In a Grahamstown school where a praiseworthy one third of the student body went to the provincial athletics championships, two pupils have now been named members of the national basketball team for Intellectually Impaired Learners.
In a Grahamstown school where a praiseworthy one third of the student body went to the provincial athletics championships, two pupils have now been named members of the national basketball team for Intellectually Impaired Learners. Kuyasa Special School pupils Devernito du Plessis and Deano Jack, both 15, were selected after excelling at the National Age Groups Championships for the Intellectually Impaired last month.
Jack and du Plessis were among a number of Kuyasa pupils who travelled to Bloemfontein for the nationals in early October. The competition was hosted by the departments of sport and education in collaboration with the Free State Sport Council, Mangaung Metro and the South African Sport Association for the Intellectually Impaired.
Du Plessis was happy to be announced as part of the SA side and said he learnt many new basketball moves and rules at nationals. Jack acknowledged what a big opportunity it was to be selected, adding that he had met many new people and improved his game at the event.
Apart from basketball, other sporting events at the national games included indoor rowing, netball, hockey and soccer. Kuyasa rower Nomahlubi Hlasela won gold in the 1 000m singles event, while Lenache du Plessis grabbed gold in the 500m mixed relay and silver in the 500m singles event.
Apart from the national games, six Kuyasa pupils represented EP Athletics at the national cross-country champs in Rustenburg in September.
While the pupils didn't return with any medals, teacher Elisma Hallier said the competition had been tough and taught the pupils a great deal. They competed in the category for learners with special educational needs. Hallier said they have continued their cross-country training after the champs.
Before the nationals in October, around 50 Kuyasa athletes – one third of the school's total headcount – had gone to the provincial champs in Queenstown. Teacher Isabel Strauss said because they are the only special needs school in the district Kuyasa players made up all the various teams representing Cacadu.
In other news, another two Kuyasa pupils Mziyonda Hoyi and Virginia Louw were selected by the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture to be part of a recent youth camp in Port Alfred. The camp offered team building, skills development, canoeing, swimming and other activities.