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Cape Town - Drie Stokkies contender Tasneem Claassen is a hop, skip and a jump away from participating in the 10th annual National Indigenous Games Festival for the first time.
Claassen is one of 85 players selected in July to represent the province in Pretoria from September 20-24.
Drie stokkies is one of nine indigenous games in which more than 1 000 participants from across the country will participate. The others are jukskei, morabaraba, diketo, dibeke, kgati, ncuva, lintonga and kho-kho.
The first Indigenous Games, aimed at promoting cultural diversity, were launched in September 2003 at the Basotho Cultural Village, Free State.
The festival aims to revive African heritage.
Claassen, a 24-year-old Lotus River sports coach, said she had played drie stokkies as a five-year-old near her grandmother’s flat.
“It’s the first time I will be participating in the games. I first heard about it in January when the department tried to get all the schools involved.
“I’m more excited than nervous because I was in the 2006 Western Province triple jump squad. I’ve got a lot counting in my favour. I’m 1.76 metres tall and I was a sporty child at school,” she said.
Claassen said that she had trained for drie stokkies at least 45 minutes every second day in preparation for the games.
“I’m lucky to be a coach and stay fit all the time. The members of my team live in different parts of the province so it’s hard for us to train together. I’m very fit, but when we train together it’s for 45 minutes to an hour of three sticks, running, cardio and stretches,” she said.
Claassen is one of six drie stokkies team members.
Alistair Jaer, who will take part in ncuva, said many games helped children with maths and problem-solving.
“Once I heard about the games at the beginning of the year, I wanted to get everyone involved, including my four children. When I first saw the (ncuva) game board I didn’t think I’d be able to play. The trick to winning is knowing your opponent’s moves.”
Jaer, 34, said that his team would be accompanied by managers, department officials and a technical team.
The nine indigenous game codes:
* Jukskei: a target game which originated in the Cape among Trekboere around 1734.
* Morabaraba: a two-player strategy board game played throughout Africa.
* Diketo: players grab as many stones as they can, throw them in the air and catch as many as possible in one hand. Variations are found among the Khoi San.
* Dibeke: a running ball game which involves a large team and defenders positioned in a semi-circle on the field.
* Drie stokkies: a running and jumping game played by two teams with five players each.
* Kgati: a rope jumping game of at least three players. Players can jump the rope in any order, but will be eliminated if the rope is entangled.
* Ncuva: a strategy board game requiring problem-solving skills.
* Iintongo: a two-player stickfighting game, one of the oldest traditions in Africa.
* Kho-kho: a running and catching game where a toss of a coin determines which team will do the running.