A team of 17 Para-athletes depart today, (29 November), to compete at the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games taking place in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal from November 30th to December 6th.

This year marks the 7th edition of the Games which was established to provide international sporting opportunities for athletes with physical impairments. It will host athletes from across the globe in five different sports codes; Archery, Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis and Para Taekwondo.

The majority of the South African athletes, who will be in action in Athletics, are members of the Is Ability Sport Club, a Pretoria based initiative launched in 2011 to address the need for local sporting opportunities for those living with physical disability.

Since 2011 Is Ability Sport, which recently won ‘Sport Club of the Year for the Physically Disabled’ at the Gauteng Sport Awards, has shown remarkable growth. It has also produced some world class athletes such as fifteen year old Paralympic silver medallist, Ntando Mahlangu.

The team headed for Portugal includes four junior athletes; Emile Burgers, Megan Croucamp, Kim MacDonald and Puseletso Mabote; who are beneficiaries of the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund, as well as two of the Fund’s young ambassadors, Junior Mavuso and Mahlangu.

Jumping Kids is a non-profit organisation that provides access to prosthetic equipment and rehabilitation to children living with lower limb amputation. Sport is regarded as an important rehabilitation tool and the fund has helped develop many talented young athletes.

“Our vision is to create access, access to prosthetic equipment, but also access to better education and sport. The IWAS World Games provides a perfect opportunity for our participating kids and ambassadors to gain international experience on and off the sports field.

We are proud to sponsor these six young athletes, a feat we could not have accomplished without the assistance of Ottobock South Africa, our partner in this project to ensure our young amputees have access to high activity prosthetic equipment. It is a collaboration we hope to develop further into the SADC region,” says Jumping Kids spokesperson, Michael Stevens.

Is Ability Sport athletes selected for the IWAS World Games include:

  • Emile Burgers (Jumping Kids)
  • Ntando Mahlangu (Jumping Kids)
  • Kotie Potgieter
  • Cecilia Schoeman
  • Anthony Butler
  • Fred Furstenburg
  • Nickie Strydon
  • Mandilene Hoffmann
  • Simone Kruger
  • Junior Mavuso (Jumping Kids)
  • Tshepang Joubert
  • Kim MacDonald (Jumping Kids)
  • Megan Croucamp (Jumping Kids)
  • Puseletso Mabote (Jumping Kids)
  • Yane van der Merwe
  • Celvino Cloete
  • Mpumelelo Mhlongo

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish the athletes a safe, exciting journey with some excellent results on the track and field. We are confident that you will make us proud,” concludes Stevens.

For more information about the IWAS World Games, Is Ability Sport Club or Jumping Kids, you can contact Michael Stevens at michael@jumpingkids.org.za or on +27 83 788 9073

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