United Through Sport SA

We are a South African registered charity dedicated to encouraging disadvantaged individuals and communities to develop to their full potential in sport, education and health. We are committed to using sport as a tool to develop the disadvantaged and vulnerable youth. We do this by; 1. Using direct sports coaching - for its health benefits, improved emotional well being and increased life skills (teamwork, leadership, decision making, communication). 2. Using sport to discuss critical issues - by delivering curriculums on topics such as HIV / AIDS awareness in a fun and interactive manner on the sports field. 3. Using sport for improved educati...
Feb 6, 2015

UTS Beneficiaries Graduate To University

Lindiwe received a special prize for Perseverance
Lindiwe received a special prize for Perseverance

2015 is a land mark year for United Through Sport… our first group of children have graduated from high school and are starting their tertiary studies this year.  We are proud to report a 100% pass rate from our five children who were doing matric last year,  the first group of children to receive scholarships  to our Senior School of Excellence Programme in multi-racial schools.  

For Lindiwe, it really has been a life changing experience going through our programmes. Lindiwe will never forget her first year at Pearson High School as it was a huge change in the schooling system from her previous school in the township.  She still looks back at her first academic progress report which had her in tears with disappointment.  One of her highlights in the last five years was the international trip to Brazil in 2014.  Lindiwe has now been accepted at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and will be commencing with her Bachelor of Arts studies in February.

Sibulele has been fortunate enough to travel internationally twice with United Through Sport in the last six years. His first trip in 2009 was actually the gateway to his entry at Pearson High School on the scholarship programme in 2010. With his very unique and inquiring mind, he has always been very interested in how the organization works and has always made himself available for any extra help needed.  Also accepted at NMMU, S’bu will be doing Human Settlement Development Studies.

Back in 2009, Brad was also in the group of boys who travelled to the UK on a rugby tour with us. For Brad, being on scholarship in our SSE meant more than just a school change, but relocation from the small town he was living in, to live with his father in Port Elizabeth. The move developed his relationship with his father, and he is glad we made the opportunity available. Brad is planning to stay in Port Elizabeth one more year, taking a gap year before furthering his studies at the University of Free State in 2016.

Sithembiso’s entire high school life was dominated by his rugby. His achievements include playing for the school first team and his highlights in the six years he has been in our programme include his trip to the UK. With big dreams for his future, S’the has been accepted at the Algoa Flight Centre to become a pilot. He will start off with a Private Pilot License and Night Rating, before continuing on to do his Commercial License. 

Last but not least, we have Athi, also a strong rugby talent.  Athi would love to pursue a profession in the sport; and is well on his way already! With his love and passion for rugby, he has maintained his talent in and out of school. He has been playing Provincial rugby throughout high school, and is actually on bursary at the NMMU this year due to making the Eastern Province Rugby Academy.  Athi will be starting his LLB Law degree and playing for the EP U/19 team this year. Together with the four above mentioned young men, his involvement with United Through Sport started in 2009 where they went on the rugby tour to the UK.

Needless to say, we are extremely excited to have all five starting the new chapters in their lives.  It is a remarkable achievement given the expectation that only 3% of township children will make it to tertiary education.   We are also very happy to have been helpful in affording them such opportunities, and are only expecting great things from them in the future. We wish Lindiwe, Sibulele, Brad, Sithembiso and Athi the best of luck in their studies and we will keep our supporters posted on their progress!

“The UTS scholarship has changed my life!  I wouldn’t have made it to University without their support, I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my life, but also want to help UTS give more children from the township the opportunity to change their lives forever!”  Lindiwe Cezula, SSE Graduate 2014.

Sibulele
Sibulele
Sithembiso
Sithembiso
Brad
Brad
Athi
Athi
Feb 6, 2015

Brazil Success for United Through Sport

Round of 16 clash with Ghana
Round of 16 clash with Ghana

“Wow....what a two weeks it has been. I don’t even know where to start! We have just returned from what feels like a dream” – Athapelele, United Through Sport South Africa Scholar.

These were the words of one of our 8 children returning from Brazil having participated in the Street Football World Cup alongside the FIFA event. United Through Sport was the representative team for South Africa and took 8 young people from our Senior School of Excellence Programme (4 boys and 4 girls) to take part in the tournament which had 24 teams from around the world participating. The tournament was not just about Football but placed a big emphasis on the cultural exchange; promoting fair-play, respect and cooperation.  At the end of each game, teams were awarded a potential extra three points depending on how well the opposition and mediators felt they complied with the aspects promoted. The trip was to take part in a Football competition but what the group got from it was a whole lot more.

From visiting local Favelas and interacting with the local community to learning Capoeira (a Brazilian form of dance fighting), playing in front of crowds of 100’s in the bustling city centre of Sao Paulo (the largest city in South America) to learning Spanish and making life-long friends with their Argentinean house mates; the trip was filled with such a richness of experiences and learning opportunities that it will take many more weeks to fully digest what they have done and achieved.

On the field the team did extremely well considering their age and background.  We cruised through the group stages of the competition with big wins over USA and Costa Rica and a nail biting victory over the Philippines, only to set-up an extremely tough encounter with Ghana in the round of 16. From here we moved into a ‘Fair-play’ group which we topped by beating Philippines and Panama and drawing with Sierra Leone, who boasted a full time professional player. Proudly we finished the competition as one of the few teams to finish with maximum fair-play points for Respect, Cooperation and Solidarity. Off the field the kids made us even more proud. We proved to be one of the most popular and well supported teams in the competition, especially amongst the locals. This was in no doubt due to the open nature in which our kids engaged with the many other teams and cultures they came across.

It was a truly wonderful trip for the United Through Sport kids that participated which created experiences and memories that will last for a life time. Most important is the lasting impact that the trip has had on their interpersonal skills, their cultural awareness and their aspirations for the future.

“I learned about so many different countries and cultures, I learned Spanish, Portuguese, German and Filipino. We took part in so many discussions and debates and we saw and experienced so many new things. I really feel like our brains were bombarded with new information to learn. It’s left me with a desire to travel more, see more and learn more...I will never forget this experience” – Lindiwe – United Through Sport South Africa Scholar.

The girls melted at how sweet the local kids were!
The girls melted at how sweet the local kids were!
Mediation after a game with Panama
Mediation after a game with Panama
Most of the kids were first time flyers
Most of the kids were first time flyers
Mixing with the very friendly locals
Mixing with the very friendly locals
Proud Team. Proudly South African!
Proud Team. Proudly South African!
Apr 8, 2014

Rural Community Receives Handy Work

Pre-Departure work put in for the trip
Pre-Departure work put in for the trip

For the past few years, UTS has offered sport tours and cultural trips for School groups,
University / Colleges and Sports teams from around the world, and has facilitated over 14 such trips in the past few years. This year we built a new relationship with an American group from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). The 15 students and their teacher had been preparing for this trip for a number of months, taking a leadership course and weekly classes on South Africa.  Their main reason for the tour, other than the cultural aspect, was to get involved with a local community and impart their knowledge and resources to make a positive change in the lives of the people in the community.

After much deliberation, UTS decided that the Langbos Community Centre would be the best project for the UCO group. In a small rural community near Addo, the centre includes the Intsikelelo Daycare (which has about 30 children aged 3-6 years attending daily), a soup kitchen (feeding up to 150 residents of the community) a mobile clinic to administer ARVs for the HIV+ residents and a daily after school club for the older kids from the surrounding area.  The Langbos community is severely deprived, with a high rate of unemployment and HIV and AIDS. Most of the residents are seasonal farm workers and are out of work in the first 5 months of the year. It is in these months that the centre feels the pressure as all parents send their kids to the day-care centre so they can at least receive one meal for the day.

The focus of the trip would be to build some wooden benches for the clinic waiting room, to work with the young children of the day care focusing on basic English and Maths, to support the local teachers with new learning aids and training in how to use them and to provide an after school sports programme for the older kids. After receiving this information, the group went all out in collecting puzzles, display charts and all sorts of useful material for the day-care as well as doing research on DIY  bench designs.

When the group arrived instant bonds were built with the kids, and as the students’ sunglasses proved to be a hit with the kids, it was impressive to see the students take note of this need and quickly make some paper sunglasses for the kids to keep. A very innovative group of students indeed!

The week saw the students do some teaching of the alphabet and phonics and the five senses to the kids  and a lot of playtime in-between where song and dance were the order of the day! To break the intense learning, the students had a couple of creative sessions with the kids making puppets and other forms of art. To better communicate with the kids, the UCO students really stretched themselves learning basic phrases throughout the week in the local language, Xhosa. Throughout all of this, the DIY project was on track and going very well for the first time bench-makers who (upon completion) felt inspired to start up a little DIY business back home! Once they saw their finished products, the guys were very proud of their achievement. 

Of course a week is not complete without any sport in the UTS camp, so in the afternoons- when the older kids arrived from school, the UCO students had fun teaching the kids some American sports like baseball and American Football, with equipment they had brought with them. 

A very fulfilling week for the UCO guys, packed with the project work and excursions including wild life viewing, dune boarding and African dancing, ended with an authentic African meal of roast lamb and Kudu Pie, under the stars.

It was hugely successful for both parties and as a result this could be the start of a series of annual trips from Oklahoma. The trip would not have been possible without our partner agent in America, United Planet. Previously, they have sent us individuals for our volunteer program, but we can safely say the pioneer group trip was a huge success and we look forward to having more of these!

“It’s been an inspiring week for us, we had no idea of the impact that we could make in a short space of time, but also feel like we need to come back for longer and build upon the foundations we have laid with this trip, we’ll definitely be back.” – Dr Jarrett Jobe, Leader of  University of Central Oklahoma Group

Jarrett taking the lead in this teaching session
Jarrett taking the lead in this teaching session
Taylor teaching Siphesihle some American moves
Taylor teaching Siphesihle some American moves
The girls trying out some African Dancing
The girls trying out some African Dancing
The DIY project- making benches for the centre
The DIY project- making benches for the centre
The finished products being put to use
The finished products being put to use

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