Mpumalanga hosted its Sports Indaba

Members of the sport fraternity in Mpumalanga recently held a two-day indaba to map a way forward in sports.
The two day Provincial Sports Indaba was held at the WH de Klerk School from Friday, July 29 till Saturday July 30.
The aim of the indaba was to come up with contributions that will go into the drafting of the Mpumalanga Sport and Recreation Plan that will be used to catapult local athletes and teams to new heights on national and international levels.

Dr Hakira Skaal, Director for Community Sports and Recreation addressing during the Provincial Sports Indaba held at the WH de Klerk School from Friday, July 29 till Saturday July 30.

“We are bringing together all federations in Mpumalanga so that we can come up with ways to take sport in the province forward,” explained the department’s Ms Sibongile Nkosi.

“Today the department is hosting a sport indaba in order to come up with resolutions on how to take sport to the next level in the province. We are fulfilling Mandela’s dream of promoting sport. Tata Mandela was the first global leader to use sport as a tool to unite people and to redefine a country’s international image. Sport was central to his political beliefs which were shaped while on Robben Island during his years of incarceration. Even before his release from prison, he had identified sport as a way of achieving a multi-racial country. This was evident when the country hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup Tournament. South Africans were united in support of the Springboks, which was foreign in the old South Africa. This reminds me of his famous quote when he said, ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair’” said Ms Nkosi

Cllr Diphale Motsepe presenting the Mpumalanga MEC for Culture, Sport and Recreation Ms Norah Mahlangu speech on her behalf during the Provincial Sports Indaba.

It was also indicated that the premier of the province Mr David Mabuza was also passionate about sport and it was for that reason that the sports indaba was held. She also told the delegates that the premier has directed the department to develop a provincial sport and recreation plan that is aligned to the National Plan. It was stated that the aim of the plan was to guide the implementation of sport and recreation programmes in the province and that will ensure the province excels in the delivery of sport and recreation programmes.

Ms Mahlangu also emphasised that it is not a government’s plan but is a plan for everyone involved in sport and government is only a facilitator in the process.

President of the Mpumalanga Sports Confederation Mr Linda Zwane adding his message of support during the Provincial Sports Indaba held at the WH de Klerk School from Friday, July 29 till Saturday July 30.

“Once the plan is finalised, the next stage will be the costing of the programmes and activities. This will assist the sport and recreation sector to source funding in order for the sector to play its role in the development of sport. I am confident this indaba will come up with a brilliant plan that will translate Mpumalanga into a winning province. We want to see more athletes from Mpumalanga representing the country at international championships. We are proud of Nompumelelo Nyandeni from Kwaggafontein, who is part of the Olympics South Africa team 2016 that will be taking place in Rio. I am equally proud of Team Mpumalanga for flying our flag at the South African School Sport Winter games championships in Durban early this month. In Zulu we say, ‘Lugotshwa lusemanzi’. The School Sport programme must therefore be used as a vehicle for developing future sportsmen and women. Despite the fact that we were ranked position seven our athletes excelled in some of the sporting codes, and they returned home with nine medals. As you develop the Sport Plan, come up with a strategy on how you will sustain and keep these young people in the province. We cannot continue developing talent for other provinces,” ended Cllr Motsepe.

Solly Maseko

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