Boxing and tennis coaches from Motherwell, Zwide and Gelvandale were thrilled yesterday after receiving equipment from the Nelson Mandela Bay sport, recreation, arts and cultural service.
Xolile Poswa, Mzwandile Sidina and Aubrey Simons were among the boxing and tennis coaches who received the sporting equipment at the hand-over held at Young Park tennis courts.
They were given 20 rackets, 51 balls, two punch bags and safety gear, among other items.
“The reason why we decided to offer a helping hand as the directorate is that we wanted to give back to people who had shown dedication and consistency in their respective codes,” Nelson Mandela Bay sport, recreation, arts and cultural service portfolio councillor Siyasanga Sijadu said.
“This is one way of fulfilling our mandate and objectives. Not every child is built to be behind the desk. It is important that those who have sporting abilities are nurtured and motivated to go forward. We want to use it as a medium for the children to better their lives.
“Crime is a burden for our townships and we need people who will use sport to keep the children occupied as soon as they leave school.”
Govan Mbeki Boxing Club coach Sidina said: “The equipment is going to assist us immensely because our gym acts as a haven in our crime-ridden neighbourhood. Our physically challenged children can now gain help with physiotherapy and stretching their muscles.”
Xoliswa Jonas, who will be competing in a boxing tournament in the lightweight division in East London this weekend, said the equipment came at the right time for her.
She said the gloves they had started using at the beginning of the year had worn out and some of the women had stopped attending gym.
“I had started getting blisters on my hands because we had run out of bandages to protect our hands from the coarse glove interior.
“Now I can prepare for my fight properly. I hope the boxing equipment will encourage all the boxers who decided to quit to rejoin the gym,” Jonas said.
The directorate hopes to raise more funds by the end of the year to assist other underprivileged clubs in the Bay.
Sijadu encouraged coaches making a difference in the township areas to continue seeking help for their communities.