Games and Sports of South Sudan

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South Sudan is popular for many traditional and modern games and sports, particularly wrestling and mock battles. The traditional sports were mainly played after the harvest seasons to celebrate the harvests and finish the farming seasons. The wrestlers were generally strong, well-trained young men. During the matches, they smeared themselves with ochre – perhaps to enhance the grip or heighten their perception. The matches attracted large numbers of spectators who sang, played drums and danced in support of their favorite wrestlers. Though these were perceived as competition, they were primarily for entertainment. At the conclusion, people feasted and generally made merry.

Wrestling is a popular pastime interest of the people.


Sports News

September 8, 2011: South Sudan bags three silver medals at East African Secondary Schools Association Games in Mbarara, Uganda - One in basketball and two in athletics.


In the modern era, South Sudanese have excelled in international sports. Luol Deng is a basketball star with the Chicago Bulls in the National Basketball Association. Other leading international basketball players from South Sudan include Manute Bol, Ajou Deng, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai and Ater Majok.


Association football is also becoming popular in South Sudan, and there are many initiatives by the Government of South Sudan and other partners to promote the sport and improve the level of play. One of these initiatives is South Sudan Youth Sports Association (SSYSA). SSYSA is already holding soccer clinics in Konyokonyo and Muniki areas of Juba in which young boys are coached. In recognition of these efforts with youth soccer, the country recently hosted the CECAFA youth soccer competitions. Barely a month earlier, it had also hosted the larger East African Schools Sports tournaments. The South Sudan national association football team was formed in May 2011, although does not have membership of FIFA. The team will play its first match against Kenya on 10 July 2011 in Juba.

Captain Duop Pouch Joak, the Deputy Chairperson of the South Sudan Football Association announced that South Sudan will join the Confederation of African Football by February 2012.

On February 9, 2012 South Sudan became the 54th member of the National Association of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The South Sudan Football Association is unanimously admitted during the 34th CAF Ordinary General Assembly held in Libreville.

In May 2012, South Sudan became a FIFA member, a much needed recognition that allows domestic teams to play in international football matches.

See Also: South Sudan Football Association and the South Sudan National Football Team

Kick Boxing

Ms Winnie Natasha (born in 1992 at Khartoum) is a lady from Juba University is a renowned kick boxer. She started the sport in late 2012.

Ms Adut Bol (born 1986) is another reputed female kick boxer. She was a University graduate when she started the sport in 2011. She earlier competed in karate and taekwondo.

Puro Okelo Obe is a kick boxing coach. He is a master in karate, jujitsu, aikido and a former professional kick boxer. His hometown is in Canada.


  • 2013 International Kickboxing Challenge are held at Nyakuron Cultural Centre

Appearance in 2012 London Olympics

The nation is working hard to participate in the London's 2012 Olympics. Recognition of the nation by the International Olympic Committee in order to participate in the global competitions. And this recognition can be obtained once South Sudan gets recognised by the United Nations Organization. South Sudan is a member of the United Nations. Added to this, the country needs to have a National Olympic Committee (NOC) for itself.

While this is a time taking process, South Sudan athletes can go still participate in the game through a different nation.

In an interview in February 2012, South Sudan's Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Cirino Iteng Ofuho said that South Sudan wants to send a wheelchair basketball team to the Olympics. "Right now we are discussing with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to see if we can raise our flag in London. I believe there is enough time for us to be there, not only to raise our flag but to also have some athletes participate. We are focusing on the Paralympics where our disabled basketballers are every good. I really believe they can entertain the people in London. We may also field some long distance runners. We have the right terrain to train our talent for this sport.", he said.


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