News

Rehabilitation Sports Day celebrates hope and life after injury

Having a disability need not be a barrier to participating in sport and living life to the full

Thursday, October 16 2014

This inspiring one-liner is the message that South Africa’s number one ranked wheelchair tennis superstar, Lucas Sithole, is hoping to impart to participants with disabilities who will be attending Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital’s Sports Day on 22 October.

“The sports day is an annual event originally started in 2000. It focuses on patients who have suffered spinal cord and head injuries as well as strokes, amputations and polytrauma,” explains Marietha van Vuuren, general manager of Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

She adds that, “The event aims to inspire a sense of hope and build confidence in patients with disabilities by using sport as a type of therapy to achieve physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. One of the greatest challenges for many people who have disabilities is understanding and focusing on how they are enabled rather than disabled.”

Patients, both past and present, from Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital as well as those from other rehabilitation facilities in Gauteng and surrounding areas will be participating in events such as wheelchair races, volleyball, quad racing, and basketball, as well as hockey, soccer, shot put and an obstacle course race. The South African wheelchair basketball team will also be treating the guests to an exciting demonstration of their renowned skills on the basketball court.

The guests will get the opportunity to meet Lucas Sithole and hear a motivational talk by the 27-year-old triple amputee from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal who has made a name for himself in the professional disabled sports community both in South Africa and abroad. Lucas is currently ranked number three in the world on the International Tennis Federation rankings and is expected to reach the top of the world rankings and also be a medal contender in the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Between 200 and 300 participants from rehabilitation facilities and support centres throughout the Gauteng Province are expected to attend the event. The day gives these important members of our community the opportunity to interact, share their experiences, provide support to one another and simply able to make friends with other people who have gone through similar challenges.

“Besides being a great deal of fun, the event reminds everyone that we all have different talents and abilities. We need to encourage more awareness about this in South Africa to help people with disabilities realise their full potential through amongst other interventions, being accepted as valuable contributors to our society,” concludes van Vuuren.

Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital’s Sports Day will take place on 22 October from 07h30 to 14h00. Anyone interested in attending is more than welcome to do so. For more information please contact Charles De Kock on 011 489 1214 or email Charles.DeKock@netcare.co.za

Ends

Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Beswick and Jillian Penaluna
Telephone : (011) 469 3016
Email : martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, sarah@mnapr.co.za and jillian@mnapr.co.za

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