School sports are essential to a country achieving sporting success at an international level.
This is the belief of the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, who was speaking at the unveiling of a new multipurpose sports court at Soshanguve South Secondary School on the outskirts of Pretoria.
“Programmes like these assist in reversing the trend of transporting children to facilities located outside their residential areas. The court will also aid in decreasing societal ills, such as teenage pregnancy and drug abuse, ” he said.
Minister Mthethwa emphasised that the facility is for all schools in the area.
“Participating in sport is not only about competitions or about winning. It promotes physical activity, develops physical skills, provides opportunities to learn teamwork and improves self-esteem. Sport also instils discipline among young people in our community,” he said.
The development was made possible through a collaboration between Nedbank and the Sports Trust. Mamelodi Sundowns, the reigning champions of the Nedbank Cup, nominated the school as the beneficiary and handed over sports equipment.
The multipurpose centre accommodates five sporting codes – basketball, football, netball, tennis and volleyball – and is the eighth such facility the collaboration has produced.
School principal David Mahlangu said the facility will make a big difference to the community. “As a school, we commit to establishing further sporting programmes that will include members of the community. Together with the local councillor, we have strategised a plan to keep the facility safe so it can be around for generations to come.”
As part of the handover, soccer kits, balls and books were handed over to local schools, including Soshanguve East and Seageng Secondary Schools, Bokamoso, Ayanda and Itumeleng Madiba Primary Schools.
Sundowns midfielder Ofentse Mashiane, a Soshanguve South Secondary alumnus, expressed his joy at the establishment of the facility. “I encourage the students who now have top-class facilities to grab the opportunity with both hands and make the best of it. I also want to tell them to put their education first, work hard and play hard.”