EC’s 20-year twin­ning ties with Ger­man state

Go! & Express - - Front Page - ZETHU MTAMBEKA

THE East­ern Cape depart­ment of Sports, Recre­ation, Arts and Cul­ture cel­e­brated their 20-year-old part­ner­ship with the state of Lower Sax­ony, Ger­many on Oc­to­ber 21.

The pro­gramme, which was ini­ti­ated in 1995, started off with the East­ern Cape wel­com­ing sport men­tors from Ger­many to help im­prove sports in schools around the prov­ince. To­day, the East­ern Cape has 32 Ger­mans spread out across the re­gion work­ing as coaches, ath­letes, tech­ni­cal of­fi­cers and ad­min­is­tra­tors.

As a re­sult of this pro­gramme, Hand­ball is be­ing de­vel­oped in schools around the prov­ince at an in­tro­duc­tory level.

“This 20-year twin­ning goes far be­yond sports be­cause sport is one of the cat­a­lysts for na­tion build­ing. In many cases it is an ex­pres­sion of sol­i­dar­ity,” said the East­ern Cape MEC of Sports, Recre­ation, Arts and Cul­ture, Dr Pemmy Ma­jo­d­ina.

“Lower Sax­ony, Ger­many took an in- cred­i­ble risk by mak­ing the com­mit­ment to South Africa when we had only been one year into free­dom. They had no way to be cer­tain what type of gov­ern­ment we had but we ap­pre­ci­ate that they took that leap of faith,” she added.

The MEC high­lighted the much-de­bated trans­for­ma­tion in sports, say­ing that the man­date of the depart­ment was so­cial co­he­sion and na­tion build­ing, and that if school sports was not de­vel­oped then trans­for­ma­tion would not go for­ward.

In the year 2013, the South African Depart­ment of Sports and Recre­ation sent sports men­tors of their own to Ger­many, to stay for a year and vol­un­teer there as coaches.

This is re­ferred to as the Re­verse Vol­un­teer Pro­gramme and has helped ex­pose South African ath­letes to Ger­man chil­dren and vice versa.

“What started out as a pro­gramme has turned into a friend­ship and we are ea­ger to con­tinue the part­ner­ship,” co­or­di­na­tor of sports projects Dr An­gela Daal­man said.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL TIES: MEC for Sports, Recre­ation, Arts and Cul­ture Dr Pemmy Ma­jo­d­ina ex­changes gifts with Prof Dr WolfRüdi­ger Um­bach who was the head of the Ger­man del­e­ga­tion. Um­bach also hap­pens to be the pres­i­dent of the Lan­deS­portBund

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