20 September 2017. The first introduction workshop was held by Marti Heri (SAGF Development Manager) on the first day of the National Disability Games of SASA II (SA Sports Association for the Intellectually Impaired (SASA-II) from the 18th September 2017.
Realising the low number of participating provinces in the disability section of last SRSA School Games, Marti initiated a contact with Chairperson; Lizzie Vogel for collaboration.
To improve the number of institutions and participants in all provinces involved in disability gymnastics, representatives from all 9 provinces and teachers from local special schools from North West Province were invited by SASA II with the coordination of Charles Sipung, North West SASA II Chairperson.
25 teachers and coaches accompanied by national/provincial committee members from 8 provinces took part in a 90 minutes interactive workshop in the morning to understand the benefits of gymnastics as a foundation sport for the development of ABC’s such as: Agility, Balance, Coordination and Speed while promoting health and fitness.
A variety of playful activities including warm up games, fun exercises for body preparation with own body weight to develop strength, speed, CV endurance and flexibility were not only demonstrated, but more importantly experienced by all participants. We used some hand equipment like skipping ropes, hoops, balls that are easily accessible anywhere.
Another 90 minutes session took place in the early afternoon for 14 teachers from 10 special schools of North West Province to give even more practical ideas to start implementing gymnastics in their institution. SAGF donated some basic hand equipment for the programme to enable the teachers to show what minimal requirement is needed to kick-start a foundation programme in their school.
Special school coordinator for the region: Granny Modise from Neo Mathabe Special School was identified to establish a North West Disability Gymnastics task team. She will create a “whats app” group for communication and email the participants to share ideas and notes from the workshop. Max Ndemera, a rope skipping coach from Lillian Leletha Special School was appointed to run rope skipping workshops in the region. Max has been involved in gymnastics for a few years and is taking a disability team to the National School Games in December. Marti consulted Sbu Mabele, Development Representative of Rope Skipping Technical Committee to guide him how to facilitate beginner workshops in future.
The concept of FUNdamental Gymnastics Workshops will be discussed at the Development Indaba on 20-21 October and another workshop with a focus on disability will be held during the National School Games in Cape Town on 13 December to capacitate SAGF provincial school representatives to facilitate more introduction workshops in the provinces.
Special thanks to SRSA for funding the workshop series and SASA II for their willingness to assist with the development of disability gymnastics.