Sharing knowledge at the Western Cape School Sports Indaba
The Western Cape School Sport Indaba took place at the Fountains Hotel in Cape Town on 17 and 18 October 2014. It was co-hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). Provincial federation and provincial school sport code specific structures , delegates from the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation(WCPSC), sport councils, educator unions, sport NGO’s, municipalities and tertiary institutions were represented. The aim of the Indaba was to share information with regard to the way forward for school sport in the Western Cape.
The Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, reminded delegates of the importance of the link between sport and education and the need to implement the plans being made. “Our young people are looking for direction. There is a need for greater visibility of sport in our schools, therefore we cannot reach our goals without the help of educators,” she said.
Sport Development Director, Paul Hendricks put the Minister’s words into greater context when he spoke about a more realistic approach of using sport to tackle the issues that have plagued our youth. “We must deal with things in a purposeful manner. Learners need stimulation to keep them away from social ills. We cannot close our eyes to the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves,” he said.
Some of the overarching messages that came from most of the speakers were the need for all parties to work together toward the common goal of enriching the school sport experience for learners and the agreement that working from the ground level was the key to creating elite athletes in the future. WCPSC president, Goliath Munro spoke about the National Sport and Recreation plan and clarified the issues of boundaries. He highlighted the succession plan whereby WCED and DCAS play a part in taking an athlete from inter school competition to national games level. This was further explained in depth by WCED School Enrichment Coordinator, Dennis Pillay when he spoke about roles and responsibilities and the establishment of code committees.
DCAS School Sport Deputy Director, Claude Meyer said: “We cannot create an enabling environment that will allow talented learners to progress in sport without the help of the federations. There needs to be a clear progression through the levels for these learners.” WCED Chief Director for districts, Clifton Frolick expanded on this idea when he said: “Educators and federations are the key to the promotion of sport in schools. We need to bring back a passionate approach to sport education in our schools,” he said. Indaba delegate, Jason Mulder said: “The discussions that took place over the weekend gave us a good landscape of the current situation in school sport and where we need to go.” Chief Director for Sport and Recreation, Adv. Lyndon Bouah summed up the way forward with a focus on issues such as the sharing of information and ongoing discussions with all relevant stakeholders; the role of the federations and Western Cape Provincial Sports Confederation custodians of sport and recreation in the province and the mandate to work with single, code-specific structures.