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A cricket tournament got the ball rolling for Magnificent Fridays, with emergency management services throwing its weight behind the Proteas for the Cricket World Cup.
UNITING South Africans to rally behind the country’s national cricket team was the spirit of the day at a cricket tournament hosted by the City’s emergency and management services.


Aubrey GuleEMS head Audrey Gule stands next to the glittering trophy won by team SAThe tournament was held at the Randburg Sports Arena on 16 February, supported by the executive head of the EMS, Audrey Gule; the member of mayoral committee for public safety, Elgina Ndhlovu; and senior EMS staff members.

Staff were divided into eight teams – representing South Africa, India, England, New Zealand, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Zimbabwe – which competed for a trophy. Coincidentally, Team South Africa were the winners on the day.

The tournament also celebrated South Africa’s victory over Australia in a World Cup warm-up match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in India on Tuesday, 15 February. The Proteas won a comprehensive seven wicket victory, a convincing win over one of the world’s best cricket team.

Magnificent Fridays, a newly launched initiative of the national Department of Sports, was also supported. The aim of the campaign is to get South Africans to rally behind national teams, and it encourages citizens to wear national team T-shirts on Fridays.

Not only is it mobilising support for the Proteas, it is also throwing its weight behind the Springboks ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The latter is being held in New Zealand in September. This is a long-term campaign working to bring about a new sporting era in South Africa.

Percy Morokane, the EMS spokesperson, said the department organised the tournament to revive the spirit that prevailed among South Africans during the football World Cup in 2010.


An EMS staff member batsThe cricket tournament also aimed at building staff morale“The Sports Ministry launched a proudly South African initiative, called Magnificent Fridays, for the citizens to support the country’s national teams. The EMS as an organisation that is well aligned to the City of Johannesburg’s employee wellness programme is no exception,” he said.

“It is only right to rally behind the country’s cricket team, as they have won a practice match that will obviously be a confidence booster for them going into the ICC Cricket World Cup in India. They have shown the country that they are ready and dedicated to win the World Cup, so we will support the boys at all cost.”

The ICC Cricket World Cup begins on 19 February and will run until 2 April. It is the sixth time South Africa is participating. In their first match this time, the Proteas will battle it out with the West Indies on 24 February.

Morokane said the EMS tournament was also meant to build staff morale and to ensure that the department was able to compete locally and nationally in various sports.

“Already we have our members taking part in the annual Comrades and Soweto marathons, the international Fire and Emergency Games, the intermunicipal games and a host of other sports within the industry.”

The EMS teams take part in tournaments organised by the department every year, during which they compete among themselves or against other departments in the City, the province and other provinces.

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