Many traditional and modern games and sports are well known and popular in South Sudan. This is especially true for ring and mock battles, with their great physical exertion and high skill. These sports are above all practiced to celebrate after the harvest. The wrestlers are usually strong young men who have been trained well. These games regularly attract a large number of spectators who sing or use all sorts of typical percussion instruments and often dance in support of their favorite wrestlers. Although these sports events were first designed as competitions, they serve as entertainment. At the conclusion of the games people celebrate together and it is quite fun.

A Wrestling Match in South Sudan

A Wrestling Match in South Sudan

Apart from these specialsports many southerners also excel in other disciplines – even across national borders, such as Luol Deng is a basketball star with the Chicago Bulls in the United States. Other leading international basketball players from South Sudan are Manute Bol, Ajou Deng, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai and Ater Majok. Aside from these particular sports, many South Sudanese also excel in other disciplines – even beyond national borders, such as Luol Deng, a basketball star with the Chicago Bulls in the United States. Other leading international basketball players from South Sudan are Manute Bol, Ajou Deng, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai, and Ater Majok.

Tug-of War time and again calls forth great applause from the audience

Tug-of War time and again calls forth great applause from the audience

Soccer is especially popular in rural areas. Many initiatives have been undertaken by the government of South Sudan and a host of partners to support athletics in general and to improve certain sports. One of these initiatives is due to the South Sudan Youth Sports Association (SSYSA).

The SSYSA already has special soccer schools and Konyokonyo Muniki where boys are trained. In recognition of these efforts with youth soccer, the country can already host the CECAFA youth soccer competitions. The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) is a coalition of football-playing countries in East and Central Africa. Just one month before South Sudan held the even more prominent East African Schools Athletics Tournament.