This week, KwaZulu-Natal successfully hosted the South African Sports Association for the Intellectually Impaired National Group Games 2018. Encouraging sports participation for the intellectually impaired, the games kicked off at the Kings Park Stadium on Monday the 24th of September and were completed on Friday the 28th of September.
The games are an annual event for persons with intellectual disabilities. The athletes competed in the codes of, Netball, Basketball, Futsal, Athletics and Cross Country. The participating provinces were, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The participants were made up of mostly children from special schools and adults whose intellectual abilities vary and this year saw over 1500 athletes and officials making their way to Durban to be part of the memorable games.
The opening ceremony which was held on Monday opened with a wonderful parade of athletes participating in the games. The ceremony was also attended by prestigious guests which included, SASAII President Ms Lizzie Vogel and KZN Sports Confederation President Mr T Mcunu.
On Tuesday athletics games took place at the Kings Park stadium and on Wednesday the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) hosted the Cross Country. Basketball, Futsal and Netball were also played on the same day at different locations. The same codes continued the next Thursday.
Friday was the day to wrap up the sports filled week. The finals for the Netball and Basketball took place at the Hoy Park while the finals for the Futsal took place at the Durban North Action Cricket.
The closing ceremony was held at 12:00 at the Hoy Park.
In a media statement, the KZN Sports and Recreation Association for The Intellectually Impaired (KAZNAII) said that sports is a crucial part of the world’s population. It offers persons with intellectual disabilities the same values, pleasures and satisfaction.
On the 1st of October, selected athletes will represent South Africa at the World Championships for Persons with Down Syndrome where athletes from across the globe will compete in games such as, basketball, table tennis and athletics. The championships will take place in Madeira Portugal.