Sowetan dreams of starting sports academy for women
18 Dec 2020
By Samantha Malebana
A multi–award–winning athlete from Dobsonville, Soweto aims to empower, encourage and raise awareness in order to ensure that people with disabilities are given equal opportunities and recognised as contributing members of the society.
Masego Mokhine (34) is a wheelchair basketball player and rower born with congenital malformation. Her left leg is shorter than her right leg and she only has three fingers on her right hand.
Mokhine started participating in sport at the age of 12 and has bagged 185 gold, four silver and three bronze medals. She also has a trophy for best female athlete.
“I would like to have my own sport academy for all women who are passionate about sports,” she says.
She encourages families raising children with disabilities to support and encourage them to follow their dreams,regardless of any barriers.
“I believe parents are at the forefront of moving towards a barrier–free and a disability inclusive environment because when they encourage their children to follow their dreams regardless of the challenges, very soon the rest of society will see a need to help in disability mainstreaming, and so will the rest of the world,” Mokhine says.
Saul Molobi (57), an advocate for disability mainstreaming who has been supporting and working with Mokhine told ThisAbility that the athlete is very tenacious and resilient to have achieved so much, withthe challenges faced by persons with disabilities.
“Disability awareness month must also be seen as a psychological campaign to arm our people with disabilities to say that they need to accept their condition and adopt a positive attitude towards challenges that they face because attitude ultimately determines altitude,” Molobi said.
He added that from engaging with persons with disabilities it is clear that the country still has a long way to go regarding equal inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities, hence the necessity of disability mainstreaming.
Mokhine says she is looking forward to achieving more in the sport sector and to help other persons with disabilities to get opportunities.
“I encourage persons with disabilities to double the effort in fighting for their rights and recognition,” she says.