Wednesday, 17 August
08 May

“A healthy mind is always housed in a healthy body,” says Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe.
As such, he believes that sport can assist pupils in producing better results.
Makgoe has declared that all schools in the province will participate in a sporting code every Wednesday.
Many township schools were not participating in sport due to a lack of zeal from pupils or teachers.
Makgoe said some schools didn’t have the necessary sporting facilities, which prevented children from participating.
Free State, though, has been producing the best matric results in the country.
“We introduce sports to fight social ills in our society. We have incidents of violence, bullying, racism and gender-based violence,” he said.
“We are creating a platform where our pupils will compete against each other and ultimately emerge victorious. Those who may not be participating will be supporting those who would be representing their schools.”
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Makgoe encouraged every child to participate in a sporting activity of their choice.
“We have established that our pupils, who perform well academically, also do well in sports. If you want to improve academic performance, particularly in township schools, you have to introduce sports.
“Books and sports are two sides of the same coin. We have been trying to reintroduce sports, but were hindered by some organisations in our schools. 
“We have decided to run it on our own. If someone wants to sponsor any sporting code, they are welcome to do so. Our primary objective is that we want our children to be active. We need to do away with violence in our schools.”
Angry children

Makgoe said some pupils are angry and resort to abusing their peers.

“One of the best ways of managing that anger is through sports. We will encourage such children to participate in boxing. Boxing has rules and will instil the culture of discipline and make their fighting into a proper, official sport.

“Children can also use their other talents to reach higher levels of achievements. Our country is not doing well in soccer, but in rugby because of the school rugby foundation.”

Makgoe promised that pupils would also participate in indigenous sports. 

READ | How the Free State education dept saved 1 472 jobs at schools for youth applicants
“[We want] every child to be active. Wednesdays are declared sports day, and our teachers have promised to take part by encouraging pupils. We are also going to introduce a music competition because some of our children are not only talented in sport, but have talent in music.

“We don’t want to see our children singing hymns. We want them to be creative musicians. We are going big on choral music. We have identified schools that specialise in arts and culture. Many schools are participating in choral music.
“There are people who will try to pull our children down. Our biggest challenge is sporting facilities. I am not going to start when the conditions are perfect. I am used to working in unfavourable conditions and delivering results.

“We are committed and have spoken to some sponsors to assist in erecting the best facilities. We want to produce the best athletes and musicians.”
16 Aug
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