Sports will bring hope to the youth

Image: 123RF/Cathy Yeulet

Nelson Mandela once said sport is the game of lovers. And that it has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does.

Madiba added that sport speaks to youth in a language they understand, and that "sports can create hope where there was once despair".

"It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."

At grassroots level, sports cannot only nurture ordinary youth to become future stars but it can keep children away from mischief, and worse, drugs and gangsterism. Sports is an outlet that can help to revive community moral regeneration. Communities are riddled by many social ills such as crime, teenage pregnancies and youth unemployment. Many youths have shown the will to unlearn delinquent lifestyles but have cited lack of recreational facilities as a drawback and this is detrimental to their socially desirable personal development.

Hopefully the opening of such a facility will reinvigorate the youth of Devon to dream big. In the recent handover of the refurbished multi-purpose sports complex to the Impumelelo community in Devon by the executive mayor of the Lesedi local municipality, it was heartwarming to see that government has identified sports as a vehicle to achieve social cohesion in communities.

The facility's renovation, which was co-funded by the municipality and the department of rural development and land reform, will contribute towards the development of sports in Devon.

The department through its rural infrastructure development unit contributed over R7m to the project.

By investing in the renovation of the sports facility, the department is fulfilling a broader mandate of the comprehensive rural development programme which seeks to address issues of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, lack of proper health facilities and recreational amenities particularly in rural areas.

Themba Mzula Hleko, Pretoria