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Sport & recreation: A sporting chance for schools

Sport & recreation
A sporting chance for schools

As from this year, all South African schools will be expected to participate in sport. This will see the re-introduction of School Sport Wednesdays, as well as the introduction of School Sport Olympics to boost sport participation.

"School sport has a valuable contribution to make in the development and transformation of the South African society," said Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula. He has found a partner for school sport development in Athletics South Africa (ASA) Chief Executive Officer Frik Vermaak.

The newly appointed ASA CEO said he welcomed Minister Mbalula's vision for sport development and sport as part of the school curriculum.

Vermaak's comments come in the wake of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the national Departments of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Basic Education.

The framework seeks to:

  • Promote a well co-ordinated and seamless school sport system as a critical factor in the development of young South Africans.
  • Ensure that institutional structures are in place to implement and monitor the delivery of a school sport system.
  • Regulate access and delivery of school sport for all learners, irrespective of ability, across all schools based on the principle of equity and access.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities of all partners and stakeholders for both delivery and funding.

Sport Wednesdays

All schools will be expected to participate in sport and this will see the re-introduction of the School Sport Wednesdays. Minister Mbalula also committed to ensuring that the South African School Sport Olympics take place, as a culmination of participation in school sport throughout the year.

Both the Minister of Sport and Recreation and the Minister of Basic education have been championing the repositioning of school sport in South Africa, not only as a platform to discover talent, but also to advance and deepen sport brilliance and distinction. School Sport is one of the priority programmes of the Sport & Recreation Department.

Support systems

Speaking a few days after being appointed ASA CEO, the former TV sports commentator said it was important that athletics become a family again and support systems must be put in place to ensure athletes stay active in the sport, especially female athletes.

"The position of CEO of ASA will be a new challenge for me, but I am confident that I will be able to rise to those challenges and take the Federation to new heights. I am aware that there will be a lot of work to do in these beginning stages and that the next six months will be tough. My first priority now is to streamline the ASA office and make sure that everything runs smoothly," said Vermaak