This past Saturday saw Special Olympics South Africa (SOSA) reach a new record of having over 150 celebrities, sports stars, industry players and corporates pledge to take the plunge in support of the 2021 Special Olympics South Africa National Team.
The event took place at Altitude Beach Bar in Fourways, and despite cold, overcast conditions and 5 tons of ice added to the pool, the plungers arrived on mass in all kinds of incredible outfits to take the plunge and show their support for the SOSA National Team.
Now in its 5th year the annual SOSA Polar Plunge has become a signature event for the organisation which every year attracts more and more celebrities, industry players, sports stars and corporates to show their support for athletes living with an intellectual disability.
Dr Mathews Phosa, the Chairperson of Special Olympics South Africa, was there on the day to support all those who plunged and said ‘I am overwhelmed at the number of well-known individuals who came out today to plunge into ice cold water to show their support of not only our National Team, but of an inclusive society for all in South Africa. People living with an intellectual disability in South Africa are marginalised and neglected; it is so important to see powerful young people who have a voice showing their support. Madiba brought this movement to South Africa and I know that today’s event would have made him proud!’
Close to R 150 000 was raised on the day to support the 2021 SOSA National Team who will be competing in the 2023 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia. Members of the National Team were at the event to take the plunge as well. It was a very special moment for everyone there.
High profile guests at the event included the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Mahash Saeed Alhameli, the MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture in Gauteng Ms Mbali Hlope, the Chief Director of Sport for Limpopo, Ms Veronica Choshane and Mr Ahmed Bham, representing Gift of the Givers amongst others.
Media personality and SOSA Ambassador, Kim Jayde MC’ed the event for the fourth year in a row; this year she was was joined by fellow SOSA Ambassador, Sbu Shongwe and YFM’s DJ Lula Odiba to host on the day. She commented,’For the fifth year in a row celebrities, people of influence and other stakeholders braved the icy cold water to raise funds for various Special Olympic initiatives. This year the aim was to raise funds to get the national team to the winter World Games in Kazan, Russia in 2023! Globally the Special Olympics organisation have been championing the message of inclusion for athletes with intellectual disabilities for over 50 years now’. She added‘It gives me so much pride to be an ambassador for Special Olympics South Africa, and to host this special event every year, a one of a kind in our calendar. This year we surpassed our target of R100k and our athletes are going to Russia.’
The event again, for the third year in a row, received huge backing from media giant YFM, the biggest youth station in the country, who broadcast live from the venue on the day.
Print partner The Star / Saturday Star also came on board this year to help create support for Special Olympics South Africa.
A number of other sponsors supported the success of the event including Altitude Beach, Tutone Communications, Gift of the Givers, Sedgars Sports, Sir Fruit, WD Ice, City Ice, Vision Tactical, Swimma Caps, Kool-a-Chem, Lamborghini Energy Drinks, Dischem Nicolway, Avon, Justin and Inecto.
Although not a sponsor of the event the National Lotteries Commission has also provided a significant contribution to ensuring that the National Team is able to represent South Africa with pride at the World Games.
Those who would still like to support the SOSA 2021 National Team can donate online at https://www.backabuddy.co.za/2021-special-olympics.
Special Olympics South Africa Polar Plunge 2021 PICS