jonny Nkosi, says, “As the football association we are grateful for the tournaments and a great turnout. Since these games will be held annually, we call upon all other soccer and netball teams to register with the association in order to be recognised for future games. We appreciate what PG Bison did for our community.”
PG Bison ensured it was a fun-filled event for both players and spectators, providing meals for children and community members, as well as providing soccer and netball kits for all the participants.
Sibusiso Dlamini, PG Bison Executive: Human Capital & Stakeholder Relations, said, “Community is much more than belonging to something, it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.”