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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Govt gives go ahead for parents to return to school sports events

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe has welcomed news from national government allowing parents entry to school sports events. Since the start of the National State of Disaster in March 2020, brought on by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, parents have absent from school sports events. Unable to support their children, many have resorted to watching these activities from across the road outside school premises.

In March #TheTopRunner published a report which detailed how Athletics Gauteng North had been left homeless after The University of Pretoria kicked the regional athletics federation out of Bestmed Tuks Athletics Stadium because of safety concerns. Tuks was concerned about breaking Covid-19 protocols after parents stormed the gate and quarrelled with security guards during an AGN Track & Field Meeting as they demanded to be let into the stadium to watch their children.

Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe. Photo Credit: Mbali Hlophe.

But that is now a thing of the past. According to the recently published amendments to the Covid-19 updated level 1 lockdown regulations which were made public today, training and all intra-school and inter-school activities may resume with spectators. "It's so important, it really is important," she told #TheTopRunner. "We speak about the importance of getting young kids involved in sports and arts and family support is a critical component of that," Hlophe explained.

"You'll know that for many of us who come from the townships and black families, sports and arts is still not considered as a career option in life. So when you do get individuals and parents who are able to support their kids it really is important. And that's why it's so critical that we get back to normality because you want that support there. But that's why we also speak about the business of sports - that there are other avenues. You can go into sports administration or entrepreneurship within sports. So that family support is critical and we want parents to be able to support their kids so that they have a greater appreciation of what's available," she shared.

Hlophe was speaking ahead of the 10th edition of the Gauteng Sport Awards which take place on the 14th of November at Gallagher Estate in Midrand which includes a new category for promising school sports athletes called the Amayanga-yanga. "We appreciate that in order for us to protect out crown as the home of champions we must invest in our young people and that is why have that category. All the successful sporting nations do so and invest in their young people," Hlophe concluded.

With the exception of the Sports Personality of The Year, all winners have been selected by a panel of judges. The public can vote for the Sports Personality (Temba Bavuma, Ntando Mahlangu, Kgothatso Montjane, Tatjana Schoenmaker) of the Year Award by visiting the Awards facebook page here.

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