Boland Intellectually Impaired Schools Compete for Top Honours
The annual Boland intellectually impaired schools sports contest took place at Paarl Gymnasium on Saturday, 7 September 2013 with support from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS).
Intellectually impaired children fall in the age group 7–18 years and are severely mentally impaired. Some also have a physical disability. Intellectual impairments include conditions such as Down’s syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, foetal alcohol syndrome and Williams syndrome. Physical impairments include Noonan syndrome, hemiplegia, quadriplegia as well as people who are amputees and those with visual impairments, auditory impairments and speech impediments.
Competition categories were as follows:
- Cross country – u11, u13, u15, u19 (girls and boys)
- Hokker – (mixed) – a sport code specially designed for intellectually and physically disabled children
- Basketball (mixed)
- Touch rugby (mixed)
- Netball u16 and u19
- Soccer u16 and u19
Ms Agnetha Jeftha of DCAS Sport Promotion said most participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds. A large percentage live in informal settlements or on farms where their parents are working as farm labourers. “Many of the parents are illiterate, unemployed and are struggling to make ends meet. The children live in poor socio-economic circumstances. Most of them are in foster care and depend on social grants,” she said.
Because of their disabilities, these learners will struggle to excel academically, but their sporting abilities can be developed, said Jeftha. She added that sport is a means of bringing people together.
This jointly organised event provided a platform for the creation of a healthy social environment, which actively includes people with disabilities.