The Provincial Recreation summit held over the past weekend has been hailed by many in the sector as a quantum leap towards the growth thereof in Gauteng. The province is the only one yet to host a recreation summit aimed at finding answers to what recreation is, different from sport but inclusive of arts and culture.
An initiative of the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, the summit was a means to sought inputs from stakeholders including the public towards the development of a provincial integrated recreation policy.
Giving their perspective to the discussions were renowned speakers including the president of Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa (LARASA), Ms Malinga Naaidoo, University of Johannesburg’s Prof Yoga Coopoo to the chairperson of the Arts and Culture Trust Prof Andries Oliphant among others.
Delegates used these perspective to further engage on discussions including Policy & Governance; Support – enabling environment, access, infrastructure, equipment; Programmes/projects; and Structures required.
Matters including funding and remuneration, safety measures, mass participation and play versus competition dominated discussions. Recommendations and resolutions from the summit will culminate a revised integrated Recreation Policy which will guide the implementation of in the province
Some of the recommendations of the summit include conducting an environmental scan and analysis to check the needs of communities. This will ensure relevant programs and infrastructure are implemented where they are required. Another is implementing skills development programs for volunteers and adequate resource allocation.
“As the home of champions and artistic excellence, I am proud to have hosted this summit in Gauteng as the first of its kind that revolutionize recreation. Recreation is critical as it transcends just how we spend our leisure time, it has effects which impact our physical health, happiness and wellbeing and social cohesion.
“Ultimately, we need to create an environment that allows for maximum inclusion and participation in recreational activities for all people. People must have access to resources and facilities which meet the needs of people and communities. From the youth to the elderly to the disability sector, everyone has the right to recreation.” says MEC Mazibuko.