By Dr. Tutu Faleni, DA MPL. Portfolio: Education, Sports, Arts, Culture and Traditional Affairs:
The DA will ensure the North West Provincial Government honours their responsibility to eight disabled athletes who were chosen to participate at the World Summer Games in Los Angeles from 20 July to 5 August 2015.
The DA learned with shock that the North West Government has not given any recognition to these athletes who will join 62 other athletes (from the remaining eight provinces in South Africa) for this prestigious international event.
Special Olympics South Africa (SOSA) in North West, has also gone to great lengths to try and get financial assistance in order to ensure their participation in the event.
SOSA is worried, because to date, all correspondence to the NWPG by SOSA (NW) were ignored. According to SOSA (NW) all the other provinces support their athletes in this venture.
If the situation is not dealt with immediately these eight athletes will have to withdraw from the event.
After SOSA’s plea to the Democratic Alliance for help the DA will bring an urgent motion in the Legislature in order to help these athletes to participate on international level.
The DA encourages and want to promote participation (to the fullest extent possible) of persons with disabilities in sporting activities at all levels.
It is sad that this is a trend in the NWPG not to support athletes in their quest to success. However if athletes perform well, they only then get involved in the athletes life and claim the victory for themselves. They then use expensive showcase events to honour the athlete, but were never a crucial part of the athlete’s journey.