Celebrating SA’s young sports stars each month

2019-03-20 06:00

FROM 1994 to 2005, physical education had almost been eliminated from the government school curricula, rendering children motorically deprived. Children had forgotten how to play or had not been taught.

Currently, 17% of children are overweight, which leads to lifestyle diseases like obesity and diabetes.

Broadly intended to get South African children active, Let’s Play has grown from humble beginnings and is now entrenched in schools, suburbs and townships across SA. To get an idea of its incredible scope, Let’s Play engages with hundreds of thousands of children every week, plus 2 000 coaches spread across more than 2 500 schools in nine provinces. By any measure, that’s an enormous reach and credit to their energetic supporters.

Their continued success is due to a number of factors, not least the support of donors and sponsors. Moreover, endorsements from the Departments of Sport and Recreation, Basic Education, plus a vibrant working relationship with UNICEF give it the muscle to reach its ambitions.

Creator of the campaign Vaughn Bishop summed up the rationale behind Let’s Play: “Children are faced with many negative influences due to a lack of social engagement and opportunities for play.

“I believe that sport can make a significant difference in lifestyle and behaviour change and provide both hope and purpose to the children of SA,” he said.

The Let’s Play Star of the month competition, run in partnership with The Witness newspaper (Gazette’s sister paper), is one of Let’s Play’s projects which aims to celebrate and encourage sport achievement among children in our communities. The recognition by Let’s Play serves to motivate young people to achieve great things and continue to reach great heights.

If you know a child who is excelling in a particular sport, please tell us about them. The SuperSport Let’s Play Sport star of the month must be between the ages of seven and 18 and excel in sport in their school, community, nationally or internationally. A winner will be announced at the end of each month from March until Nov­ember.

Let’s Play Star of the Month winners receive a bag of goodies from SuperSport and a chance to be featured in The Witness newspaper. They also stand a chance of becoming the Star of the Year and featuring on SuperSport TV at the end of the year. Entry forms must be completed and submitted before the 20th of the month. — Supplied.

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