An intellectually impaired learner at Iteko Special School in Tlhabane, near Rustenburg in the North West, is set to take part in Special Olympics expected to be held in Germany, next month.
Goitsemodimo Mosepele has made history at his school for being the first to represent the school abroad in swimming, since it opened its doors in 1986. The learner has become an inspiration at his school.
The 19-year-old comes from a family that depends on social grants as the only source of income. Though he is intellectually impaired Mosepele has defied the odds that many would use as an excuse not to chase their dreams. His parents are proud.
His father, Nkagisang Mosepele, explains, “We are proud of our child because with the little bit that we have at home, we have put him on the map. Now he is going to Germany, despite of our meagre money. When he comes up, he is going to uplift us.”
Mosepele learned how to swim at a tender age, where he and his peers would swim at quarries in rural areas. He says with his sharpened swimming skills, he wants to save lives and reduce deaths caused by drowning.
“I realised that a lot of children do not know how to swim and they drown, as a result. With the skills that I have learned, I can save them. I would like to become a lifeguard or a professional swimmer.”
At school, his teachers are equally proud of his efforts. His coach, Conny Sekete, and principal, Margaret Moeng elaborate:
“We managed to teach him how to breathe in and out inside the swimming pool, as he used to swim in the quarries. I have courage that he can encourage other learners to swim more, as disabled as he is. Nothing is difficult for them.”
“We are very much proud. Initially swimming was taken as a white professional sporting code. Now we are taking it very seriously in our community.”
While Mosepele is determined to do well in Germany, he’s in need of basic necessities, such as swimming gear, tracksuits, shoes and pocket money.