Happy Fighters Win the 4th Annual Noel Pataka Tournament

The Kurhuleni Happy Fighters F.C have beaten Phaphazela Real Hexagon F.C in the fourth Annual Noel Pataka Tournament, held at Kurhuleni Village’s Happy Fighters F.C sports ground under Collins Chabane Local Municipality recently.

According to the tournament organizer, Tiyani Pataka, who is also Noel’s son, the tournament is aimed at unearthing talent from villages and taking children away from the streets, where they face social ills such as crime and alcohol abuse.

Photo of headman and living legend Noel Pataka holding a winners trophy

“The purpose of this tournament is to motivate young people in the villages to participate in sports, in particular soccer, as many top players in the Premier Soccer League come from villages and are products of village tournaments. It is also to take them away from the streets. I started this tournament in 2019; unfortunately, in 2020, we couldn’t play due to Covid-19 pandemic,” said Pataka.

“I started this tournament so that I can preserve the legacy of my father, and I hope that my son will take over, even when I’m no longer alive, until the next generation,” he continued.

“The tournament also brought social cohesion, with soccer teams from Vuwani, Malamulele, and Hlanganani participating in this tournament. Before the formation of the Collins Chabane Municipality, some people fueled tribalism between the Vatsonga speaking people and Tshivenda speaking people. I’m glad that this tournament brought all the tribes together,” added Pataka.

Photo of Tiyani Pataka (Middle) with Phaphazela Hexogon F.C players having a second prize cheaque Tshifiwa Mbooi (right) , and Pfano (left)

Kurhuleni Happy Fighters F.C won the trophy, soccer medals, soccer kit, and a whopping R12,000 as the prize money, while Phaphazela Real Hexagon won R8,000 for their position. The tournament comprised of eight teams from all over Collins Chabane, including SM United Brothers F.C, Muziafera Blue Eagles F.C, Kurhuleni Happy Fighters F.C, Phadziri F.C, Tshivhazwaulu Peace Makers F.C, Phaphazela Real Hexagon F.C, Vyeboom F.C, and Mission Young Rovers F.C.

Photo of Tournament organizer Tiyani Pataka holding winners cheaque of R12 000 flanked by his kids and children from community.

Nkateko Chauke, a community member who graced the tournament, said, “As young people, we thank Mr. Tiyani Pataka for organizing this tournament and hope that it will motivate us as young people and take us away from the streets. We also hope that, in the future, he will organize a netball tournament so that young girls can participate too.”

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