Speech of Minister Anroux Marais at Drakenstein Prison Awards ceremony
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
DRAKENSTEIN PRISON AWARDS CEREMONY
10 NOVEMBER 2017
Good morning, goeiemôre, molweni nonke
Today, we recognise, acknowledge and celebrate participation in sport and recreational activities, but more importantly we honour the achievements attained by the sportspeople amongst us.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) encourages excellence and inclusiveness in sport and culture through the effective, efficient and sustainable use of our resources, and through creative partnerships with others. In moving to excellence, we will create the conditions for access and mass participation, talent identification and skills development. With this mission we aim to work better together toward a socially inclusive, creative, active and connected Western Cape.
Time and again, history has shown that sport has the ability to bring diverse groups of people together and I firmly believe you personify this notion. In the words of the late great Nelson Mandela, “Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination”. Through this Department I have had the pleasure of witnessing this first hand and I am sure many of you have as well. Through sport, we all feel a sense of belonging and acceptance that is void of differing cultural backgrounds, mother tongues and even past infringements.
Today, we are reminded of this influential ability. We celebrate the victories of our sportspeople and in that way we create a spirit of goodwill and a renewed sense of hope in that sport does indeed have a positive impact on the state of mind and behaviour of the sportsperson. It serves as a vehicle to build or rebuild physical and psychological skills and creates an environment in which self-discipline and respect for rules and others are practiced and eventually becomes normative which allows wellbeing to flourish.
I encourage you to continue making positive choices because it is you, only you who determines your circumstances. You have made the conscious decision to participate in empowering developmental programmes to bring about significant change in your own life and in turn that of your families and in the bigger scheme of things, your community, city, province and country as a whole, and for that I commend you.
All present here today has the power, ability and potential to be better versions of themselves and is capable of making the society in which they find themselves a better place than it was when they first got there. It all starts with a small contribution to enriching the self and consequently creating a snowball effect in which positive change is brought about in the individual’s being. You are able, the question then is, are you willing?
I thank you.