The build up to London 2012 is well and truly here. At an April ceremony attended by a host of dignitaries, including Ministerof Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba and Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, SAA announced their support and sponsorship of Team SouthAfrica.

May 21 marks 100 days until England's Queen Elizabeth II declares the London Paralympics open on August 29. The theme for the opening ceremony is 'Enlightenment' and it is being billed as a celebration of the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Movement, which challenges perceptions of human possibility.

A number of extraordinary performances are scheduled to delight the audience and highlight the abilities of people with disabilities including a fly past by Aerobility pilots. Aerobility is a British charity that enables people with disabilities to achieve their dreams of becoming pilots. Closer to the ground (but not quite on it) rehabilitating soldiers and non-competing Paralympians have spent eight weeks in intensive training to learn cirque du soleil skills with which they will thrill and enlighten the world.

A fitting start indeed for the homecoming of the Paralympics!

At the earlier celebration to mark 100 days to the Olympic curtain raiser, SASCOC announced five Team SA ambassadors who shall be accompanying the team to England "to inspire and mentor the Team SA athletes competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, while also encouraging young and old people worldwide to become more active in spor," said SASCOC Chief Executive Officer Mr Tubby Reddy.

The ambassadors are HIV champion Cynthia Tshaka; Springbok rugby sevens star Cecil Africa; ex-Bafana Bafana captain LucasRadebe; golf champion Ernie Els and cricket ace Makhaya Ntini. A sixthambassador, Olympic sprinter Geraldine Pillay, was later added, but sadly no ambassador with a disability has been announced yet.

Commemorating 2012

The Uk's Royal Mint has issued 29 collectable coins to commemorate this year's games. All of the coins can be ordered via the website www.royalmint.com. It is recommended to order your coins in batches (or all at once) in order to save on expensive British postal costs. There is also a lovely big album to purchase that accommodates all of the coins in their protective sleeves to preserve their mint condition.

Wheelchair Rugby

The 2012 South Africa Wheelchair Rugby (SA WCR) league knocked and rolled to a hard-hittingfull-contact start in Bloemfontein. The tournament hosts, Mustangs, are developing into a major SA WCR League contender. Athletes, officials and enthusiastic supporters in this region are working passionately to develop wheelchairrugby. Unfortunately funding issues made it impossible for all SA WCR club teams to compete.

2011 league champions, the Bullfrogs from Eastern Cape, came prepared to defend thetitle they have won for the last two years. Unfortunately one of their key players was out of action due to health issues and it impacted on their results.

TUKS' team coach, Cobus van Zyl, had clearly worked his team hard in the off-seasonand added two female players to the team - catch them in action at the SA WCR Tournament in East London, 22 and 23 June. Hopefully the ladies will bring more female athletes to the game, and add new meaning to the phrase: "beaten by a girl!" TUKS were unbeatable in both of their games, whilst Bullfrogs beat the enthusiastic Mustangs.

Loftus

The accessible box at Loftus is being put to good use. Robert du Preez has attended two games this season. At a recent game, between the Blue Bulls and the Brumbies, he was joined by boys from the New Hope School, Pretoria and their principal, Mr. Dawie Harmse. Everybody had a fantastic view and thoroughly enjoyed the game!!

WheelchairBasketball

The 2012 wheelchair basketball season is in full swing with games being played most weekends and Mandeville is awash with the new red Vodacom branding.

Whilst most people headed to Durban over the first of two April long weekends, members of the SASOL Wheelchair Basketball team were at Mandeville facing off against a much weaker, but very spirited, Team Egypt - who had come down to visit and provide the team with some much needed practice time.

The scores served as an excellent reminder of why Team SASOL are going to London 2012 -  but the spirit and enthusiasm of the Egyptians reminded why we love this game so much - "It's not Just a Game, It's a way of Life!"

Carpet Curling

Readers of the March April issue will have seen Matco’sad for Carpet Curling equipment. Curling is one of the most popular spectatorsports at the winter Olympics and now, with the advent of

Carpet Curling, people of all abilities can enjoy this precision sport. Carpet Curling is unique in that it was conceived and developed by the Swedish disability community for people with disabilities - it is not an able bodied sport that has been adapted. It can be played by anybody,i ncluding the visually impaired, as the rules are so flexible. You can use astone launcher (custola) if you need one, stand, sit in a chair or even lie on the carpet to play!! The aim of the game is to land on your "stones" or near the centre of the target, at the end of the carpet, to earn maximum points. It's a great game for pubs, clubs, self help centres and - with the low, low launch prices from Matco  - it is even affordable for individuals. The carpet curling pack comes in a sturdy box for easy transportation.

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