PMB’s future sports stars get their chance to shine

2017-03-02 12:02
Let’s Play, an initiative to give recognition to Pietermaritzburg primary school pupils who excel in sport.

Let’s Play, an initiative to give recognition to Pietermaritzburg primary school pupils who excel in sport. (Supplied)

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The Witness and SuperSport have launched Let’s Play, an initiative to give recognition to Pietermaritzburg primary school pupils who excel in sport. 
SuperSport will sponsor the monthly prizes and The Witness will give coverage to each winner.

The project kicks off today and will run for nine months until the end of November, after which an overall winner will be selected and announced at a formal function in December. The awards function will be broadcast on the Let’s Play programme on SuperSport.

Any school can play. All they need to do is to nominate a sport star(s) at their school on a monthly basis and forward the name(s) to The Witness sport editor. 
An independent panel, still to be selected, will pick the monthly winner. Each monthly winner will receive a gift package to the value of R700.

Nominations can be e-mailed to sport@witness.co.za or faxed to 033 355 1188 before the 20th of the month, starting from this month. Simply send your nomination(s) in a short e-mail explaining what the pupil(s) has/have achieved. 

The criteria the panel will take into consideration include the level of participation (regional, provincial, national or international level), sportsmanship, continuous improvement throughout the season, regular attendance of practices and the enjoyment thereof, a high level of participation at sports meetings, assisting others — especially younger ones — and a happy attitude.

Pupils who excel in any sport may be nominated, whether it’s surfing, karate, paragliding, sailing, horse riding, biathlon, squash, soccer, rugby, tug-of-war, paintball or tennis to name a few. Sports organisers and the principal must decide in the end who to nominate. 

Sports clubs, like karate, judo and swimming, may also nominate their rising sport stars but they have to send the nominations via the pupils’ schools.

Let’s Play’s 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 and of Basic Education, plus a vibrant working relationship with UN agency Unicef, give it the muscle to reach its ambitions.

Vaughn Bishop, who heads up the campaign, 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 South Africa,” he said.

“It is clear, however, that no single individual or organisation has the ability to resolve the great challenges facing our children and, in this context, the importance of building partnerships and promoting strategic corporate investment in their development is crucial to making a lasting difference.”

In celebration of activating our children, Let’s Play launched the Schools Physical Education Challenge, which was arguably the biggest schools sporting event to date. The Challenge was a nation-wide event targeted at 10- and 11-year-olds initially from 500 of South Africa’s primary schools. 

The objective of the challenge was to reinforce the instruction of curriculum-oriented physical education and to promote physical activity in all schools. 

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