On the 11th of March the Department of Sports Science at Stellenbosch was a hive of activity. Early in the morning the 3rd year sports science students specializing in adapted movement programmes were preparing for their very important guests. Quite soon the announcement was made that the school buses were pulling in. Excited kids from Bizweni Centre, Athlone School for the Blind and Unakho Centre for the Differently Abled started streaming in with their teachers, therapists, and parents. They were joined by adults with disabilities from Bridging Abilities adapted physical activity groups from Macassar and Strand as well as the peer supporters from Helderberg Association for the Physically Disabled.
After a short welcoming the children were divided into three halls where they participated in various fun and recreational activities. There were obstacle courses, ball games, and various activities. These activities included skills related to tennis, soccer, cricket and basketball. The smaller children were exposed to various sensory games using, balloons, bean bags, mats and gym balls. The activities were thought out in such away so that they could relate to a different theme such as ‘under the sea’, ‘jungle’, ‘pirates’ and ‘island style’. The main aim of all these activities was to provide inclusive opportunities to take part in physical activities and to have the opportunity to stimulate hand eye co-ordination and body awareness during movement. Inclusive activities were important because the variety of participants all had different forms of disabilities which affected their movement in different ways. The participants, who were as young as five years old, had various disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and visual impairments.
After the activities each child and volunteer received a lunch pack. The children also received a lovely medal. The food, some of the transport and medals were sponsored by the Cape Winelands District Municipality. We would like to thank Mr Claude Schroeder (Executive Director) and his Department: Community Development & Planning Services (Unit: Rural & Social Development) for their generous sponsorship and for ensuring that the participants of Unakho could join in the fun activities of the day. We would like to thank the schools and centres and their staff for attending the event. Lastly we want to thank Adapt2Move Programme and the Stellenbosch Sport Science Department who have been our partners for the last seven years and ten events.
Two quotes from the day that we’ve received:
‘Thanks ……….for going the extra mile to spoil our kids like this. For some it was a 2nd Xmas. We really appreciate everything.’ Zelda Hansen, Athlone School for the Blind
‘Lia had a fantastic time, as always. The medals were a special touch this time and she has worn it everyday so far.’ Fiona, a parent.