Hundreds of the City’s employees flock to various venues to take part in this year’s Employee Games, Mkhulu Mashau reports
The icy weather that enveloped Johannesburg on Friday September 7 could not deter hundreds of City of Joburg staff members from taking part in Employee Games staged at various venues throughout the city.
Employees representing various departments and municipal-owned entities (MOEs) – including the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, City Power, City Parks, Joburg Water, Emergency Management Services and Pikitup – engaged in an assortment of games such as cycling, soccer, darts, volleyball, walking, road running, tennis, netball snooker, chess, morabaraba pistol shooting and squash.
Games spokesman Krishna Pather said the results were not important as the emphasis was more on maintaining a healthy lifestyle through sports, a point that the City has been promoting among its employees.
The Games’ venues included Wembley Arena and Nike Football Training Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto.
Because of its capacity to host the majority of the sporting codes and accommodate bigger crowds, the Klipriver Sports and Recreation Centre was the main venue.
This year’s events were the fifth edition of the annual extravaganza since the Games were incepted.
“What we are doing is to try to get as many employees as possible to get actively involved in sports because it helps them to maintain a healthy body, mind and soul,” said Pather.
He added that the one-day event had helped them to prepare for this year’s South African Local Government Association (Salga) Games to be hosted by the City next month.
Panther said the host teams could not afford to lose in their own backyard, but expressed concern at the dwindling number of participants.
“The number of participants in this year’s event was 300 compared with last year’s 500, which was by far the highest since the Games’ inception. Something has to be done to get people back in the games,” he said.
He urged all the departments to encourage their employees to take part.
“Until they come on board, we’ll see a further decrease in the number of participants,” said Pather, who also called on employees to use the time allocated on Wednesdays wisely.