Schools sports strengthen bonds

2016-08-11 06:00

ABOUT 250 pupils and 44 teachers will make their way to Chatsworth­ this weekend to give new meaning to organised school sports thereby strengthening the existing bond among pupils from Tongaat, Verulam, Phoenix, Chats-worth and Pietermaritzburg.

These annual quadrangular games is an awaited tournament where pupils are involved in friendly rivalry in soccer, netball, volleyball, table tennis and chess.

These games are played across four divisions – U11, U13, U15 and U17.

Preparations to participate in these games started early in the year as this is the only pupil-sponsored games in the area.

Every pupil has to raise an amount, which differs from area to area, to cover the costs of transport to the venue, meals, a medal and administration.

According to Tonver president, Guru Ramcharan: “This is one of the highlights on our sporting calendar for our pupils. The organisation and administration of these games is always of the highest standard, yet we are plagued by financial woes so much so that we request pupils to fund these games. Yet, millions are spent in our province hosting teams in five-star hotels­ while the quality of the tournament leaves much to be desired.”

Noel Martins, co-ordinator of Friendship Games 2016, of Chats- worth, was upbeat about the coming games.

“We are ready to welcome our special guests, the pupils, to Chatsworth, who one day will be great ambassadors of public school sport.”

“The Friendship Games provides a stage for our pupils to showcase their talent at another level. Every participant takes home a medal - gold, silver or bronze - which will remain as a reminder of the newly found friendship, the true spirit of sportsmanship and perhaps the grim reminder that school sport is still not yet fully unified in terms of playing venues, opportunities and funding,” said Kugan Subrayan, chairperson of Phoessa.

Kugen Moodley, secretary of the Pietermaritzburg­ outfit, was excited about making the trip to the coast.

“Our pupils look forward to these championships as the friendly rivalry assures a holistic development of the individual.

“A child on court is a child out of court and providing opportunities to participate in organised sport is fulfilling this goal of keeping them focused as sporting and academic excellence are inter-wined.”

The Friendship Games action get under way on Saturday at the following venues:

Soccer - Unit 3B grounds

Netball - Chatsworth Stadium

Volleyball - Arena Park Secondary School

Table tennis - Chatsworth Youth Centre

Chess - Arena Park Hall

Tonver pupils will be travelling in a convoy of five buses.

Parents are urged to make their own arrangements.

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