A sense of life, euphoria and flamboyant play summed up the Disability Sport Day recently hosted by the Newcastle Municipality Special Programmes unit at Richview Hall on the 11th December 2014. This is one of the platforms that the municipality utilizes for engagement and interaction with people living with disability. Also present at the event was the Department of Health, Department of Sport and Recreation, Department of Social Development, Office of the Premier, Education Support Services Trust and NADO.
The day proceeded with full participation from all those present a variety of sporting codes were available including ; umlabalaba, netball, wheelchair basketball, tug of war, goal ball, fun walk and 100 meters sprint.
On completion participants received a certificate and winners were awarded with medals and trophies to add the cherry on top, ten basketball wheelchairs were handed over to the disability forum by Department of Sports and Recreation.
The purpose of the day was presented by Mrs Samke Dube. “We intend to listen and give everyone a sense of belonging and to strengthen our relations. Government shall always have an ear to listen to you and programmes to support you and your forums” she explained.
Furthermore, they were encouraged to come up with programmes that are directly addressing their issues, not to wait for government. “We want to get from you the milestones you have achieved, share your thoughts and ideas, never be silent partners” said Mrs. Dube.
Her sentiments were echoed by Newcastle Municipality COO Mr. Errol Mswane who manifested the great support, commitment and admiration that government has for the disable. “We love you as the Newcastle Municipality, come up with your own programmes, let us hear from you and we will surely support and advance whatever course you have” manifested Mr. Mswane.
Discrimination of people living with disability was also wildly rejected by Mrs. Maphalala from the Office of the Premier. “We need to wash out all forms of discrimination; more badly for the disabled their discrimination begins at home to communities, schools and ultimately and the workplace” said Mrs. Maphalala.
This day came as the culmination of the recently launch of Disability zones forum including of five Zones (Osizweni, Blaauwbosch, Madadeni, Inner City and Charlestown) with clear defined and distinguished mission namely community participation, team work, strategic programmes, strategic partnership, and community development respectively. During the event each zone was awarded with the certificate on their mission for participation encouragement and recognition.