Department Creates Opportunities For Township Badminton Players
A group of Gugulethu badminton players represented a Western Province Invitation team in the Interprovincial C section of the under-19 South African Open Championship in Belhar last week. They were assisted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and its partners to establish the players' community club, Gugulethu Badminton Club.
Through the Club Development Programme, DCAS assisted the club to comply with the funding requirements. This led to regular follow-up meetings and an annual fixtures programme, endorsed by Western Province Badminton.
Mr Ray Mandulo of DCAS Sport Promotion says that opportunities were created for the players through the co-ordination of workshops and fitness assessment programmes.
“The Gugulethu Badminton Club was exposed to training videos that render a better understanding of the game. Such exposure gave them an opportunity to view badminton as a sport open to all,” he said.
Mandulo said that the club established the following deliverables:
- It is a government sport structure.
- It has a proper annual performance plan, a budget plan and regular monthly meetings.
- It is registered as a sustainable audited club with Western Province Badminton, which enables them to meet the DCAS funding requirements.
For many players it was their first major event. They simply wanted to go and enjoy the championship and see how others are playing, in order to learn from them. Akhona Pilisi (17) says winning was not their aim, but rather to become better players. “I’ve learnt a lot in terms of improving my co-ordination, flexibility and balance. Experienced players here have been helpful and I’m glad to have gained from their practice routines. This will equip me to become a better player,” said Pilisi.
DCAS and its partners make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children by providing them with opportunities to play at major events. Such events enable them to swing the badminton racquet towards a better future.