As part of the Department of Sport and Recreation outreach programme, MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, handed over soccer and netball equipment to 22 wards of the Abaqulusi Local Municipality over the weekend.
The day started with teams from different wards locking horns in soccer and netball to see who is best in the area, before MEC Sibhidla-Saphetha handed over the much-needed playing kits. Coach of the winning netball team, Nonhlanhla Mngadi, said she was proud of her team - Vryheid Comprehensive who beat nine other participating schools to be crowned champions. Mngadi called for more sports infrastructure to help get children involved in sport. "Children who are active in sport have shown great improvement academically because they focus on wanting to be the best in what they do," she said.
Mngadi added that, while sport helps improve the learners' self-esteem, it also plays an important role in instilling self-discipline, citing a lack of absenteeism at school as an example. This comes at a time when the departments of sport and recreation in partnership with the department of education signed a ground-breaking agreement which seeks to revive sports activity in schools.
MEC Sibhidla-Saphetha urged members of the Abaqulusi community to take part in sport and form health clubs so as to create active and healthy communities.
"As the department, we have been given a task of making sure that our communities lead an active and healthy lifestyle to avoid being vulnerable to lifestyle diseases. In our efforts to build a winning nation, we want to ensure that all the teams are properly equipped," said MEC Sibhidla-Saphetha.