OVER 1 400 athletes were treated to a festival of celebration on Sunday, as the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled got under way at Walter Sisulu Hall in Randburg.
Popular musician PJ Powers performed at the opening ceremony, with the likes of former US Open wheelchair tennis champion Lucas Sithole joining activities on stage.
“It is our pleasure to provide you with a platform to compete on an equal footing with your peers,” Tobie Badenhorst, sponsorship portfolio manager at Nedbank, told the participants.
“With the 2016 Rio Paralympics around the corner, this event will highlight the current talent we have in the country and unearth stars of the future.
“Nedbank is proud to have supported disabled sport for 24 years, and we wish you all the best at the latest edition of these championships. “You are all winners in our eyes, and you are an inspiration to all of us.”
Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen urged the athletes to perform at their utmost ability while enjoying the experience of competing at the annual event.
“Go out there and give it your best. We know you have it in you to deliver excellent performances,” Oosthuizen said.
Hosted by the SA Sports Association for Physically Disabled, the Nedbank National Championships, which concludes on Wednesday, will showcase athletes in eight sports codes, including nine gold medallists from the 2012 London Paralympics.