This youth month, Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa in conjunction with The Sports Trust once more continues to deliver on its mandate of addressing the past imbalances created by the apartheid legacy in relation to lack of sport facilities in black schools.
This month of June themed, ‘YOUTH MOVING SOUTH AFRICA FORWARD’, SRSA in partnership with The Sports Trust continues on its vision of ensuring that by 2030 sports facilities would have been rolled out to most township schools all over the country. 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 Walmer High School in Port Elizabeth, which was officially opened in 1991 as Vernon Gamanda then later merged with Zanamafa Secondary School to form what is now known as Walmer High School. The learners at this school will share this facility with those learners in surrounding schools including the local community plus disabled sports enthusiasts.
Walmer High School is actively involved in sports, which helps them to promote the importance of teamwork amongst their students. They participate in soccer, netball, rugby, indoor games such as chess and darts, as well as traditional dance. Some of their achievements include: being the current winners for traditional dancing in the Metro, and they are also the Under 19 Provincial Champions in the Patrice Motsepe schools soccer tournament, and one of their ex-students, Fish Bell is the current junior lightweight boxing national champion.
This school does experience some challenges currently such as difficulty with transport to attend matches far away from the school, proper hockey and cricket facilities , more books for their library and additional science equipment, in order to properly teach their students.
This state of the art facility that Department of Sport and Recreation alongside Sports Trust will be handing over caters for five sporting codes inclusive of 5 a side soccer (futsal), netball, basketball, tennis and volleyball. This 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 40 years ago. This facility that we are handing over in Limpopo will be the third facility this month. Since 3rd June 2016 , we have handed over three (3) other sports courts these have been placed at Reitumetse High School in Soshanguve, Letshelemane Primary School in Ventersdorp, and REV MP Malatjie Primary School in Polokwane. Today we handover the sport court here at Walmer High School in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. To eradicate the legacy of apartheid will take time however, we are proud to indicate that we remain resolute in addressing such matters and further in ensuring that our youth irrespective of race begin to enjoy the benefits of having multipurpose facilities and continue to be active in sport and recreation contributing positively to healthy living.
This facility will play a major role in keeping our youth engaged and active in sport therefore, continuing with our development and transformation processes, in order to eliminate the past imbalances and to nurture our future sporting nation.’ 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”, 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.