South African Sport seems to be turning a corner in promoting community participation and involvement.
Last week it was announced that Netball South Africa and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) have joined hands in a country-wide bid to fight gender based violence.
Both the Ministries of Sport & Recreation; and for Women, Children and People endorsed the partnership and called on all sports organisations to follow suit. The new partnership will see the two organisation roll out a programme of empowerment and gender-based violence awareness to Netball SA’s more than two million participants across the country.
Netball SA CEO Blanche de la Guerre said it was an exciting time for the sport, which was growing both on and off the court, “This partnership will add a new dimension to all NSA activities in helping women and girls to learn about the dangers of abuse and the ability to stand together and speak out against it. We all know the importance of physical activity for growth and development of young girls but we believe in holistic development. Therefore we aim to raise strong confident young women who can forge their way in modern society.”
While POWA executive director Nhlanhla Mokwena said teaming up with the largest mass participation women’s sport in the country was an opportunity not to be missed, “For both organisations we realise that we don’t want to be women on the margins we want to be in the big leagues because that is where the men are. We want to honour our “sheroes” who play netball are at every school so that the young ones can see what we are doing. This is a call to action for all of us.”
And the African Netball Championship winner SPAR Proteas national team coach Elize Kotze endorsed the campaign saying it was a valuable undertaking that she would encourage all national team players to become ambassadors to, “This is the most fantastic opportunity to make a difference in our country. The biggest message we should get to is getting to the young girls that we are not the weaker gender. You are born in this country to have voice and I will make sure that our teams will be representing POWA with the same passion as which they represent our beautiful country.”