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Feb 21, 2019

Oprah Scholar has fantastic first year


A Port Elizabeth girl met Hollywood star Tyler Perry as well Oprah Winfrey – the founder of her school The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), all in the first year that she started at the prestigious school in Gauteng.

Sisipho, who was part of United Through Sport’s Junior School of Excellence in 2016 and 2017 when she was in Die Heuwel Primary School in Port Elizabeth, has completed her first year at the independent boarding school founded by Oprah Winfrey in 2007.

Currently in Grade 9, Sisipho describes her first year at the school as “truly extraordinary.”

“My first year at OWLAG has been very promising and I am very excited for the journey ahead. I have learnt how to be independent while respecting the value of teamwork. I have learnt a lot about myself and my environment,” said Sisipho.

The OWLAG provides top education from Grade 8 to Grade 12, to academically gifted girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa. Life at the boarding school is not only about academics. Afternoons and weekends are extremely busy for the girls as they get involved in a number of sporting, social, creative, debating and leadership activities.

In 2018, Sisipho participated in various co-curricular and cultural activities – including Touch Rugby, Karate and Swimming, as well as African and Contemporary Dance. She achieved her yellow belt in Karate, and plan to continue with her full schedule in 2019.

Sisipho, who stood out in the JSE as a committed and dedicated participant who inspired her peers, had to undergo several assessments before she was selected to join OWLAG, including written tests as well as a two-day camp.

“Since being at OWLAG, I have met a lot of influential people, namely our founder, Mom Oprah Winfrey and Mr Tyler Perry. I have also encouraged myself with my academics by setting goals for myself and working both hard and smart towards achieving them. In the busy OWLAG schedule, I find time to keep in touch with my friends and family as they are my support system,” said Sisipho.

Tyler Perry was the special guest and commencement speaker during a graduation event for the 2018 matric class, held early in December. He described the OWLAG girls as full of “hope, brilliance and intelligence.”

Dec 31, 2018

Final whistle for 2018

With the help of you – our loyal supporters and partners - United Through Sport has reached over 14 150 children with coaching and mentorship at junior school level, supported 75 children to go to top level senior schools and supported 23 youth at University in 2018.

It has been a busy year at United Through Sport in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, where we have achieved several milestones as an organisation:

  • We built the United Through Sport Multi-Sport Court, which was supported by several funders. The court was built at Isaac Booi Primary School, one of our anchor schools in Zwide, where learners can now play netball, basketball and tennis on the court. A first for the area, the children from Isaac Booi and surrounding schools are now exposed to tennis for the first time.
  • We launched a pilot programme, GirlsUnite, at Astra Primary School, another partner school of United Through Sport. The focus of GirlsUnite is to empower girls and help them cope with the challenges they face through structured Self-defence, Literacy and Counselling sessions. The girls’ empowerment programme is for girls aged 10 to 13 years old.
  • Our staff had a jam-packed year filled with training, hard work and even meeting some dignitaries. Highlights include our General Manager Spakes Xapile who went to Paris, France, in October to attend the Laureus Sport for Good Global Summit. The theme for the summit was Inclusion & Gender Equality and she got to meet several fellow member grantees in the sport for good industry. United Through Sport Director Nick Mould also met the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey, in Cape Town as well as Germany’s Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius, who visited our programme in Motherwell.

United Through Sport also celebrated the achievements and milestones of the children in our programmes – who are the heart and soul of our organisation. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Chadleigh, who has been a beneficiary of United Through Sport’s programmes for the past five years, crowned his high school career with the achievement of being announced his School’s Dux (top academic learner of the school). He also received numerous awards and prizes for several regional competitions, including two bursaries from Rhodes University.
  • Kiara, a Senior School of Excellence beneficiary in Grade 10, was selected to the South African Under 17 High Performance Training Squad following the National Under 18 Hockey Tournament, where she represented the Eastern Province Under 18-A team. She made the team despite getting her hand fractured on the very first day of the tournament. Luckily, she played in one and a half games – which was enough time to show the selectors what she’s made of.
  • Kyra, a Grade 11 learner, who also represented the Eastern Province Under 18-A team at the National Under 18 Hockey Tournament, was selected to the South African Under 18-B side. A total of 13 beneficiaries of United Through Sport’s programmes in Nelson Mandela Bay, including Kyra and Kiara, were selected to represent the Eastern Cape in either rugby or hockey in 2018.
  • Bronwyn achieved her 2017 National Senior Certificate with a Bachelor’s Pass and attained four distinctions through Pearson High School. Bronwyn is currently studying Medicine at Free State University in Bloemfontein and has completed her first year of studies. 

Thank you to every individual who has contributed to transform the lives of the children in Nelson Mandela Bay. We look forward to another productive year in 2019, and value your partnership and support.

Nov 26, 2018

Top academic achiever rakes in the awards

Chadleigh with a few of his academic awards
Chadleigh with a few of his academic awards

UNITED Through Sport Senior School of Excellence beneficiary Chadleigh has got a bright future ahead of him. He has just finished his final year of high school at Alexander Road High School in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, where he has been a top academic achiever all year round.

He has been a beneficiary of United Through Sport’s programmes for the past five years and crowned his high school career when he received several awards, including being announced the School Dux (top learner) at the school’s awards ceremony.

Chadleigh was a co-winner in the Senior Maths Relay League in 2018, and his team participated in the Nelson Mandela University’s Rocket-building Competition where they won first prize.

He was also part of a team who competed in MINQUIZ, against schools from around the Eastern Cape to answer questions about Mathematics, Physical Science and general knowledge. His team won the platinum division, while Chadleigh achieved the highest marks in the in individual written division.

For the second year in a row he also came in the top three of his age group at the annual Rhodes University Mathematics Experience (RUME). He scored second overall in the Grade 11 to 12 category after completing a mini-Olympiad (20-question maths competition) during the RUME. Chadleigh is no stranger to performing well at the RUME competition, as in 2017 he came first in his age group during the mini-Olympiad. Combining the two years’ scholarship prizes, he has accumulated almost R100 000 worth of tertiary tuition scholarships from Rhodes University.

His parents, Andrea and Neil, motivate him to always do his best and are extremely proud of his most recent achievements. When he is not studying, he enjoys playing tennis, squash and chess.

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