The mantra that a child in sport stays out of court echoed at the Taking Back Nelson Mandela Bay campaign handover of sports equipment yesterday at a school in Kuyga where brand-new cricket and football kits were handed over.
The youngsters will now get the opportunity to compete against each other with decent equipment sponsored by Eastern Province Cricket and Gelvandale Spar in a suburb that contributes the lion share of crime recorded in the Kabega Park precinct.
Colonel Lester Brass, Visual Policing Commander in the area, who mentioned the slogan at the meeting, said crime in Kuyga is so concerning that plans are afoot to launch this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign of No Violence Against Women and Children in the area.
Kuyga’s Nkosinathi Ndwayana (15), a budding soccer star affiliated to Young Ideas Football Club, could hardly contain his excitement as the new football kits and balls will hopefully come their way.
“The balls are nice and I am glad about the sponsorship,” approved Nkosinathi their windfall.
The handover came as a result of a promise made by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan, a prominent role-player in the Taking Back Nelson Mandela Bay campaign that he will return with a team of different officials to start addressing community concerns in Kuyga.
Conveying a message on behalf of the Mayor, MMC for Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy, Cllr Andile Mfunda, said Dr Jordaan would like to see local government reconnect with the community.
“We are Taking Back Nelson Mandela Bay as we are named after the political icon Nelson Mandela.
“We must be proud of this metro as all stakeholders are doing a great job in an effort to address unemployment, crime, poverty and other social ills.
“This initiative is very important as our children must play sport and it is our duty to ensure that they have facilities by providing playing fields for them to do so,” he said.
Mr Timothy Hendricks, Chairperson of the Kabega Park Community Policing Forum, said the context in which the campaign must be understood is that we are taking back our city from crime, corruption and moral degeneration.
Taking Back Nelson Mandela Bay is a civil society initiative spearheaded by the Community Policing Forum Board, the South African Police Services, the Office of the Executive Mayor, municipal departments, provincial government departments, health services, church leaders, sports administrators and business people.
Mr Kolekile Calana, also an executive member of the CPF, recognized the difference in the area since the Mayor last visited and said hard work is now being done to cement greater working relations but the level of protection must be improved when whistle blowers come forward.
Two full football strips and balls were sponsored by Mr Craig Herman from Gelvandale Spar, and four sets of cricket equipment by Mr Donovan May, President of EP Cricket.
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