By Lyndon Bouah and Marie Young

Leisure and recreation is a basic human right. Leisure is done in one’s free time and includes play, recreation, arts culture, sport, festivals and celebrations, health promotion, fitness, travel and tourism. The public sector plays in important role in taking leisure, recreation and tourism forward. In times such as the current pandemic, it is crucial that we look at taking the challenges and create innovative opportunities to present leisure and recreation in safe spaces.

This webinar is the start of a series of webinars hosted collaboratively by the World Leisure Organisation (WLO) and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). The Webinar was chaired by Dr. Marié Young, member of the WLO Board of Directors, and Dr. Lyndon Bouah, Chief Director for Sport and Recreation at DCAS.

The WLO, an international not-for-profit organisation, is devoted to promote leisure as a means to enhance the human condition through positive, quality leisure experiences making use of research, education, knowledge transfer and advocacy. The WLO were represented by Ms. Joanne Schroeder (WLO Board Chair), Dr. Lawal Marafa (WLO Vice-Chair) and  Dr. Cristina Ortega (WLO Chief Operating Officer) as well as the following representatives of the Board of Directors: Mr. Victor Ma (Qingdao, China), Ms. Maria Luiza de Souza Dias (SESC, Brazil), Ms. Yvonne Klerks (Netherlands), and Ms. Mireia Iglesias (WLO Communication & Events Coordinator), Spain.

The WLO presented their ethos and projects through which they achieve their objectives. These projects includes Special Interest Groups allowing practitioners and academics to engage in discussions around special areas of interest, WL Special awards, WL Games, WL Communities of Excellence, WL Congress, WL Centres of Excellence, as well as their freemium membership structure. These projects represented different opportunities for people to engage in. The WLO is represented globally but would like to increase their footprint in Africa. Informational platforms as presented in the webinar, could serve the purpose.

The Western Cape Provincial Government presented on the following:

  1. Mr. Thabo Tutu presented on the funding and facilities that have been constructed over the last five years in the province of the Western Cape.
  2. Mr. Paul Hendricks presented the cluster approach that has been adopted by the Western Cape Education department. In this approach schools that are in close proximity are clustered together so that they all benefit from the use of joint facilities.
  3. Jacques Scholtz expounded on the new tourism strategy adopted by the Western Cape government. Tourism is an important economic driver in the Western Cape and innovative ways are needed to attract and retain tourists.
  4. Mr. Franklin Anthony presented the City of Cape Town recreation policy and their implementation strategy. The recreation policy encapsulates youth development and also allows opportunities for youth to play in play parks and other facilities within a safe setting.
  5. Mr. Ernst Saayman representing Drakenstein municipality spoke about the challenges relating to rural municipalities. He also highlighted the use of parks and other natural attractions such as rivers and mountains that can be used in the leisure space.

Questions were posed to each presenter in the chatbox and verbally. It was agreed that these questions would later form the basis of other webinars.