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...
Dec 7, 2011

Pearson High School offers our kids scholarships

Our first group of kids at Pearson High School
Our first group of kids at Pearson High School

United Through Sport South Africa started a very promising relationship with one of the top multi-racial high schools in Port Elizabeth. From the beginning of 2010, Pearson High School has and will be continuing to offer scholarships to talented kids brought to them by UTS SA. The kids have to excel in sport and ideally start in grade 8 at Pearson to enable them to get maximum benefit for their academic progress.

At the moment, we have three rugby boys attending the school in grade 8. Brad, Sithembiso and Sibulele were selected last year and they all played U/13 provincial level rugby at the time. These three boys were selected from the UTS SA U13 team that went on a sponsored tour with us in 2009 to Saffron Walden, UK. The boys have adjusted well to the new school, although the school workload has proven to be much tougher than primary school. Their afternoons are packed with extra-mural activities but we are putting into practice making use of our international volunteers to help with homework and extra tuition on their free afternoons.

The selection for next year’s scholarships is in progress and we are looking to have a mixed selection of boys and girls. The boys for next year are also from our UK tour team who were selected from our various primary schools programs. The girls are from our Primary School Mass Participation Program (MPP) and were identified for their talent and commitment by our School of Excellence (SSE) netball coach who was the “helping hand” in scouting for this raw talent. These boys and girls currently attend schools in the townships and this will be a great change to the schooling life they have known thus far. Pearson has all the facilities they will need for their sport, to polish their skills as well as extra-mural activities that they will be introduced to for the first time in their lives. The kids could even realize talent they didn’t know they had due to the sad fact that they weren’t exposed to certain facilities and activities in the township schools they have attended previously. Such facilities that will contribute to this include Pearson’s state of the art Music department, modern aquatics centre, science labs and brand new sports science gym and fitness centre with full time physio and personal trainers.

All the parents have all been extremely grateful for the opportunity as they would otherwise not have been able to afford to take their kids to such a school, due to their financial constraints. This was particularly a blessing to one of the families where the grandfather, a pensioner, is the sole source of income in the household. All the families have similar backgrounds where the reality is they would never have been able to give their kids such a schooling opportunity had we not given them this Pearson scholarship.

Talking to the kids, you can just see the eagerness of going to a multi-racial school for the first time; they are excited but at the same time they are naturally anxious of the communication skills and how they will fit in. The medium of instruction from the teachers as well as communication with their fellow-scholars will now have to be strictly in English, a language they are not too familiar with. UTS SA will however be on hand to support the kids at each step of the way with extra tuition, personal mentoring and homework assistance. Schooling at Pearson will open up doors to these kids as they will be exposed to other cultures and widen their perspective and outlook on life.

For United Through Sport SA, it has been a pleasure working with Pearson as they have really shown the passion to develop the kids; both on and off the field. Both the headmaster and the sports convener have been very welcoming to and supportive in continuing the relationship between UTS SA and Pearson High School.

We all look forward to seeing these kids progress at Pearson and we thank the school for the opportunity awarded to these and the upcoming scholars. Obtaining schooling such as this is, in reality, very far from the kids in the townships’ reach. Through sport, UTS SA and Pearson are trying hard to bridge this gap and provide better education for these children.

“Being at Pearson has exposed me to a different world, the work load is tough but very rewarding when we complete it and do well. The vibe on Saturdays (around Rugby fixtures) is amazing and I feel so privileged to be a part of it.” – Sithembiso Metshe, UTS SA Scholar attending at Pearson, also Pearson U14 Rugby Captain.

With the school
With the school's sports convener and headmaster
Pearson has a new Gym & Fitness Centre
Pearson has a new Gym & Fitness Centre
Nov 4, 2011

HIV Counselling and Testing Tournament

Even the little ones had fun
Even the little ones had fun

June 16th marks a very special day for the youth of South Africa; it is celebrated as Youth Day. Being an organisation that has as its primary goal the development of youth, United Through Sport SA held a HCT 5-a-side Tournament at a small town just outside of Port Elizabeth, Addo, home to the beautiful Addo Elephant Park. The point of this tournament was to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to encourage HIV counselling and testing.

The 95 children playing on the day comprised of 7 local soccer teams and one local netball team; which were all under the age of 16, with the senior teams being the South African Police Services (SAPS) playing against the local team, Addo Legends. Also taking part in the tournament were our School of Excellence soccer boys and netball girls. The local police and health department were very involved on the day, making it the success it was.

Opening the day before the games was a performance from local traditional dancers which had the crowd amazed as the little boys and girls showed off their talents to the beats of the drum. When that was done, the first round of the soccer started.

The community was really giving their support, with the old and the young cheering on. Being spectators was not the only way they were getting involved though; the queues for the HIV testing were getting longer by the minute. The added extra benefit with the mobile clinic at the field was the fact that the nurses were also screening for TB, blood sugar, haemoglobin and blood pressure, not only HIV testing and counselling. Olive Leaf was there as well, giving HIV counselling and testing. Some of the children were busy with our life skills guys doing activities from our curriculum, which promotes abstinence and educates about this deadly disease. Condoms were also made available to everyone, encouraging safe sex to the youth.

Our SSE netball team won the junior tournament beating their Addo opponents convincingly. The police team was starting to warm up now, knowing the masters game was coming up after the semi-finals of the junior team. With the HIV counselling and testing still carrying on in the mobile clinics, the day was getting even more exciting and the pressure on the local teams was building up. The SAPS team proved to everyone watching that once you join the force, you go through a lot of fitness training and used this to press home their advantage and win the master’s game.

The UTS SA boys faced the Buffalos in the final round and contrary to what everyone might believe, we really did not want to win this final match… but our boys just could not play down their talent! They were the winners of the tournament, with a 2-1 victory.

The post-match presentation had prizes for the following individuals: top goal scorer, goal keeper of the tournament, player’s player, player of the tournament and coach of the tournament. The senior team got a floating trophy and bragging rights!

With a total of 74 youth between 13 and 18 years old testing on the day, and 45 between 19 and 35 years old, the day was a success for our first HCT Tournament in Addo. The community of Addo was a pleasure to work with. The event would not have been the success it was if we did not have support from the Cacadu Health Department, Olive Leaf, the SAPS, the Sundays River Citrus Company (oranges were the order of the day!) and Zola, who co-ordinated all the Addo logistics for us. We look forward to doing some more work with this community, as their appreciation was very encouraging.

Of the 74 children, none were HIV positive and of the older youth, 24 % tested HIV positive. This just proved how programmes such as ours are needed to keep the young generation in the HIV-free zone. The community of Addo pleaded us to come back and get their kids more involved in sport. “We are happy when our kids are having fun and learning at the same time, as AIDS is a big problem” commented one of the parents.

Mbanie in action with life skills
Mbanie in action with life skills
masters
masters' game
our SSE girls against the local team
our SSE girls against the local team
community members getting involved in the testing
community members getting involved in the testing
traditional dancing opening the day
traditional dancing opening the day
youth queuing up to get tested
youth queuing up to get tested
our SSE boys made it to the final
our SSE boys made it to the final
Mar 9, 2009

When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning and Nick's Passion

A NOTE FROM GLOBALGIVING:

This is the second in a series of snapshots about project leader Nick Mould and his organization Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence.

Thank you for your continued support of Nick and his tireless dedication to improving the lives of South African children through sport. We ask you to contribute again today! Feel free to tell your friends about Nick and his incredible work!

~

When “thinking on your feet” took on a whole new meaning

After studying Business Economics and working for a “ruthless” multinational food retailer, Nick Mould needed a career break. He packed his bags and headed for his father’s homeland of South Africa to spend six months giving back to the community.

An avid sportsman, Nick used his athletic inclination as an avenue to get to know the children in the small towns where he worked. Nick’s “sport as a tool” proved very effective. “I quickly saw the impact that spending just a little bit of time with the impoverished children of the township communities here could do and that with a little bit of personal care and attention, improvements in the children’s behavior, attention span, self esteem and general intelligence became apparent,” says Nick. Nick starting building up a volunteer program for like-minded individuals to come out and coach sports.

Now four years in the running, the Umzingisi School of Sporting Excellence has added life-skills program in addition to its rigorous sports training schedule with the help of funding driven by GlobalGiving. The curriculum includes topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, crime awareness, career guidance, intrapersonal development, financial management, health and nutrition, and computer skills. With further funding, Nick hopes to develop a holistic educational program that includes music, art, and drama instruction.

Nick’s Passion

What motives Nick to go to work every day? “Many people look at the kind of work we do and think that we are selfless for what we are doing for other people,” says Nick. “I don’t see it this way at all.”

Rather, for Nick, the satisfaction of helping another person is more valuable than monetary compensation. “One of the best feelings you can have is when you do something for someone else and they really appreciate what you have done,” says Nick. “There is so much more reward in working to help other people rather than working solely to help yourself.”

With a degree in Business Economics and experience working for a multinational food retailer, Nick abandoned his successful corporate career to pursue more meaningful work in community development. “I don’t feel like I could be doing anything else,” he says.

The Umzingisi School of Excellence directly benefits from donations received through GlobalGiving and Nick has used the funds to expand the educational program and curriculum. Increased giving would allow Nick and his colleagues to add art, drama, and music classes.

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