The excitement of witnessing the sharing of resources and opening up opportunities for all, producing immediate results.
Written by Vince van der Bijl
The string of gold and silver medals won by the Ukhanyo PS athletes at the Regional South Athletics event, held at Muizenburg Primary School, was witness to the success the first South Peninsular Rainbow Nation sports event. Ukhanyo’s coaches and medal holders attributed the 31st January athletics event held at Fish Hoek Primary school, merely a week prior, as the reason for their success.
Fish Hoek PS (with Sun valley assisting in running the event) had opened their grounds in an athletics event. Kleinberg PS, Ukhanyo PS, Bay PS, FHPS and Sun Valley competed in a fully-fledged athletics meeting on a superb 400 metre laid out track.
The impact of the 31st January meet was immediate.
Ukhanyo head coach, Nceba Jonas said,” Our runners and coaches learnt so much from running on the beautiful FHPS 400 metre track about race tactics, mental and physical preparation timeously before each race, and running against other schools testing their strength and abilities. It was the ideal preparation for the regional event. Thank you to all the organizers. Our kids loved the day.”
The following week’s Regional event was then, not so daunting for those runners from underprivileged environments Their increased confidence and self-belief that they could perform well against any opposition, became self-evident.
A few Ukhanyo runner’s results: B for boy and G for girl
Abulele Ngwenduna (B under 12) 1500m, 800m and 200m
Avile Nkothani (G under 12) 1200m and 150m
Avuya Njokweni (G under 10 gold) 1200m,100m and 80m
Stephen Mjijwa (b under 12) 150m
James Matusso (B under 13) 1500m and 800m
Aluthla Mkhohli (G under 12) 1200m
Kudra Abdul (B under 11) 100m
This is what being given a level playing field does!
Equal opportunity is giving the right preparation and the full understanding of what is required to perform at your best. Levelling the playing fields, day in and day out, with the current disparity of sporting fields, coaches, community encouragement and resources is not possible…. Yet!
So, the Rainbow nation project, an initiative started by the MCC Masi Sports Project and the 12 South Peninsular Primary Schools is an innovative step in the right direction.
The FHPS event also encouraged the natural social interaction between learners, staff, coaches and parents of the teams. That, too, made the initial 31st January meeting, special. It allowed too, all schools from the Valley, to bask in the results of the other South Peninsular schools. A first step towards a better more understanding and integrated broader community.
The disparity of resources that need addressing are amply demonstrated when comparing the following two photographs.
So, thank you Fish Hoek PS and Sun valley for taking the lead in the first Rainbow Nation Sports Project. We look forward to the next event at another school in the South Peninsular.