The long awaited Lion Guardian Games has eventually taken place! It was a fantastic event, and the Lion Guardians had a brilliant time competing and getting to know each other. We would like to thank everyone who made a donation towards this event – it was a wonderful occasion, and really brought the Lion Guardians together. And here they all are!
The games were held on the expansive Mbirikani plains , where Lion Guardians from all three Group Ranches converged with great anticipation and joy. And being Maasai morans from the same age-set, it took very little time to familiarize themselves with each other. As well as to get to know one another so that they can easily work together across ranch boundaries, and to swap stories of their lion conservation work, the event was also meant to congratulate all the Lion Guardians for the great work they did last year at the height of a severe drought and at the beginning of this year when carnivore-livestock conflicts were at their climax.
There were three main events – stick throwing, spear throwing and football. Stick throwing is a test of skill and strength, where you have to skim a stick along the dusty ground as far as possible. It was a spectacular show of might, with six Guardians competing to produce the overall winner – Lenkai, who works with the Lion Guardians on Eselenkei Group Ranch.
Spear throwing was next on the agenda. This was two events in one, designed to test accuracy and distance throwing. On spear accuracy, each Group Ranch selected two of the best hit men to compete. Mingati from Mbirikani Group Ranch did not miss the target on any single throw. He was a joy to watch and clearly his past reputation as a great lion killer has been gained through this exceptional skill.
On spear distance throwing it was a very close to call. Eventually, Pilenanka from Mbirikani Group Ranch emerged the victor amid ululations and dancing from his colleagues, with Parkesian from Olgulului Group Ranch coming a close second.
We’ll tell you the results of the Lion Guardians Football Tournament and more details of the evening celebrations soon!