November 3, 2010 (BOR) – Commissioner of Bor county in Jonglei state, Maker Lual Kuol, gave a heroes’ welcome to traditional wrestlers who returned from Juba on Wednesday after a landslide victory against Twic East county’s team.
- Bor county commissioner Maker Lual with the county’s successful wrestlers, Nov. 3, 2010 (ST)
“The youth performed satisfactorily and we want to encourage them. This is a gradual way of introducing them to commercializing the [traditional wrestling] sport,” commissioner-Maker told the press at Bor airstrip, while waiting to for the arrival of the triumphant team.
Bor county’s wrestling team, named the ‘Referendum Stars’, beat Twic East county by 11—0 (with 4 draws) on Saturday October 30 in match at Juba stadium.
Traditional wrestling is practiced by Dinka Bor in Jonglei state as well as Atuor, Aliap and Ciec in Lakes state and Mundari of Central Equatoria state usually in cattle camps for fame and social pride. But organizers of last week game wanted to lift the popular traditional sport to international standards where wrestling is more professional.
Saturday’s wrestling had to be staged in Juba because Bor, the capital of Jonglei state where the two counties hail has no stadium. Bor commissioner Maker said a space has now been cleared to construct a stadium to host future games.
- Mayen Reech Akuak, one of the victorious Bor country team, celebrates winning a fight in Bor town prior to the match against Twic East county in South Sudan’s capital Juba (ST/FILE)
“It [wrestling] is a popular sport and we are now preparing a stadium for wrestlers and local people to benefit. Many people will be employed,” Maker said.
“Defeat is a natural thing. You are defeated today and tomorrow you will succeed. It is natural that people are angry…when they are defeated and I think it will not [cause tribal] division,” he said when asked whether the cultural wrestling dangers local unity.
Dressed in sporting attire, the ‘Referendum stars’ where greeted by crowds at Bor airstrip upon landing. They were taken to the headquarters of Bor county for a brief ceremony and then proceed to Bor town center; touring the town’s main road as crowds of supporters waved and sand traditional songs.
Wrestlers from Aliap, Mundari and Atuor have been asked to meet the Bor county team in a friendly competition but no date has been set.