The North West Department of Education is amongst the top achievers by obtaining the fourth position during the South African Primary School Track and Field Championships held at Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province from 20th and 21st March 2023.
The North West Province Secured 5 gold, 6 Silver and 15 Bronze medals which in total resulted to 26 medals.
The province sent 102 primary school athletes from across the province to participate in both track and field event season that includes short and long distance races and field events has discuss, javelin and high jump amongst others.
The athletes are the cohort that obtained position one and two at the provincial competitions which was held at McArthur Field and Track Athletics Stadium in Potchefstroom at earlier this month.
Normally the first quarter of the year in the education sector is dedicated as athletics season. The eliminations process for the best performing athletes who represented the province at national level started from school, cluster, sub-district, district, provincial and to national level.
The MEC for Education, Viola Motsumi congratulated the North West team for representing the province with excellence.
“On behalf of the department I wish to congratulate the entire team for representing our province with excellence.
We are extremely proud as a province for the 26 medals won at the national championships.
“As the department our responsibility is to expose talent which our learners have from an early stage. We do not only prepare them for academic life but those who have a talent in sport get a chance to express themselves.
“I also take this time to appreciate the efforts of our teachers and school enrichment officials who started with this process from school level until to national level. Without their guidance and leadership learners would not know the potential they possess, said MEC Motsumi.
MEC Motsumi emphasized that the province is on the right track on sport because the plan is to keep everyone active in schools.
Motsumi further thanked Rueben Smit, a 12-year-old boy doing Grade 6 at Laerskool Vastrap Rustenburg who broke both 75m hurdles and 150m hurdles records that have since been there in 2011 and 2019 during the SA Championships.
Athletics is a big part of ”Reubies” as he is known to most people.
His parents Pieter and Cornel Smit say he made them and the school very proud with his accomplishment as he broke the SA record in both hurdle events as well as receiving the trophy for best boy’s track athlete at the National Championship 2023.
Speaking to Reubies’ father, he says Reuben started running hurdles at the age of nine.
“Reubies showed his interest in athletics at the age of nine. Through hard work and commitment his dream of becoming SA champion in the sport he loves so much, was finally greatly rewarded”, said the proud father.
Smith together with Krya and van der Merwe from the North West Province received the Victor/Victrix Lodorum for Gender, Track/Field Trophies for their outstanding performance in their events. These are Jubileus Kyra (for Shortput and Discuss) Dene Van Der Merwe (100m and 200m) who took home two out the four prestigious awards awarded to four athletes per National championship.
The province is further looking forward to the High School Athletics Championship to be held in Germiston from 03– 05 April 2023.
For more information please contact:
NW Education spokesperson
072 892 8399/ 072 115 4855