Provincial Games for Learners with severe Intellectual Disability

Author: Lonwabo Tube
Date: 18 September 2023

Eastern Cape Department of Education collaborated with Eastern Cape Sports Association for provincial athletics for leaners with severe intellectual Disabilities at the Lady Frere Sport Complex, in Chris Hani West Education District.

The purpose of these sports, is to continue with sport that couldn’t take place, due to unsupportive sports grounds and still selecting masterpiece that will be held in Polokwane, Limpopo from the 1st to the 6th of October 2023.

Participants received a warm welcoming and Opening of the athletics by the Mayor of Cacadu Municipality, Ntombizanele Koni saying, ” We giving all sport the opportunity to be showcased and not only focusing on particular sports but all sport in general” also stating that “Seeing children who participate in athletics, going places and even going overseas, representing the Eastern Cape where they trained and gain more exposure to the sport. Not forgetting where they came from.”

Councilor of ward 3 Emalahleni, also attended the event stating how happy and inspired they are about the sport event taking place on the grounds of Lady Frere and also appreciating and showing support to the whole in Emalahleni sports grounds usage.

Provincial coordinator of Sport in Inclusive Education, Mafuza Mtshengu said;” We have taken a decision as the Department to support all the programs, focusing on improving our children especially those with disabilities, we have a long history with DISRAC, but our biggest decision was to take these programs to Provincial level and also introducing our children to other practice forms. Going forward we are preparing our children to compete at National level and getting chances to compete abroad, we also know that they preform very well in sports.

In addition, Thando Giwu, Chairperson of Eastern Cape Sports Association of para athletes with intellectual disability and multi coded structure. 

"We are beneficiaries as an Association and Federation of the collaboration framework within the Department of Sports Recreation of Arts and Culture and Department of Education, working together in supporting programs of Sport in the Eastern cape and in South Africa generally, because of funding from the Department of Education and resources.

We aim to have a fully functional sports academy like other provinces where we will have our own premises. We already have a good relationship with the Department of Education and that is a good start.”

Parents who also attended to support their children said, “Programs like these should take place more often because it helps the children take part in school sports and take their education more seriously. They also feel that the Department of Education is taking them into consideration as well, as they felt neglected, they now are highly impressed and more determined to participate further.”