Eight kilometres from Sun City in the Bakubung platinum belt, North West Province, there is great excitement among hundreds of learners in anticipation of the area’s first multipurpose sport court at Mphuphuthe Primary School, Ledig Village. The court was opened on 14 October by the Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, together with leaders of the Bakubung Ba Ratheo Traditional Authority.
The multipurpose sport court was installed by The Sports Trust and funded by the National Department of Sport and Recreation in partnership with Nedbank, Sun International and Bakubung Platinum Mine. At the opening, sports kits will be presented to the eight schools in the area who will use the sport court.
‘The learners are so excited and appreciative. They have never seen such a structure in their village and this is going to make a big difference to their wellbeing as we do not have a proper sports field,” says Mphuphuthe’s principal, Ms Rachel Mdaki. The 450 learners at Mphuphuthe Primary School will be joined by hundreds of learners from seven other schools in the area who will share the facility, designed for five sporting codes: soccer, netball, volleyball, basketball and tennis, as well as general exercise for all members of the community.
“As Nedbank we pride ourselves in our brand essence of money experts who do good and we’re committed to making a positive impact in communities across South Africa,” says Nthabiseng Matshekga, Executive Head Group Marketing at Nedbank. “To us, sport as an integral part of nation building and we strongly believe that value creation starts with investing in education.
As such, the Nedbank Foundation is further contributing R100 000 towards classroom renovations and technology equipment at Mphuphuthe Primary School. We’re confident that this, along with the sports court will go far in inspiring the children and their teachers, to imagine and work towards a brighter future for themselves and their community.”
Principal Mdaki says: ‘This contribution will never be forgotten. It is very important to the future of the learners as we believe in teaching and developing learners holistically. Learners who play sport and are physically fit can concentrate and perform better academically, and they are more responsible. That is why the Department has included physical education in life orientation.
We have been getting our learners to exercise on the piece of ground we have at our school, and they love to play netball and soccer by putting up makeshift goals. But now that all the learners in our community have this multipurpose sport court, it is going to take them to a new level.’
Bakubung Platinum Mine’s Corporate Affairs Executive, Hamlet Morule, adds: ‘Sport provides a conducive environment for socio-economic development in communities. It helps to eradicate social ills, contribute to the wellbeing of the society, foster gender equity, enhance inclusion of persons with disability, and build skills that promote employment and economic development.
The inclusion of this sport project into the Bakubung Platinum Mine’s Social and Labour Plan 2019 – 2023 and partnering with other key stakeholders to execute the project is in line with the mine’s commitment to meaningfully contribute to the growth, development and sustainability of our communities.’
Commenting on Sun City’s contribution to the multi-purpose sport court, the resort’s General Manager, Mike van Vuuren says: “Sport plays a role in bringing communities together with tremendous social impact. For all of its rich and deep benefits, the development of our young sports people must receive support from the private and public sector.
It is for this reason that Sun City enthusiastically supports sports development in the North West Province through projects like this and initiatives such as this as well as our Schools Golf Development Programme. We are proud to be part of bringing this multi-purpose sport court to fruition for the benefit of learners in local communities.”
On the golfing front, The Sports Trust Golf Challenge, sponsored by Nedbank and Sun International, raises funds to nurture golf development and disabled golfing talent in South Africa’s under-resourced communities through the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) and the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA). ‘The enduring success of the Nedbank Golf Challenge is its ability to make an impact beyond the actual tournament,’ says Matshekga.
“Our objective as the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa is to ensure South Africans remain physically active and have access to sport facilities. We are mandated with creating an enabling environment especially in previously disadvantaged communities. Equitable access as remain one of our primary mandates hence this was highlighted in the resent EPG Transformation release report.
Access to sport facilities still remain a serious challenge and for us to have a cohesive and sustainable communities, we have to ensure that our communities have access to sport facilities which in the long run will aid us in riding our communities of life style diseases inclusive of eliminating obesity amongst School going learners. We equally have to ensure that communities and our school going learners have access to outdoor sport facilities so that we can in a long run have healthy and active communities.
I take this opportunity to applaud all partners involved in this initiative and I wish them sustainability in delivering such projects”, Stated Nocawe Mafu – Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.