The Innovation Hub, Pretoria – Eleven Para Athletes associated with Is Ability Sports Club, are safely in Sharjah, UAE and ready to represent South Africa at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport (IWAS) World Games (12-16 February 2019).
The competition, which includes seven sports codes, is expected to attract more than 500 athletes from 45 countries. Many of these athletes will go on to compete at the Paralympic Games. Team South Africa will be in action on the track and field.
Two athletes; Tebogo Mofokeng (18) and Puseletso Mabote (13); also represent the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund. This Pretoria based charity assists both teens with their prosthetic component needs and sponsors the duo’s participation in the Sharjah Games.
Mofokeng was fitted with his first ‘high activity’ prostheses, also known as running blades, at an event hosted by Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital’s Orthotic and Prosthetic Centre last year in partnership with Jumping Kids, Ottobock and Icexpress Progressive Prosthetics.
Headed by Piet Matome Moopa, Mofokeng’s attending Prosthetist since he was six years old, the Empowering Africa’s Child Amputees project, (May 28th to June 1st 2018), aimed to up-skill participating technicians from the SADC region in the manufacture and fitment of sport prostheses.
It is believed that Mofokeng’s participation at the Sharjah Games will further illustrate the value of access to prosthetic sport technology for children living with amputation; especially those who, like Mofokeng, rely on state services for their mobility devices.
Mabote, on the other hand, currently attends Nigel Secondary School but hopes to qualify for a Jumping Kids facilitated bursary to King Edward VII School next year. He aims to use the Sharjah experience to enhance his chances of a quality education.
The South African team competing in Sharjah is as follows:
- Puseletso Mabote
- Tebogo Mofokeng
- Kotie Potgieter
- Daniel Du Plessis
- Jessica Marggraf
- Sheryl James
- Simone Kruger
- Mandilene Hoffmann
- Emile Burgers
- Brenda Martens (Coordinator)
- Andries Kruger (Coordinator)
“We have sent a team to compete at IWAS World Games for the past 5 years and I am proud that we can give the same opportunity to Tebogo and Puseletso. We believe the exposure will create further opportunities and wish them the best of luck in Sharjah,” says Michael Stevens, Managing Director of Jumping Kids.
Written by: Liezel van Rensburg
Photo credit: IWAS