The Guard

The Truth On Board

Celebrating SANParks week through sports

By Emily Setona

GOLDEN-GATE – Various teams hosted by South African National Parks (Sanparks) participated in the different sporting codes from soccer, netball and volleyball as part of celebrating Sanparks open week .
Visitors and community surrounding the area are allowed free access to the parks for the entire week.
The sports tournament was a fun filled event for the participants and one of the sporting codes played was volleyball, and not just the usual soccer and netball matches.

Maluti-a-Phofung volleyball team,s player Nthabiseng Mashiloane who has lost against The Anonymous team from Dihlabeng local municipality, attributed their loss to lack experience and resources.
“Our team lost three sets to the Clarens team because we are still a developing team with little resources. Every Wednesday at 14:30 we try to get together and train.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow player Rantapo Tau “As a small and developing team this tournament gave us an opportunity to hone our skills and see how we can improve ourselves.”
The Clarens team from Dihlabeng local municipality which goes by the name The Anonymous won three sets that they played against MAP volleyball team.
“We were expecting more teams, but this was an advantage for us because we played only against the MAP team which is still a developing team that is why we won all three sets against them. I enjoyed this tournament very much,” The Anonymous coach Themba Lengau said.

Lengau also said that their star player jersey number 4 Molefe Machona was their winning formula because he played extremely well.

Park manager Paddy Goordon has this to say during an interview with The Guard , “The Golden Gate Highlands national park is viewed by many as an island of plenty surrounded by an ocean of poverty. We as a national park are interested to change this image of the park by caring about the people living adjacent to us. We won’t just act as kings but rather make sure that we make an impact on the socio – economic situation of the communities living close to us.”

Senior Environmental Conservation Officer Thulani Mdlalosi said that the Sanparks week has been running for seventeen years and they have planned a sports tournament for the main event.
“The sports codes that we have included in our sports tournament during our main event for this year’s Sanparks week is soccer, netball and volleyball. Both sports and nature have a rejuvenating and distressing effect on people that is why we have arranged for this sporting event at our park,” Socio- economic transformation officer Moipone Tau – Mofokeng said.