Camphill Village players celebrate a goal after scoring against Hout Bay United Community Football Community in a soccer tournament for players with disabilities to engage professional sportsmen and women. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ African News Agency
Camphill Village players celebrate a goal after scoring against Hout Bay United Community Football Community in a soccer tournament for players with disabilities to engage professional sportsmen and women. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ African News Agency

International Day of Persons with Disabilities ’a time to celebrate abilities’

By Marsha Dean Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Friday, Camphill Village West Coast organised a soccer tournament for players with disabilities to engage with professional sportsmen and women.

Participants included players from organisations such as Camphill village, Alta du Toit School and Hout Bay United Football Community.

James Sleigh, Chief Executive for Camphill Village, an adult residential community for people living with intellectual disabilities, said the purpose of the soccer tournament is to celebrate the abilities of those with disabilities.

“We have a very good soccer team but there is no league for people with disabilities and that makes it quite difficult to get into a normal league so we are trying to create associations with other organisations where we can have matches and competitions that are real.”

Sleigh said that the general public should change their attitude towards people with physical or mental impairment and suggested that able bodied people should think inclusively by spending more time with those facing a different set of challenges.

“Everybody is equal and we should not judge people based on what they cannot do.”

Sleigh added that one of the challenges people with disabilities face is access to proper facilities and they tried to address this by allowing residents access to a gym and a football pitch.

Residents of Camphill Village work on the NPO’s enterprises which includes a bakery, dairy, herbal workshop, farm and vegetable gardens which get sold in various Cape Town retail outlets, this is used as a source to generate income for the organisation.

Jeremy Elson, the founder of Hout Bay United Community Football Club said the soccer tournament helps people understand how to come together and have fun.

“Football in general brings people together and breaks down barriers, it is the most inclusive sport there is.

“Anyone can play football together, you can play on the beach, field, with either a big ball or a small boy with your shoes on or barefeet,” Elson said.

Cape Times

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