On Saturday, 16 October 2021, Premier Alan Winde and Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, hosted an appreciation ceremony for Western Cape-based Olympic and Paralympic participants.
The event was held in celebration of athletes, coaches and technical officials from the province who were chosen as part of the South African squads for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held earlier this year. The Western Cape had 71 representatives in the full Olympic squad of 280 and 21 members of the 35 Paralympic squad were from the Western Cape.
Minister Marais emphasized the importance of sport as a beacon of hope: “While we are still in Mental Health Awareness month, we know that sport is very important for mental and physical wellbeing. Sport is a connector of people, but it also brings hope to many. These Olympic and Paralympic participants have brought a message of hope and inspiration to everyone in our country. They are important role models for our youth, as examples of what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.” she said.
The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde said: “We are very proud of each and every single one of the Western Cape’s Olympians and Paralympians. They really have been a symbol of hope to us all, amid what has been a very difficult period. It goes without saying that the pandemic has taken a lot from us all which is why it is so important that we recognise those who symbolize a world beyond COVID-19 and the heights that we can reach through hard work and dedication. Thank you for making the Western Cape proud and for putting a smile on all of our faces.”