CSA T20 Challenge Final - bizhub Highveld Lions back ASD for the win
The Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) is the custodian of all cricket activities in the greater Sedibeng, West Rand, Vaal and Johannesburg area’s. Earlier this year, the CGL through the bizhub Highveld Lions team, resolved to raise awareness and assist in fund raising initiatives for people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This year-long 2019/2020 campaign would be inclusive of various media and fund-raising activities.
The campaign started with the launch during the 2019 Annual Lions Invitational Golf Day and the CSA T20 Challenge where the bizhub Highveld Lions participated in the tournament under the theme #JoinTheChargeForAutism.
Resource Centre Manager at Randburg Clinic School, Claudene Adar says that autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which means that the brain develops differently to that of a neuro-typical (“normal”) person.
“They have difficulty with social interaction and often have a few movements or vocalisations that are repeated often. They require visual aids and structure to help them thrive in their daily living. Society can help by educating themselves on the condition but mostly be compassionate and understanding to families who have autistic members. The autism spectrum is so vast that it is quite difficult to point out someone with autism. The most common identity trait is their lack of desire for social interaction. They may seem socially awkward and prefer being on their own.”
The Randburg Clinic School is a school for learners with Autism and Severe Behaviour Disorders, and Adar says that compassion is the biggest need from the general public, “They should be considered as children/people first and then make some allowances for their needs. Some may prefer not to be touched or may need quieter spaces, it is extremely important to engage with the family about what the specific person is like and not just assume. In terms of raising ASD awareness, I think that the Lions partnering with this campaign has been an amazing eye opener to those who may not have been aware of the condition. They have also provided support and hope for families who have autistic members.”
Marketing and Communications Manager for Central Gauteng Lions and bizhub Highveld Lions: Wanele Mngomezulu said that throughout the month-long CSA T20 tournament, the team wore autism branded arm bands on their leading arm. “Various on-the-ground activities were executed including an educational drive, stadium announcements, social media and numerous media partnerships.”
bizhub Highveld Lions Head Coach: Enoch Nkwe mentioned at the start of the CSA T20 competition that as a team, they are disappointed with their results in the Momentum One Day Cup, “But we had lots of positives to take into the T20 challenge and we certainly did perform when it counted most. It was important to us too that we continued to make a difference and raise awareness to people living with and affected by autism spectrum disorder: We take great pride in helping wherever and however we can. Our final match that will be hosted at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday 5 May 2019 will be played under the theme #JoinTheChargeForAutism and we certainly put our best foot forward to win the trophy and enhance greater autism awareness.”