BLOEMFONTEIN - The Department of Correctional Services last week handed over a painting of Wayde van Niekerk to the reigning Olympic 400m champion and world record holder, in recognition of his incredible exploits at the Rio Games. The handover of the plaque, which was painted by the offenders from Tswelopele Centre for Offenders, was conducted at the Bloemfontein Regional Correctional Services office. Regional Commissioner of Correction in Free State and Northern Cape, Subashini Moodley, said; “It is indeed an absolute honour to handover this gift to Wayde, especially made by the offenders, at one of our facilities at Tswelopele Centre in Kimberley.
“It is about having the heart and hope it is a symbol from offenders and officials that no matter where you at or what you have done, there is hope to achieve beyond where you are.” She further said she thinks this is a token from the Department of Correctional Services in Free State to say thank you for bringing hope of making offenders aware that hope is alive. Van Niekerk said; “It is a really amazing experience opportunity to be here. I just go there to represent my family and I end up representing the entire country. So it’s an honour to see the accolade and achievements that comes at end and I am extremely humbled by the support and positive atmosphere around me. It’s something I cherish and yet again, an honour. I thank the Lord for being nominated to IAAF. I think I am just reaping the fruit that comes from the hard work,” said Olympic champ.