MRP Foundation’s Physical Education coach Phindokuhle Ngcobo helps learners at Ekwandeni Primary School in Hammarsdale warm up, just before their first ever interschool athletics day. Picture: MRP Foundation / Tim Lubbe
It was a day to remember for Ekwandeni Primary School learners in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, when the school proudly hosted its first ever interschool athletics day, as part of the MRP Foundation’s innovative school’s programme.
Learners were thrilled, yet anxious, to be participating in an athletics event for the first time, while their friends loudly cheered them on with equal enthusiasm. The six schools that participated in the event were Emaxulwini Primary, Ekwandeni Primary, Kwamyeza Primary, Ekwenameni Primary, Khalawemuke Primary and Halala Primary.
“Never before has our school had such an exciting event. Both the learners and our teachers are so enthusiastic,” said Deputy Principal of the host school, Ms. Lindiwe Thabethe. “Every Wednesday is a favourite day at our school, as it is our sports lessons. Not only do learners get a chance to relax and do some physical activities, but it has helped us tremendously with discipline, where sports is used as motivation,” she added.
The Deputy Principal expressed her gratitude to the MRP Foundation for reviving physical education at her school, where learners previously only played soccer and netball due to being under-resourced with skilled educators and sports equipment.
The MRP Foundation’s holistic Schools Programme promotes the concept of “healthy body, healthy mind,” through physical education at these schools. The programme also empowers educators to be physical education teachers, as well as provides basic sports equipment to the schools. Thus far, the programme has been implemented in 62 schools across KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Western Cape and Gauteng with hopes to scale the number of schools reached significantly within a five-year period in various region throughout South Africa.
Words: Farzanah Asmal