Wrestlers face each other during semi-finals at Juba stadium yesterday (Photo by Manyuon Mayen Manyuon):
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
Jonglei State will face Terekeka state in the finals of the interstate wrestling for peace competition in Juba on Saturday.
Jonglei qualified for the finals after beating Eastern Lakes State three points to two yesterday.
Terekeka State wrestlers had already qualified for the finals of the competition after securing one win and draw respectively during the qualifying stage.
Speaking to reporters at Juba National Stadium yesterday after the match, Wrestling Coordinator Mr. Lual Deng Akoi stated that the finals on Saturday will be crowned the champions of the competition.
“We the committee of wrestling would like to ask all the fans and wrestlers to be peaceful and respectful in the finals as per our theme of this year,” he said.
The competition was organized under the theme “wrestling for peace and reconciliation.”
Akoi reiterated that the youth should adhere to the theme of the event to promote peace and unity.
“We want peace. What we are doing is peace and reconciliation invisibly. We want our youth to be together under the theme one youth and one nation. We want to support the government in the on-going dialogue,” he added.
Akoi said that the wrestling competition will be conducted after every three months in order to ensure peace and stability at border areas of the states.
He called on the youth who engage in cattle raiding to join in preaching peaceful coexistence among their communities through wrestling.
“It is better to live in peace as brothers rather than to go and raid cattle,” Mr. Akoi said. “So let us join our hands and work together as people of South Sudan,” he added.
Mr. Akoi stated that the wrestling committee will bring together other South Sudanese cultures and communities that do not wrestle to participate in some other events to build united youth across the region.
Jonglei wrestlers coach, Majok Jokrir said there was need for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to consider supporting wrestling as a national priority.
“We know that wrestling is under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports but we don’t have any support. So this is why we are calling on the government to fund this program,” Jokrir stressed.
He stated that wrestling was modernized in other parts of the world as a means for revenue generation for governments.
“I also need my country to be in position of funding it so as to realize the importance and goodness of it to the developing countries,” Jokrir stressed.
According to Jokrir, his team was ready to compete with Terekeka State wrestlers in the final on Saturday.
Wrestling Director Ajak Ngong Oka well known as Ajak-Taban said that the attendance and discipline level shown during the event indicated that South Sudanese were working for peace.
“South Sudanese love themselves. This is the meaning of this program we are doing now,” he said.
According to the rule set by the organizing committee, twelve wrestlers from each state wrestle in a match to determine the winner.