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Department launches School Sport Games in Limpopo

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General Manager Sport and Recreation for the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Kgatlane Choshane launched the School Sport Games on Friday. The event was attended by stakeholders from all over the province.
Choshane said the school league media launch marks the beginning of the 2015 league games in all schools in Limpopo and creates awareness to all stakeholders of its commencement. “Through the media launch, more schools are encouraged to register and participate in the leagues to ensure that more learners and educators are reached. The media launch is also an effective tool to ensure that the league games are properly marketed, promoted and monitored.”
The Minister of Sport and Recreation has identified school sport as the basis for sport development in South Africa. In collaboration with the Minister of Basic Education, the minister has re-introduced school sport leagues in all public schools to ensure that all learners are provided with an opportunity to participate in school sport activities thus creating a platform for talent identification.
Choshane said the School Sport programme is an integral part of sport development in the province.
”Since the launch of this programme, Limpopo was represented in all the School Sport National Championships: in 2012 in Pretoria, 2013 in Bloemfontein and 2014 in Pretoria. The School Sport programme is implemented in collaboration with the Department of Education in the province.”
“The leagues expose learners to a variety of sporting codes. They also create opportunities within which development and nurturing of identified talent in various sporting codes can take place. Through leagues, vibrant school sporting code structures are created which are effectively and properly managed. In the previous year, 2014, the two departments have ensured that all schools that have registered in school sport programme, take part in 18 prioritised codes.”
The province obtained the sixth position in the 2014 national championships and further obtained 75 medals, up from 53 medals in 2013.
Swimming performed very well in the 2014 national championships, with a total of 13 gold medals, 15 silver medals and 22 bronze medals obtained. In the talent identification programme integrated with the national championships, two learners who performed well in netball and football were awarded with ministerial bursaries worth R100 000.
To participate in the 2015 School Sport programme, the Department of Sport. Arts and Culture has set aside an amount of R2,5 million for the School Sport district sport competitions, R1,4 million for provincial competitions and R10 million for delivering the Limpopo School Sport team to the national championships.
“A total of 36 schools have been identified as focus schools in sport and will be supported with equipment, attire and capacity building programmes. These schools will be used to place learners that have been identified for outstanding performance in this programme.”
Choshane said the School Sport leagues at the circuit and cluster levels have started in all sporting codes and most of the clusters have completed their leagues. The implementation of the circuit and the cluster leagues is the responsibility of the Department of Education whilst the Department of Sport is in charge of the district, provincial and national championships. The top schools that have won at the cluster level will be representing their districts on the following dates:
• Capricorn District, 14 and 15 August in Polokwane
• Mopani District, 7 and 8 August in Nkowankowa
• Sekhukhune District, 31 July to 01 August in Groblersdal and Hlogotlou
• Vhembe District, 21 and 22 August in Makhado
• Waterberg District, 28 and 29 August in Mahwelereng
The primary schools’ tournament will start on 8 September and secondary schools will start on 26 September. The National School Sport Championships will be staged from 10 to 16 December 2015 in Pretoria to determine the winning province. The Limpopo Provincial School Sport Team will be represented in all the nineteen sporting codes.

NELIE ERASMUS
>>nelie.observer@gmail.com