The South African Post Office (Sapo) has given the College of Magic in Claremont a boost with a donation of hundreds of playing cards.The playing cards were handed over at Claremont Hall on Thursday. The aim of the donation is to help empower growing magicians from across Cape Town.According to the director of the college, David Gore, these playing cards will benefit more than 200 students.Gore says the college appealed to Sapo for help and he is impressed with the positive response they received. He says: “The College of Magic was thrilled when it heard that Sapo was going to donate this large quantity of packs of playing cards to our organisation. Sapo plays a vital role in our communication with our parents and guardians of more than 200 students training at the College of Magic. A parent of one of our students, who works at Sapo, has assisted in strengthening a close relationship.“Playing cards are synonymous with magicians. ‘Pick a card, any card,’ is a line many would have heard a magician say, only to be astounded at how the magician is able to know and find their card in a magical manner. ‘Cardistry’, where the performer executes difficult, visually impressive flourishes with cards, is especially popular with young people throughout the world at the moment.“At the College of Magic card magic is one of the most popular fields of the art. Recently, the College of Magic has launched courses in rural areas which specifically focus on card magic,” he explains.He says the school distributes hundreds of packs of cards annually to young people who are eager to learn the various skills associated with card games. Gore says card games help with skills development, hand and coordination skills and performing and it nurtures self-confidence, good manners and presentation and a host of life skills. “This donation will be a big boost to our programmes, especially the rural outreach project. For many of these students, it will be the first time they have handled or owned playing cards and it becomes a treasure for these apprentice magicians. Many of these students use the cards to practise new skills and to entertain in their communities to such an extent that their packs of cards need to be replaced through extraordinary usage,” says Gore.He describes the College of Magic as a non-profit organisation that provides extra-mural training and attracts a diverse range of students from throughout the Cape.Martie Gilchrist, spokesperson of Sapo, says they decided to offer packs of playing cards to the school from undelivered mail. Gilchrist says: “It is our mandate at Sapo to contribute positively to the communities within which we operate and the people we serve. We can only hope that with this small act of goodwill the college will be able to continue its good work of education and nurturing the life-skills of its students and in so doing, setting their imagination free to enable them to achieve the impossible.”She says they are donating 25 plastic bags full of playing cards, of which one pack of cards costs between R30 and R50.