African Bank is proud to be one of the official sponsors of the Special Olympics South Africa National Summer Games, being hosted in the Polokwane Municipality, Limpopo, from 17 – 19 November.
Edna Montse, African Bank Group Executive for Sustainability and Transformation says it is an honour to partner with the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Youth Development Agency as over 700 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across all 9 Provinces descend on Polokwane Municipality, Limpopo to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics South Africa Summer Games.
‘We jumped at the opportunity to be part of an event which aligns so closely with our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and transformation. Not only do we support these incredible athletes, but we have also created a waste management initiative that will create much-needed employment within the province. We have partnered with the City of Polokwane to roll out a waste management initiative that will create much needed employment for the marginalised intellectually disabled young people. This will be rolled out during the buildup, the actual event and post the event.”
Montse feels that there is still more that corporate South Africa can do to promote diversity and inclusivity. “We are working hard to ensure we align employment equity for persons with disabilities and part of our drive is to educate and create awareness around the urgent need to include programmes that cater for people with disabilities.”
The waste management programme is an example of one such programme, but Montse confirms the bank is looking at rolling out other programmes in which young people with disabilities can be capacitated. “There is no reason why disability should be seen as an obstacle, people with disabilities can make a valuable contribution to the success of our society if they are afforded the opportunities to do so.”
During the 3-day event, Special Olympics athletes will compete in various sporting codes, including athletics, aquatics, basketball, bocce, football, futsal, netball, table tennis and ten pin bowling. Three days of fierce competition will see the selection of the Special Olympics South Africa National Team that will represent South Africa at the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany.
The National Team will be participating against over 7000 athletes from 180 countries in Berlin and will be hoping to beat the medal count from the previous Special Olympics Summer Games in the UAE, where the team returned with 35 Gold, 15 Silver and 12 Bronze medals!
‘We wish all of the participants everything of the best over the next three days and thank Special Olympics South Africa for the opportunity to be part of these exciting games,” says Montse.