It may not have been the original competition but it was just as much fun
You can take Croatians out of their country but they will find a way to continue with their traditions no matter where they are. Just as we found out the winner of this year’s “original” Alka, a very interesting version of this tournament took place in a small town of Lephalale in South Africa by the border with Botswana thanks to the idea and enthusiasm of Joško Ugrin from Žrnovnica.
As reported by Dalmatinski Portal, group of Croatian workers currently stationed in Lephalale got together with their Polish and African colleagues and organised their own Alka following as many original details as possible: Alkari had their boys, they were all greeted by their president Tanja Gercer from Opatija, touching speech opened the ceremony while the Croatian national anthem was performed under the Croatian and Hajduk’s flag.
The alka ring was made in South Africa at the power plant construction site and all duties were also delegated to resemble the original tournament so Stipe Buljan from Split had the honour of becoming the fist Duke, Miroslav Šunjić from Mostar was proclaimed the mayor, Jozo Botica from Ruda was the Alaj čauš, Mile Čule from Solin was the proud flag bearer, Milan Vulić from Brač was the official announcer while the most difficult task of setting the alka ring was given to Ante Škoplanac from Otok.
Since there were no alka horses in the camp No. 327 in Lephalale, their role was played by a Vespa owned by Dino Perić from Split. The feast and celebrations for the first winner of African alka lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
None of the participants were originally from Sinj, but we are sure that the organisers of the original Alka will hold that against them. Participants were as follows: Joško Ugrin (Žrnovnica), Lehama Monamane (Africa), Dražen Vrca (Bajagić), Luka Vrca (Bajagić), Ante Kustura (Trogir), Jure Pešut (Zadar), Saša Markić (Split), Mirko Buljan (Split), Nikola Teklić (Solin), Ante Dadić (Split), Jakov Jelinčić (Postira), Dino Perić (Split), Tomasz Murat (Poland), Stanislav Szefler (Poland), Zvonimir Ban (Split), Goran Stipić (Tugare), Davor Medvid (Split), Ivan Antolović (Žepče), Antonio Miloš (Bajagić) and Lerato Molopyne (Africa).
Here is a short video from the competition