This youth month, Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa in conjunction with The Sports Trust continues to deliver on its mandate of addressing the past imbalances created by the legacy of apartheid in relation to lack of sport facilities in previously disadvantages schools.
This month of June is themed, ‘YOUTH MOVING SOUTH AFRICA FORWARD’, SRSA in partnership with The Sports Trust continues once more on its vision of ensuring that by 2030 sports facilities would have been rolled out to most township schools. These will continue to serve as a vehicle to address issues of sports development, transformation as well as national awareness of health, education and social development.
Today, Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, and various dignitaries will hand over this state of the art sport court to REV MP Malatjie Primary School, located in Polokwane, and which was established in 1994, and named after Reverend MP Malatjie who was one of the freedom fighters during the apartheid era. They will share this facility with the surrounding schools, and the local community including disabled sports enthusiasts.
REV MP Malatjie Primary School continue achieve and excel in both academics and sport and they maintain their original objective which is to pursue mathematics, science and technology and since 2002 the learners have also been provided with computer literacy studies. Sport is being played at this school especially soccer, Indigenous games, choral music and traditional dance. Their school is surrounded by seven other schools and each Wednesday they compete in sport and cultural activities. Their learner, Motjelo Katlego, has will be participating at Provincial level in soccer this year, and has been recruited by Free State Stars as a prospective player. He is playing for the under 21 team. Other achievements of past and present learners in this school include : Maitisa Tsholo who plays Eunice in “Skeem Saam” on SABC 1 youth drama, Mazunda Koketso, Miss Limpopo and Shumba Tladi who went to China for his project on Marula Jam and is one of the top 30 learners in Limpopo.
Their only challenge is that there is not enough sports coaches and there is a lack of training for their teachers to teach sport which is negatively impacting on their sports in this area, and they require more assistance and support.
This state of the art facility provides five sporting codes including : 5 a side soccer (futsal), netball, basketball, tennis and volleyball. The facility has a twenty year lifespan, fifteen year warranty and made up of interlocking tiles, that provide lateral forgiveness and minimal impact on the joints of the players. It has also been audited and verified as “Zero Waste” and environmentally friendly, which is in line with the Sports Trust’s ‘green’ policy of helping to protect the environment.
“Our focus this month is strictly on our youth as we continue to commemorate SOWETO Uprising and look back what transpired 40yrs ago. By handing out this facility, we continue once more to say ‘Never and Never again, shall our youth ever be exposed to such acts of injustice and cruelty’. This project objective as we have indicated is to ensure that we groom and develop future athletes. This facility will most definitely play a major role in removing our youth off the streets and ensuring that we remain on a probable cause to eliminate the past imbalances and we give them something to be proud about which is sports development’. Definitely, siyaqhuba” – stated Minister Fikile Mbalula
Commenting on the initiative, Jackie Mathebula, Chairman, The Sports Trust added: ‘It is our mandate to increase and create opportunities for all disadvantaged South Africans participating in sport through the provision of kit, equipment and facilities. It gives us great pleasure to work with Sport and Recreation South Africa particularly during “Youth Month”, and continue implementing multipurpose sports courts for the local schools, so that we can continue to enhance education through sport.”
Their mission is for all stakeholders to join hands together in implementing sports development through vibrancy and inspiration.