The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) held a special sports day in King William’s Town to commemorate Youth Day on Saturday.
It also organised a march from Nando’s to Lovedale TVET College.
The alcohol reduction campaign involved stakeholders such as the SAPS and Aware.org under the theme #AwareOfTomorrow.
“We’re using sport as a tool to convey the message as well as the march against alcohol abuse. With our underage children, we don’t condone drinking of alcohol. The older ones should drink responsibly and not be reckless,” the ELCB said in a statement.
Teams came from Breidbach, Ginsberg, Sweetwaters, Acorn Valley, West Bank, Tolofiyeni and the KWT CBD. Sporting codes for the day included soccer, netball and rugby.
For 15 year-old Mihle Sam, it was their a first experience of what happens when you dabble in alcohol and drugs.
“I used to smoke weed and my parents found out. I lost their trust, and it affected the whole family. I’ve missed out on steps of growing up being a child,” Mihle Sam said.
He was proud to see a lot of many other children embracing the day and dedicated to sport.
“Drinking is addictive and my advice is for one to stop now before things get worse. Drinking and drugs will take you to places you never thought of, like jail,” he added.
KWT SAPS station commander Col Nomvuyo Mrwebi said it was important to bring the children and their community policing forums (CPF) on board to fight the scourge.
“You’ll find that some of the robberies that are done are by children, and drug use is also a factor. We can’t fight this alone so such initiatives to keep the children busy are appreciated,” Mrwebi said.
AWARE OF TOMORROW: Scores of youngsters and stakeholders gathered in King William’s Town to march against excessive alcohol usage. It was then followed by a sport tournament at Lovedale FET College. Picture: SUPPLIED