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Vhumbani Masakona, the Isability Sports Clubs throw coach, throwing his new South African  record in the men’s F55 seated javelin. Photo: Martin Potgieter.

Local para-athletes shine at SA Champs

Date: 05 April 2024 By: 

Para-athletics News

A team comprising 59 para-athletes and 20 officials recently travelled to Bloemfontein to represent Limpopo Province at the Toyota SASAPD National Championships, held from 21 to 25 March. The team’s results are a testament to the positive development of para-sport in Limpopo.

For Limpopo, the Goalball game (a team ball game for blind players) resulted in a silver medal for the senior female team, bronze for the senior male team, and bronze for the junior females. In total, the para-athletic team secured 62 individual medals (32 gold, 21 silver, and 9 bronze), setting 13 new South African records.

Athletes from the local Isability Sports Club Limpopo significantly contributed to the tally of medals and records. Masala Makatu from Champions Christian Academy clinched three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 400m in the U/20 T12 (visually impaired) class, setting two new South African records (100m and 400m). Franco Botha (T/F44 U/17), from Louis Trichardt High School, achieved three golds and an impressive three new SA records in the 100m, discus, and long jump.

Vhutuhawe Nemutandani from Emmanuel Christian School secured gold and a new SA record in the U/17 discus for class F61, gold in the long jump, and silver in the 100m. Wamashudu Masakona, a learner from Rivoni School for the Blind, achieved two golds in the 100m and 200m, setting a new SA record. Vhumbani Masakona, the club’s throw coach, earned gold and a new SA record in the men’s F55 seated javelin, and a bronze in the discus.

Other Isability athletes contributing to the medal count included Corrie Dercksen with gold in the men’s shot put (class F57), Nthambeleni Manavhela with two silvers, Ishmael Tshipuke (two golds), Hloni Rakolo (silver and bronze), Miracle Malatji (gold), Simon Chavhangu (gold and silver), Fhatani Makwarela (bronze), Kamogelo Sekuru (silver and bronze), Tshepiso Mangena (three silver), Shaun Maila (silver), Madale Mathye (gold) and Louisa Mapayini (silver and bronze).

Local Paralympian Sheryl James sprinted to three golds in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races, and is now aiming for the World Para-athletic Champs in Kobe, Japan, in May this year.

The progress in para-athletics development in Limpopo has been supported by many stakeholders. The team expresses gratitude firstly to God, for providing wisdom, inspiration, energy, and access to opportunities. They also thank every school, individual, and business that has supported their cause over the past few years. Special thanks were extended to Jumping Kids, who, with the assistance of De Beers, contributed towards the team’s accommodation and donated a new track-racing chair for Simon Chavhangu. The Limpopo Academy of Sport was commended for their support and for going beyond the expected to assist the team when transport became an issue.

The Limpopo Sports Confederation received thanks for their considerable assistance with accommodation, while the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture was thanked for transport and kit. Athletes from the Makhado Municipal area expressed gratitude for transport assistance from the Makhado Local Municipality and appreciated the councillors and members of the Makhado Municipality who attended the games to support their local athletes.

 
 
 

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