Developing Vulnerable Kids Thru Sport South Africa

 
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We are excited to tell you about Zolisa Faba; a 14 year old boy from our Mass Participation Programme. Zolisa progressed into our Senior School of Excellence Program with a scholarship to Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg. He has now completed his first year at Jeppe, and what a change we have seen in him!

For any young boy, growing up without a father always has difficult implications, but for Zolisa the situation worsened when his mother fell terminally ill two years ago. His mother had to be moved to a specialist hospital in Cape Town for the demanding care she needed. It felt as if his, and his brothers, world was falling apart and he had no option but to leave home.

Living with their Great Aunt, and seven other people in a small house, things were not quite the same for these two boys. The whole household was dependent upon the pension of their great Aunt (R880 per month / £73) as it is the sole source of income for the household.

Zolisa felt he and his brother were a burden to his Aunt, not surprising when her pension equated to less than R5 (40p) per person per day. As a result there were many periods when Zolisa was only eating a meal once every three days.

When the opportunity came along to send one of our talented sports men to one of the top schools in the country, it was not difficult for us to choose Zolisa – not because of his circumstances but in spite of them. He was one of our most dedicated learners, his enthusiasm and determination within our program stood out. He was dedicated and committed, regardless of the family situation back home, and clearly wanted more from his life.

Zolisa now eats regular meals, has grown hugely both physically and mentally and after just one year at his new school, stands out as a fine, well mannered young man. Most importantly he is receiving a top level education which will allow him to progress onto almost any career path he chooses and ultimately completely change his own future and that of his family.

Zolisa is a great example of the opportunities we strive to create for our children. We are so proud of how far Zolisa has come and so excited about where he is going!

(Special thanks to Theo Jackson Scholarship Fund for making this possible)

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
Ntando in action at the VCT Tournament
Ntando in action at the VCT Tournament

To celebrate Youth Day on June 16th, we hosted our first VCT Tournament held in Addo, a small rural town outside Port Elizabeth, with soccer and netball being the two sports played. The point of this tournament was to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to encourage HIV counseling and testing. On the day, we accomplished testing 74 youth in the age 12-17 years and 54 older than 18 years. Of the 74 children, none were HIV positive and of the older youth, 24 % tested HIV positive. 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.

The United Through Sport SA Senior School of Excellence (SSE) has been lucky enough to get a kitchen-makeover in April. Stanley House from Wellington College in the UK raised funds to be used to renovate the kitchen at our School of Excellence. The UTS SA kitchen, which was in desperate need of an upgrade, is currently used to feed more than 150 children per day who participate in the sports program coordinated by UTS SA at Ithembelihle High School in New Brighton. “The kitchen is now more pleasant to work in, the running water being the highlight of the upgrade” Nokuthula Mcondobi, Food Assistant, Umzingisi.

We have put into practice, with the assistance of international volunteers, measures to work on the SSE kids’ language skills; the emphasis of this being improving the kids’ spoken English. For two afternoons a week, the students have discussion sessions on various topics, ranging from alcohol, under-age sex, abortion, performance enhancing drugs,  relationships and gender roles to politics, religion and the World Cup. These are just a few of the topics, drama games are also included as well as reading and presenting exercises. It was amazing to see, as time went, the shy kids coming out of their shells and expressing their opinions. The fact that the topics are on taboo subjects most of the time, these discussions get heated as the kids are not shy to strongly oppose each other on their different views and perspectives. On a weekly basis, we call in external facilitators to conduct life skills workshops with the kids. They cover topics such as early parenthood, time management, sexual health, alcohol and drug addictions, self esteem and motivation, communication skills and financial budgeting, just to name a few. 

Four of our SSE boys played their first chess tournament three months ago and according to Aviwe, one of the players in the tournament, this was an exhilarating learning experience full of fun and they all learned a lot from it. We introduced this game to the kids with the vision of it being helping the kids in terms of their problem solving skills, their concentration levels, strategizing and it promoting, amongst many other things, their mental awareness. With the exception of the youngest player, the boys each won a minimum of 2 games in the tournament.

On the sports field, the SSE boys and girls have been very busy with school leagues, tournaments and trying out for provincial colours. The soccer boys played a big FNB Victoria Park Soccer Challenge, which had a few national schools coming down to Port Elizabeth to compete. Our U/19 boys did us very proud by making it to the final; where they were the runner-ups of the tournament. Our netball girls and rugby boys also took part in a big event; the FNB Classic Clashes; where both netball and rugby went home with the title, with the rugby boys winning it for the third year in a row. We are also proud to say that we have a representative in the EP U/19 Netball team (provincial), Nomawethu Runeli, who made the team in the beginning of June.

Over the last week of July, UTS SA has had three visits from schools in the UK. The netball girls played against St Albans High School for Girls and the rugby played Wellington College as well as Sedbergh School. It is always a pleasure for our kids to host such schools of prestige and play them in the townships. It means even more when, like Sedbergh did, the opponents spend the whole day experiencing life in a typical day of a South African child in the less advantaged areas of our country. The Sedbergh boys sat in classes with our boys, which was a different experience to what they are familiar with. “It was challenging playing against them, and learning about England earlier in the day was very interesting. They have as few as six students in a class, I have never heard of that! We have six times that amount!” Ludwe Jack, Grade 12, UTS SA Beneficiary

These past few months have been activity packed, our kids are progressing both on and off the field and we have enjoyed the visitors we have had, who now hopefully have a better understanding of the needs these children have. We appreciate all the assistance and helping hands from our donors, enabling UTS SA to carry out the work it does.

“It is great to see how our programme is affecting the lives of the youth in South Africa, assisting them in their growth and developing them to be responsible young citizens, giving them hope for a better future”.- Spakes Xapile, Project Manager, UTS SA.

Mobile Testing Clinics at the VCT Tournament
Mobile Testing Clinics at the VCT Tournament
Getting their hands dirty renovating the kitchen
Getting their hands dirty renovating the kitchen
Some kitchen appliances donated by Stanley House
Some kitchen appliances donated by Stanley House
Siphosethu learning how to perform CPR
Siphosethu learning how to perform CPR
Sedbergh and Umzingisi Rugby Boys
Sedbergh and Umzingisi Rugby Boys
teamwork with puzzles
teamwork with puzzles

On the 28th January 54 United Through Sport SA students embarked on a wonderful journey to Bushpig Adventures in Kragga Kamma. They boarded their Algoa Bus along with Shanki, Thembani, S’dima, Spakes and Jessica and left their school at 8am. The purpose of the camp served as many things, a reward for those kids that had performed well and had participated fully with good attendance last year, as well as for new members of the scholarship program to get to know each other and the staff, and finally for the students to develop their life skills, leadership and teamwork during the camp.

When they arrived at Bushpig adventures they were warmly welcomed and greeted by very energetic facilitators. They then had to walk up the hill to the base camp as the Algoa bus could not get there. Bushpig adventures is situated upon a picturesque hill overlooking the farm, ocean and surrounding homes. First the students were treated to a group welcome and introductions in the boma. They then were split into five groups and given a blank flag and paint box. They had to make up a name for their group, a group flag with a logo and a tribal dance. All of this had to be accomplished in an unknown language that wasn’t linked to English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. The groups had a lot of fun preparing for their presentation and really went all out with their creativity and teamwork!

When the time came to present, all the groups took it very seriously and were all very entertaining. In the end we had a winner for the best flag and story and a tribal dance winner. The students were told that they must treat their flag as one of their members and guard it, because if one of the facilitators managed to take their flag, they would be punished. The students were then treated to a snack before they proceeded to their next activity. The next teambuilding activity consisted of 2 different events. A large group had to make a line and hold long poles, and then one by one, they would walk over the poles, practising balance, teamwork, trust and bravery. It was quite a sight to watch. The second was broken into two smaller teams and they each had to lift up a team member above their heads, this showed communication and teamwork.

After these events, a third activity consisted of the team’s members having to make a line and then catch a falling teammate who was standing on someone’s shoulders. This was very scary for the student who had to fall, as they had to have complete trust that their teammates would not drop them. The message of teamwork and communication was then explained to the students.

Then it was time to unpack and settle in. All the students marched down to their accommodation and unpacked and then settled down for a nice lunch and pep talk. After lunch it was time for the build-a-bridge challenge. This really tested the students as they were given a collection of small logs and planks and had to make a bridge that was strong enough to hold all of their team members. They then had to continue this bridge until the finish line, passing logs and planks from the back to make new sections in the front. If any of the bridge fell onto the ground, the team had to go back to the beginning. The teams showed an extreme amount of patience, teamwork and resilience as some of them were sent back a couple of times. We were very proud of our teams and their performance in this challenge.

After a small break it was time for the puzzle activities. There were four stations. Station one was trying to get a tyre off a long pole without it touching the pole. Station two was a puzzle where the students had to move a series of tyres from one pole to another. Station 3 was a log balance course and station four was a spider’s web where each of the team members had to fit through. All of these activities tested the student’s teamwork, communication, skill and creativity.

It was now relax and shower time, before supper. Most of the students enjoyed time to relax and socialize. Before supper there was a "sing-off" between the girls and the boys, which everyone enjoyed. After supper the students were treated to a night walk, through the surrounding forest and fields. No torches were allowed and the students had to use the light of the moon to guide their steps. They all loved the night walk and found it very exciting. After the night walk we made a huge bonfire and some told stories to make the others laugh before bed time. Bed time, well at least for some...

On the morning of the 29th, we had an early start to the day with a 7am wake-up and shower time. After breakfast, the late comers and the teams whose flags had been taken had to clean up the dorms and bathrooms while the others prepared for the obstacle course. The gruelling obstacle course awaited them and our students being so sporty had no problem climbing over the logs, through the spider’s webs and going for a jog through the forest, all the while holding a cup of water. In the end, the team with the most water in their cup won. This took great dedication as well as teamwork to get their cups to the end of the course.

After the obstacle course came the very fun and very messy puzzle race. Each of the teams had to jump over a wall, then crawl and dig their way through a very low bridge in sea sand. They then had to memorize a colourful puzzle and race back through the obstacle course and assemble the puzzle on the other side. If they did not get the puzzle right, the entire team had to go back through the course and look at the puzzle. The students found this activity challenging, but the teams that paid attention and worked as a team did well and finished quickly.

After getting all hot and full of sand, the students were given a chance to have a swim in the local dam, and had a lot of fun as they cooled down and splashed around. Lunch time brought smiles to everyone’s faces as the students enjoyed their must deserved curry bunnies.

Their last activity before home time was to build a suspension bridge. They were given pieces of rope and logs and had to make a bridge that could hold the weight of a brick. Each of the groups got to send two of their members to go and study a model of a suspension bridge in the kitchen before returning to the group and passing on their knowledge. The students had fun building the bridge and all learnt a little something about engineering.

Finally clean up, thank you’s and a very sad farewell as some of the students did not want to go home yet as they enjoyed themselves so much. The students learnt many valuable life lessons and definitely improved their communication and teamwork skills, all the while having fun and getting a good workout. Not only did they have fun, but they also got to know each other and this will definitely help them on the field to work as a team and to communicate. They learnt that if they work hard on the field and are dedicated to practices, they are given amazing rewards such as this camp. The students showed great enthusiasm and dedication and each student brought their own special flavour to the camp. From the student’s feedback, I would definitely say that the camp was a roaring success and fun was had by everyone. I would just like to congratulate Bushpig adventures for giving us such an amazing camp and many wonderful memories.

"The camp was very enjoyable, I learnt a lot about communicating with my team and I loved the nightwalk. Thank You United Through Sport and all the sponsors who made this camp happen"- Samkelo Dumse, 14 yrs,  UTS SA Beneficiary

problem solving
problem solving
working together to achieve a goal
working together to achieve a goal
chill out time
chill out time
Our Soccer Boys on the field
Our Soccer Boys on the field

SEE Girls Netball

United Through Sport South Africa was invited by Imbewu South Africa to take part in a World AIDS Day Knock-Out Tournament, which was held at the Dan Qeqe Stadium in Zwide on the 1st December 2010. The tournament had netball, tennis, basketball and 5-a-side soccer games for the U/13s and U/16s. We had our U/16 netball girls and soccer boys playing in this tournament. Our boys played well but unfortunately got knocked out and did not make it to the final. They played 3 games with only one win, and although they fought hard, they lost the other two matches. The girls on the other hand, played a total of 3 matches and made it through to the finals and were the day’s winners! The girls received a floating trophy and medals for each player. The girls felt very proud to be UTS SA girls and proved that all their hard work had paid off. This was a great way to end the year for the students, as they were all excited that their hard work and excellent teamwork had given them the ability to take the win. We were all happy that Imbewu SA had invited us to take part in this tournament, as it was not only to play sport but to raise awareness about this deadly illness (HIV AIDS).

Two of our girls made us proud by making it to the Zimkhitha Lesoro inter-districts netball tournament in East London, representing the Eastern Province in August. From these two girls, one was chosen to be part of theprovincial team that was selected to participate in the SA Games in Limpopo in 2011.  The event was staged to pay homage to the late Zimkhitha Lesoro (a legendary SA netball player) while also honouringWomen during Woman’s Month. Well done to the girls, we are very proud! Throughout 2010 our netball girls have never failed to show up at any occasion without a smile and a vibrant attitude! These girls love being part of their team and have formed close friendships both on and off of the netball field! They always bring their all to every practice and game and they have the good results to prove it. These girls are only moving from strength to strength so who knows what 2011 holds in store for them!

SEE Boys Soccer

The U/15 boys recently took part in an AOC Tournament that was held in the Kwa-Noxolo Township. Eight teams from the surrounding area took part in the tournament and our talented boys won both their matches! They went on to face the hosting team, Ace Milan in the final. Unfortunately our boys drew 1-1.

Over the past few months our U/19’s have played in the PE City Schools league. This was a big step up as it is the first time they have competed against former model C schools (well resourced) on a regular basis and shows they have the ability to play at the top schools level and be ranked one of the top teams in the City.  The students put a lot of hard work and determination into their sport and into every match. Their results were as follows: 4 wins, 2 draws and only one loss. The U/19 boys were extremely excited to come 1st on their log for the school league. The younger boys were not too far off on their log; as they were number 3.

We were invited to a Skillz HCT Tournament, a Heritage Day Cup which was held on our Heritage Day public holiday. UTS SA had a boy’s team as well as a girl’s team taking part in this 10-a-side tournament. There were a total of 16 organisations, with 11 teams taking part in this tournament. The target for the day was to get 250 people counselled and tested for HIV/AIDS, to create awareness about the disease. The target population to be tested was the participants as well as the community members. Each team got extra points for the number of players that went to the voluntary VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV) testing. The actual number of tests done on the day was 189, with both our teams making us proud by being part of this number. Our boys did extremely well and made it to the finals, unfortunately losing their match in the final stage.

Our Soccer boys are one-of-a-kind! Each of their vibrant and unique personalities fit so well together to form the cohesive teams that they are now. They loved the 2010 soccer world cup and learnt a lot from watching the action both on TV and close up and personal. They face many challenges in their lives, but the sports field has always been a place where they can all be equal and shine with their talent and potential. Well done boys! We are behind you all the way!

SEE Boys Rugby

Our U/17 boys recently played in the Grey 7’s Rugby Festival Tournament hosted by Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. From the two games they played, the boys won 1 game and lost 1 game which is a great achievement as Grey are ranked in the top 10 of all schools in the country. We are very proud of 12 of our U/17s boys who were selected to travel to Durban at the beginning of September 2010 to participate in the Sharks Talent Identification Tournament. They returned home with one victory and two losses of the three games that they played there. Our Rugby boys have been working very hard and are showing a lot of potential and spirit. They make us proud everyday and we would like to thank them for their dedication and teamwork through 2010! We can only get stronger as a team and as individuals in 2011!

Thank you to all our donors for 2010! You made a valuable contribution to the lives of our students and to the future development of the South African Youth!

Our Netball girls with their trophy!
Our Netball girls with their trophy!
Our Soccer Boys before the match
Our Soccer Boys before the match
Our Rugby boys preparing for their match
Our Rugby boys preparing for their match

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Organization

United Through Sport SA

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province, South Africa
http://www.unitedthroughsport.org.za

Project Leader

Nick Mould

Founder
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Developing Vulnerable Kids Thru Sport South Africa