Play time in the park

The Westridge-based Hope Restoration Centre (HRC), along with the Westridge Neighbourhood Watch, which includes Kronendal Block Watch, community members and parents, rounded off the last of the school holidays with a fun-filled sports day for the little ones at the park in La Provence Way, near the fire station, in Westridge, last Thursday. Sports development NGO, Unchain the Plain, was on hand to provide support with sports equipment used on the day.

From left, Kai Fortuin, Azara Fredericks and Thaakirah Swartz display their sack-racing skills during last week’s sports day. Picture: Fuad Esack

HRC founder, Bronwill De Bruyn, said the day formed part of a week-long holiday programme that included a visit to the nearby fire station, a talk by crime-prevention teams about social bullying and a demonstration by the City of Cape Town’s K-9 unit. He said the idea was for children to be children and to enable them to play in a safe environment.

Ameerodien Fredericks, 15, a front ranker for Portland High School’s rugby team, displays his ball handling skills under the watchful eye of Unchain the Plain’s Juven Rittles. Picture: Fuad Esack

Wayne Fisher, chairperson of the Westridge Neighbourhood Watch’s Kronendal sector, said the community took this initiative to keep youngsters occupied.

From left, Matthew Bester, Shane Sables and Cameron Fillies having fun with hoops during last week’s community sports day. Picture: Fuad Esack

“This was also a highlight on open spaces which is not the problem. We don’t agree with the City selling off open spaces, in the community. We should use open spaces for this purpose,” he said.

Kronendal Block Watch neighbourhood watch member, Ganief van Dieman, said it’s nice to have the children playing again. “They’re sitting in their houses with nothing to do, we want to give them something to do. They are the next generation, we must look after them and not allow social ills to overthrow them. Let them play like the old days,” he said.

Ward councillor Ashley Potts also expressed his support for the initiative, saying: “It was residents taking the lead and seeing the gap. Appreciation to residents for taking ownership and parents playing with their children, we need our parents to understand that’s it’s doing things with your children that makes a difference.

“Public spaces are not meant to be hot spots. Don’t wait for a holiday, there’s enough space, bring yourself so they can continue coming together,” he said.

Anchorman Shawaal Lakay, in front, and his teammates give it their all during a game of tug-of-war. Picture: Fuad Esack