BY KAMVELIHLE NETJIES
After 4 weeks of planning for the event, from 08:00 until 15:00 on 15 June, stakeholders, learners and locals gathered at Fingo Square for a Youth Crime Prevention event.
According to the program of the event, the fun walk to Fingo Square started outside the St Michael and St George Cathedral at 08:00. Both the Police and Traffic Departments were responsible for monitoring the cars driving along the High St, Bathurst and Beaufort St and the safety of the children.
Before talks from Ward Councillors and other officials, and the activities as planned even took place, the LOVELIFE organisation offered aerobics to refresh the crowd.
Even though Fingo Square is a huge space, all sports managed to be squeezed in for everyone to participate. The sports included street soccer, netball, basketball and boxing; and they were all coordinated by experienced pupils.
“It makes me happy when events like these come to us in the townships, but how I wish they are not once off events and be on Youth Day only”, said Mandilakhe Klass, coach of Lakhenathi Football Club, who was the coordinating the street soccer.
“Today it’s not about winning but to motivate children and giving them opportunity to be active. As I’m coordinating, I have seen talents and as a coach it gives an opportunity to select players that I can train.”
Safety and health come first, and the Department of Health (DoH) had stations for testing and provided condoms for attendees. “I’m very impressed that this day managed to function successfully with no errors, said Donald Matheza who part of the DoH’s initiative. “I thank the locals for their support and parents for allowing their children to come. I didn’t expect for such a turn up of people who came to support, and I could say they exceeded our expected number much as it is a holiday now.”
The Youth Crime Prevention event was planned by a number of national, provincial and local organisations and institutions including the Department of Sports, Recreation, Art and Culture, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Safety and Liaison, Makana Boxing Club, SAPS, LOVELIFE, Grocotts Mail, RMR, and others.
The vision of the event was to celebrate the 43rd Youth Day and to advise the youth to stay away from drugs, crime and any other illegal substances by providing activities to keep them active.