This weekend’s instalment of the Play your Part TV series will look at the role sports has and continues to play in South Africa’s nation-building and how sports stars fly the South African flag proudly locally and abroad.
Look forward to interviews with swimming legend Natalie du Toit; soccer coach and former Banyana Banyana star Desiree Ellis; professional wrestler Daryl Naidu; surfer and swimming coach Cyril Mqadi; and team MTN Qhubeka cyclist Songezo Jim.
SWIMMING YOUR OWN RACE
Paralympics and Commonwealth Games gold-medal swimmer Natalie du Toit is one of South Africa’s most inspiring athletes. Ranked amongst the world’s fastest distance swimmers, in 2008 Du Toit made history when she became the first amputee to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games.
She was one of only two Paralympians who competed in the Games in that year.
Having retired from professional swimming, Du Toit is now a motivational speaker, inspiring the next generation of South African Paralympians and Olympians.
After being a victim of bullying Daryl Naidu went from being the bad boy to rededicating himself to wrestling, and combatting drug addiction and bullying in his community.
Nightmare uses his life experience to help kids understand that life can be bigger than the world they find themselves trapped in. He says: “If they need help, I will be there for them to lean on.”
GOALS AND AMBITIONS
Women’s football is alive and kicking in South Africa. And one woman who has played her part for the nation while mastering the precise art of ball play, is soccer star Desiree Ellis.
During her time on the South Africa team Ellis enjoyed phenomenal success, winning 23 matches, losing seven and drawing two. The former midfielder now spends her time doing projects for Stars in their Eyes and Soccer4All, a grassroots football initiative in which former South African international players coach primary school kids.
WHEELS OF CHANGE
Team MTN Qhubeka cyclist Songezo Jim only learnt to ride a bicycle at the age of 14.
After losing both his parents, Jim moved to Cape Town from Mthatha in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and was only introduced to the world of competitive cycling when cyclists riding the Cape Argus whistled by his house. He went on to make history, becoming the first Black South African to take part in the International Cycling Union’s World Tour.
Now, as a member of the Samsung-powered MTN Qhubeka cycling team he has been working to raise funds for charities worldwide through the Qhubeka initiative.
SINK OR SURF
Cyril Mqadi learnt how to surf before he knew how to swim.
After being captivated by the surfers off the coast of Port Shepstone near his home town, Umzumbe, in KwaZulu-Natal, Mqadi took up surfing. Now he shares his passion with youngsters from his hometown, teaching them how to surf and swim.
Visit Play Your Part to read more about these inspiring sports stars, and watch them on Sunday 27 July at 9pm on SABC2.