More than 190 children from across Harare took part in the fifth Sunshine Kids Classic fishing competition raising $8,500 towards the education of the mentally challenged.
The competition held in September at Kingfisher Park in Emerald Hill saw children under 14 contending for the highest total mass of fish in different divisions. First and second placed winners were N De Wet and S Wright for boys under five, and L Van den Berg and D McGown for the under 5 girls.
Boys between 6 and 8 years old were led by B Hopgood and B Palmer respectively while girls in that division were led by K Van Der Merwe and M Kaschula. The next division of 9 to 14 years old was led by L Hacker and D Mparadzi in the boys’ category, and J Jones and C Masimiano in the girls section. The biggest fish of the day was a 1.1kg bream caught by Blake Hopgood.
Sunshine Kids Classic is hosted by Sunshine Zimbabwe Project to raise fees for the mentally challenged students who come to their centre to learn life skills and basic education. This year they had ambitions of raising $5,000, but the final figures far exceeded this, and will go a long way in the work carried out by Sunshine Project.
“We have a weekly training for the mentally challenged where they come in to learn skills like sewing, information technology, horse riding, art, cookery, gardening, housekeeping, and music among other things,” said Sunshine Zimbabwe chairperson Marion du Preez.
“We try to empower kids to create things and to obviously make sure that they focus on things they are able to do, not things they can’t do. We try to uplift them in society and try to make them more employable.”
Du Preez says they are some students who can’t afford the fees and so they host fundraising programs such as the fishing competition in order to assist them. “We need money to operate the centre so we get companies and people to sponsor them through our various fundraising programs. That’s what today was all about,” she said.
Activities also included a jumping castle, clowns, eating and drinking all of which added up to an enjoyable family event. Parents in attendance had nothing but praise for the event organisers. “This is a lovely and well-organised event. We enjoyed ourselves, the kids had fun and ultimately we had a great bonding experience as a family”, said Shingirirai Katsamba who came with four children.
Another parent, Wilberforce Kawanzaruwa said, “I’m happy with the event. There is clean music, a clean environment, and a good set-up to spend time with family and it’s all for a good cause.”
Contact Sunshine Zimbabwe Project contact Marion du Preez: [email protected] /0772216607.