LSEN learners get new soccer kit

Rotarians and learners with disabilities celebrate the donation of their new soccer kit.
Rotarians and learners with disabilities celebrate the donation of their new soccer kit.

Ocean View School for learners with special education needs (LSEN) have been given the tools they need to compete in sports. A brand new soccer kit was donated to them by Rotary Clubs in Cape Town.

Farida Williams, principal at the LSEN school says the donation came about as a result of ongoing relationships between the school and organisations in the community.

“It was a collaboration between the occupational therapist, Dylan Danster and the auxiliary social worker, Julie Rubain, who noticed that for the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children, what interests them most is soccer. In order for them to play and expend their extra energy, Julie contacted Rotary to see what could be done for the boys,” says Williams.

Rubain then got in touch with the Rotary Club Cape of Good Hope secretary, Bev Frieslich, to see if there was something that could be done so that they may have decent uniforms to wear, boots to play in and, Frieslich hopes, “to feel proud of their team – especially when they play games against other schools”.

Frieslich, a board member of the social work project, Valley Development Project (VDP), says the VDP is regularly called to assist with learners in need of one-on-one counselling sessions. A programme has been set up in three Ocean View schools, which incudes the special needs school, that include working with both the children and their parents to effect change in the learners.

She approached the Rotary Club of Claremont for help.

“They organise the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and part of the race passes through Ocean View, where the community has manned water stations over the years. They were keen to assist,” says Frieslich.

She adds: “Currently, they (the learners) play soccer games in their sometimes shabby clothes, with no soccer boots, but have the time of their lives and have even beaten some of the opposing teams that they have played against.”

The Claremont club agreed to sponsor the gear of the boys, “seeing it as a perfect opportunity to make a difference and show their appreciation for the support the community has given the cycle tour over the years,” Frieslich says.

With the donation of the kits, the boys will be able to compete in the Western Province South Africa LSEN league proudly, says Williams. “The boys are very happy with their kit,” she adds confidently.

Previously the school for LSEN has had their learners involved in adaptive surfing and sailing; using sport as positive learning and expression techniques. Williams also notes that the Rotary Clubs have indicated their interest in providing the girls of the school with their very own netball kit.

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