Investing in Arts and Sport Programmes at Township Schools
The national departments of Arts and Culture (DAC) and Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) are creating opportunities for learners at township schools in Cape Town to engage in sport, recreation, arts and culture activities.
They handed over equipment to the Walter Teka Primary School and Oscar Mpetha High School in Nyanga on Wednesday, 5 June 2013.
The ceremony was supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and the Western Cape Education Department.
The Nyanga Sports Council is currently running arts and sports programmes at these schools. Three successful sports players attended the event to show their support – former Springbok women’s rugby team player Dinah Zweni and Comrades Marathon winners Ludwick Mamabolo (2012) and Claude Moshiywa (2013).
Mr Claude Meyer of the DCAS Directorate: Sport Development said the investment boosted school sport structures in the townships. “We’re committed to support the national department to ensure that schools in the Western Cape are playing sport and participating in inter-school sport,” he said.
SRSA Minister Mr Fikile Mbalula believes the equipment will make a difference in the lives of learners and their communities. “Sport plays an important role in combating social problems faced by communities. We know that gangsterism is rife in Nyanga. Assisting learners to focus on sport, arts and their education will help to reduce crime in the area,” he said.
Mbalula encouraged learners to grab this opportunity with both hands. He reminded them that the best players might be chosen to represent the Western Cape at the National School Sport Championships in Pretoria later this year.
DAC Minister Mr Paul Mashatile hoped to see that learners become better in both arts and sports. “Arts and culture are media for artistic expression, and for some this provides an escape from crime. This investment will build a better future for many learners at these schools,” he said. Mashatile added that, during Youth Day celebrations, the departments will be working together for youth development and a drug-free society.
Mbalula and Mashatile played against each other in a table tennis exhibition match.
Zweni, who hails from Nyanga, said the investment would benefit many learners attending after-school arts and sport programmes at the schools.
The handover ceremony was a good example of how national departments, provincial departments, schools and support structures can work better together.