Durban - Its all systems go for the 5th annual national Indigenous Games.
Over 900 athletes from across the country will participate in this year's indigenous games, themed: "Together Celebrating Our Heritage, Today, 2010 and Beyond", as part of the Heritage Month celebrations.
Participants will compete in codes such as Intonga/Induku, Morabaraba/Umlabalaba, Ncuva, Juskei, Amagende, Kgati/Ingqathu, Khokho, Dibeke, Shumpu and Drie Stokies.
Through these games, the Department of Sport and Recreation aims to promote inter-community relations and social cohesion within provinces and across the country.
The three-day event, which will kick-off on Thursday with an opening ceremony, will take place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Howard College Sports Grounds.
The games will only commence early on Friday and run over two days. On Saturday, the winning teams will take part in the semi-finals and finals.
Indigenous games is a project of the Department of Sport and Recreation, under mass participation, which aims at promoting cultural activities that have a particular appeal to vast sectors of South African communities, particularly the traditional rural people.
The games were officially launched by the former Minister of Sport and Recreation, Ngconde Balfour, at the Basotho Cultural Village in February 2001 and have been developed and implemented in all nine provinces ever since.
These games are part of the global strategy on optimising South Africa's cultural heritage and values, thereby instilling a sense of pride in cultural games.
Over 200 officials and 400 VIP guests including MECs and Premiers are expected to attend this traditional event.