Time to focus on recreation
LAST week, we announced a team of capable women and men in our society who will in the next three years help the department to redefine its outlook and profile the recreational element of the portfolio.
The recreational element of the portfolio has not had that much exposure, which is why we are and have been pronounced as the Ministry of Sport, forgetting the other element.
The outcomes of the National Sport and Recreation Indaba in 2011 have deeply influenced the National Sport and Recreation Plan, which has recently been approved by Cabinet.
Central to this plan is the establishment of two important vehicles that will monitor and advise us in executing our tasks as we deliver a non-racial, non-sexist and socially cohesive environment in which our athletes will have access to better development in competitive and non-competitive sports.
The two structures - the Eminent Persons Group and the Recreational Advisory Committee - will come in handy for our country. The Advisory Committee on Recreation will, within the internationally accepted definition and description of recreation, make us as a country fully understand the concept and how it can be implemented for a better South Africa.
The international community defines the concept of recreation as: "Activities which develop skills that provide the incentive, motivation and means for spending leisure time constructively. As such, recreation must be concerned with a breadth and variety of activities, including physical, social, cultural, artistic and learning."
As a department we been encouraging people to live a healthy life, both mentally and physically. We encourage our people to spend their leisure time constructively by engaging in activities that will help increase their life-span. As part of the mandate of the committee, they will retrace the road traversed since South Africa resolved to designate recreation as one of its government programmes.
The committee will also advise on the successes, strengths, weaknesses and failures in the current recreation landscape, and identify key stakeholders and partners to drive the promotion and delivery of a national sport and recreation strategy.
The Department of Sport and Recreation is pushing for an active and winning nation through both the sport and recreation elements. Recreation is not about utilising a swimming pool for Oskido parties, but it is about building an active nation.
It's about participating in those Walk the Talk events. It's about building the mental strength of our people.
The cultural element of this portfolio will not be lost in this quest as we profile and redefine our work.
As we work tirelessly to ensure that this element is regulated within the confines of the law, the department is engaged in the initial work of producing the draft National Sport and Recreational Amendment Bill.
The issues we are raising about the recreational element will have to find a place within this bill.
In conclusion, the other element of recreation consists of our indigenous games, which together play a pivotal role in providing equal opportunities to a wide range of community members. These will include, but are not limited to active and positive recreation, structured and unstructured opportunities.
It is with great pleasure that we announce that South Africa, after holding the successful indigenous games meeting in Tshwane recently, which was won by KwaZulu-Natal, will compete at the fifth TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All) Games in Lithuania from July 3-7.
The gold medallists at the Tshwane Indigenous Games will go to Lithuania to represent South Africa in this prestigious world event. Let's give our support to the team as they fly the SA flag higher.