Farmworker Sport is Alive and Well in the Western Cape
Every participant enjoyed the annual Western Cape Farmworkers’ Sport and Recreation Day in Robertson on Saturday, 3 May 2014. Hundreds of farmworkers represented their regions in the games, hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and the Langeberg Municipality.
A lively and colourful procession by competing teams excited the crowd before the games began. Competitive cross country, dominoes, netball, football, rugby and tug-of-war were on offer on the day.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer said DCAS is committed to making sure that farmworkers have greater access to sport and sports facilities. “Farmworkers need access to sport and recreational opportunities. Through the games, they have the opportunity to enjoy participating in sport. They make a valuable contribution to sport in the province.” Dr Meyer added that the DCAS Club Development Programme is successfully promoting sport and recreation on farms, and a number of farm teams are participating in local leagues.
Reggie Deysel, Chairperson of the Western Cape Farmworkers' Sport Committee, said farm communities are often isolated and underdeveloped, but sport and recreation opportunities such as these make sure that sport teams from these areas are brought into the mainstream. “The pride of farmworker sport is alive and well in the province,” he said.
Elgard Cloete, an Upper West Coast team netball player from Hex River farm in Piketberg, says she and her teammates enjoyed the games. “It was an unbelievable experience to win the tournament for the first time and to make new friends. The support from the crowd and the spirit of true camaraderie with fellow farmworkers and opponents created good memories for all of us,” she said.
Later, prizes were handed over to the best teams and individual participants at the annual Western Cape Farmworkers’ Sport and Recreation awards ceremony. Farmworkers left the event with a sense of pride and many good memories to share.