By Doreen Mokgolo
Three golfers from the Matshediso Special Needs Schools in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni will be jetting off to Berlin in Germany to compete in the Special Olympics World Games.
Thatogatsi Mokgotla, 19, Banele Makhubo, 17 and Nhlanhla Mokhabane, 18, are three of seven learners who will be representing the country in golf.
The games, which will be played from 17 to 25 June, are the world’s largest inclusive sports event where thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities compete together in 26 sports.
This will be the first time the trio will be travelling abroad and competing on the international stage.
School principal Thapelo Tshetlo told Scrolla.Africa that he is extremely proud of his learners for making it this far in the competition.
“This is an opportunity for my learners to showcase themselves on the international stage,” he said.
“This is an indication that they too have an equal opportunity. This will also boost their morale.”
He said over the years the learners have competed in various international games and have brought home medals.
“We are hoping they will make us proud by bringing back medals again,” he said.
Tshetlo said they believe that within their disability there is ability.
“We focus on their abilities by strengthening them,” said the principal.
Thatogatsi said she started playing golf in 2017 as part of her extra-mural activities after school.
“This is our opportunity to show the community and the world that we are not crazy but different,” she said.
“We will succeed and we have a bright future like the others.”
Thatogatsi dreams of becoming a professional golfer once she completes her matric.
She said the competition will help her to learn new skills of the sport from other players and build international connections which she will use in the future.
Pictured above: Team golf South Africa
Image source: Doreen Mokgolo