Cape Town - The SANDF Annual Youth Day celebrations took place for the first time in two years at the Wynberg Military Base.
Thursday marked the first of a two-day event that aims to promote and encourage the youth to stay active through sports.
Despite inclement weather conditions, there was a wonderful sporting spirit on show as members of all four services of the military (army, navy, air force and health services) came together to play a range of sports including soccer, netball, volleyball, swimming, and aerobics.
The Department of Defence (DoD) feels strongly about promoting and encouraging the youth and Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Coetzee who is the chief co-ordinator of sports spoke about the event.
“The event is about accommodating youngsters in sports activities.
“We understand the importance of sports is to promote camaraderie and promote a healthy lifestyle, and show the youth that, through sport, you can keep yourself busy.
“We decided to bring them together and participate and have a feel of that togetherness and enhance leadership abilities,” Coetzee said.
Coetzee said the main focus of the event was to invite the youth from areas where there are military bases and environments throughout the Western Cape.
Major Ricardo Du Preez, who is also the SANDF WP Netball Chairperson, noted the historical significance of Youth Day, saying: “Basically, we as the youth, come together to celebrate and commemorate what the youth of yesterday did in order to pave the way for all of us to have opportunities, no matter your race and colour.”
Today (24 June) marks the second day of the event which includes a military parade where all youth from the units in the Western Cape will be present.
Tsholanang Zwane, HR corporate communications for the SANDF said: “The Chief of Army Lieutenant-General Khulekani Mbatha will be there to give a message of hope and encouragement to the youth.”