“A stable income for Paralympians will be very helpful”- Paralympic veteran’s plea

By Drum Digital
31 October 2016

South African Paralympian Zanele Situ, one of the nominees for Sportswoman of the Year with Disability category, wishes Paralympians also had stable income from the sport just like other sporting codes, such as soccer.

Talking to DRUM after the announcement of the 11th annual South African Sport Awards nominees, the ecstatic Situ said, “I am excited about the nomination. It is all due to my hard work and I will be very happy if I can win.”  However, Situ (45) added that a lot still needs to be done by our government to ensure Paralympians are also taken care of like soccer stars.

“We are not like soccer players. When we resign from the sport we leave with nothing, as some of us are not employed permanently, and there is no money in our sport.” Situ explained that, besides her disability grant, she only makes money from Paralympics only when there is a competition and when you win.

“I know that not everything is about money, but I wish to have my own house someday so my 11-year-old daughter Azamazi can have a place she can call home,” said Situ, who says she lives with her sister in a small RDP house in Kwa Zulu Natal.

Situ says besides the stable salary she wishes for, “There are a lot of people with disabilities in rural areas and there are no facilities there for them to pursue sports. It can’t work if everyone has to move to Joburg to live their dreams, as money and transport is always an issue. And enough indoor training venues will help as well as during rainy and cold seasons we struggle”.

Situ, who was the first black woman to win a Paralympic gold medal for the country 16 years ago, recently won a bronze medal in javelin at the Rio Olympics.

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