A minimum of 2 500 KwaZulu-Natal schools have responded with excitement to national government’s school sports programme, exceeding beyond the target by 1 000 schools.
The Magnificent Wednesday Campaign was launched last month by the national Departments of Sport and Recreation and Basic Education which is the implementing project of the sport programme for schools. From the 27 000 schools in SA, roughly 10 000 from seven provinces have already signed up for the programme.
Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, along with numerous sport legends, unveiled the initiative that is designed to develop sport in South Africa by starting in schools.
Mbalula reported that his department was committing a sum of R33 million to the programme to make certain that sports were played in schools.
Mbalula was quoted as saying at the launch – “This is a great occasion for South Africa as we give meaning to sport development in the country. Sports Wednesday is here to foster healthy living, talent identification and nurturing.”
KZN Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation department spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa added that they are currently engaging the Department of Education via the district offices, school governing body, teachers unions and other stakeholders to guarantee that registration forms are sent out and schools are registered to participate in leagues.
The department is additionally in a process of setting up the school leagues code, working together with the education department. Football, netball and athletics leagues have been set up thus far.
A memorandum between the departments is now being completed and will provide a guideline as to the working relationship in order accomplish the goals established by the national ministers.
Mntungwa talked about how the training of educators in sports administration, team management, coaching, has started as part of the programme.
He stated the provincial championships for the top schools is going to take place in September 2012 and the departments are presently making certain that the Magnificent Wednesday Campaign is intensified.
“The audit of the school sport facilities and other requirements is continuous and there is going to be allocation of resources going forward,” said Mntungwa.
KZN MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha has already begun to visit schools to evaluate their preparedness for the programme.
“Additional and regular visits are going to be carried out by the MEC to ascertain if all participating schools possess satisfactory facilities for all the codes which have recognized. She will in addition make trips to schools to find out if they are taking part on magnificent Wednesdays where all schools are meant to be playing after school hours,” said Mntungwa.
Mntungwa added the fact that the MEC is delighted by the eagerness shown by the schools she has visited to date.
“In a number of schools in the rural areas, they already have far more sport codes in addition to the prioritised codes.”
Sibhidla-Saphetha has encouraged schools which happen to have significantly better facilities to make them accessible to nearby schools which are not in the same position.
Schools are at the same time being connected with municipalities to make sure that the municipalities’ facilities are also available to schools.
Conditional grants will enable the distribution of equipment to the most desperate schools as per registration to take part in the school leagues. It is going to cover all nine codes identified at national level: athletics; basketball; chess; cricket; football; gymnastics; netball; rugby and volleyball.
Indigenous Games are also likely to form part of the programme.
“The province always emerged victorious in the Indigenous Games competitions … We are excited that indigenous games have been included in the programme. We are hard at work to engage all relevant stakeholders in this field to ensure that we are fully prepared,” said Mntungwa.