UCT joins call to grow parasport at Western Cape universities

05 April 2024 | Story Staff writer. Photo Lerato Maduna. Director Boikhutso Ntsoko Videography Boikhutso Ntsoko, Ruairi Abrahams. Video Edit Boikhutso Ntsoko. VP Team Roxanne Harris, Ruairi Abrahams, Boikhutso Ntsoko and Nomfundo Xolo.  Read time 3 min.
Participants play a game of wheelchair basketball in UCT’s Sports Centre.

In the spirit of sports development, parasport enthusiasts from universities in the Western Cape gathered for a day of robust discussion and debate on how best to introduce and grow a parasport culture at university level.

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) ParaSports Club’s Muya Koloko said the workshop joined parasport buffs from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Stellenbosch University (SU), UCT and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) under one roof. Because SU and UCT have established parasport clubs, the goal, he said, is to assist CPUT and UWC as they chart a path towards introducing parasport codes at their universities. The workshop was hosted by CPUT and was held on Saturday, 16 March.

The event aimed to strengthen ties between the institutions’ new and established parasport clubs and included a packed programme. Discussions focused on how to introduce parasport at university level and the importance of adopting inclusive practices. It served as a learning opportunity and a platform to engage, collaborate and share experiences.

“We hosted this event to really just plot a much-needed plan of support and to come up with sustainable practices around sports for students with disabilities,” Koloko said.

Developing a parasport culture

Koloko said developing a parasport culture among students with disabilities is a fundamental step towards creating an inclusive campus community and contributes positively to students’ overall university experience. He said he is proud that CPUT and UWC have taken this significant step towards introducing and nurturing parasport at their respective universities and is thrilled that the UCT ParaSports Club will be part of their journeys.

Plans are already under way to ensure a successful implementation process. Koloko said hosting a series of workshops that aim to introduce role-players to specific parasporting codes like goalball and wheelchair rugby will take place in due course. In addition, he said, developing online training material aimed at students who want to get involved in sport officiating is in the pipeline as well. But the ultimate goal is a provincial parasport intervarsity competition, which, Koloko added, should take place in the next three years if everything goes according to plan.

“As Western Cape universities we have pledged to work together. As the UCT ParaSports Club, we look forward to being part of all of this and witnessing parasport flourish at our universities,” he said.

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