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Oct 13, 2017

Surf's Up for United Through Sport

It is exciting to tell you about a new programme that our Senior School of Excellence children are involved in. United Through Sport has partnered with Waves For Change, an organisation that uses surfing as therapy and provides skills to cope with stress, regulate behaviour, build healing relationships and make positive life choices.

On the 14th August, after identifying the children that would benefit the most from this programme, we started the Friday sessions with Waves For Change where the children will be going through a 20 week programme at the beach.  Before their first session, the children had mixed emotions about this programme as they could not fully understand what “surf therapy” meant and did not know what to expect. However, after being on the surf boards in their wet suits on the first session, they totally loved it and have been excitedly attending the sessions. They have also built good relationships with the mentors in the programme, and thoroughly enjoy the life skills & therapy aspects of the programme.

After a long week of school and playing sport, it is very relaxing for these youngsters to spend Friday afternoons on the beach, on a surf board and just “’talking stuff out”, as the kids put it, with their Waves For Change mentors. As we had carefully selected the children that needed this kind of programme, it is amazing to note the difference in their attitude in the past few weeks. We have seen a change in their attitude to school work as well as their behaviour in our regular after-school sessions. We totally understand that there is something special and calming about the beach, especially when you get to meditate and also learn a new skill. Surfing has obviously always been associated with a certain demographic in our country, so learning this rare skill is very empowering for these youngsters.

As this is an extra programme to coordinate, we are grateful that expenses such as transport and food for the children can be catered for by our Global Giving sponsors. We are hopeful for a long lasting relationship with Waves For Change, where we can send more children in 2018 to benefit from the surf therapy.

“I never thought I could be able to surf, and I had no idea there was such a thing as surf therapy. I honestly have only ever seen anyone surfing on TV, and it’s always boys but I am now able to stand on the surf board and hope to be able to catch big waves soon” – Nkcubeko, 14 years old, SSE Beneficiary.

Sep 14, 2017

Proudly Representing Eastern Province Sport

At United Through Sport we are committed to using sport to develop disadvantaged kids. Sport is a powerful tool that can be used to benefit learners and to create a lot of opportunities to excel.

The United Through Sport beneficiaries do not only excel academically but also on the sport field. The Eastern Province sports teams have been selected and we are proud to announce that ten of our beneficiaries have been chosen.

From our Junior School of Excellence (JSE) six learners were selected to represent the province and from the Senior School of Excellence (SSE) four learners were selected.

From the JSE Ethan from Papenkuil Primary and Jason from Bethelsdorp Primary were selected for the U13 A rugby team. Caleb and Wayvin from Astra Primary were selected for the U13 A boy’s hockey team and Trent was selected for the Vipers Indoor Hockey U12 B team. Shameese from Van der Kemp Primary has been selected for the U12 A netball team.

From the SSE Kayrian from Grey High School has been selected for the U 14 A boy’s hockey team and Storm also from Grey has been selected for the U16 A boy’s hockey team. Kaylin and Kyra from Pearson High School were both selected for the U18 A girl’s hockey team. Excitingly Kyra was also selected for the U17 South Africa team due to her strong performance at the Provincial tournament.  This is the second year in a row that Kyra has made the national age group side.

We are proud of these learners and we hope that they will serve as a motivation to our other beneficiaries.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”-Nido Qubein

Jul 17, 2017

A Story About Kay

Kay
Kay

With the School of Excellence programmes in our organisation, we are involved with the beneficiaries for a minimum of seven years. Our first contact with the children is when they are in primary school, aged between 10-12 years. From this very first contact, we are in constant need of support to provide measures and tools of developing the child. This covers extra academic support, sports coaching, life skills and personal mentoring.

GlobalGiving donors have been a part of our journey for the last 9 years. We truly appreciate the continued support that goes a long way in many children’s lives. We’d like to share a story of one of the children we met seven years ago so you can have insight into how far donations go.

Kay stood out not only for her potential on the hockey field, but she had the sweetest personality in her group! Her willingness to help the sport coaches and her excitement on coaching days blew away all the volunteer coaches and she was recommended for our Junior School of Excellence (JSE) the following year, 2012. As part of the selection process, more information had to be gathered about her from her school teachers, and as we expected, she was found to be definitely the sweetheart she came across and the bonus was the strength of her academic performance. With a good balance between her grades and sport skills, she was no doubt the type of child we needed to take part in the Junior School of Excellence to develop the potential she had. 

During her year in the JSE, Kay continued to show dedication and commitment to United Through Sport and kept up her academics. She was also always willing to help her peers in any way possible, but she was quite shy and reserved. The UTS coordinators of the JSE programme get more insight into the lives of the children as the year goes on. As much as she was shining in school and in sport, Kay was actually struggling at home as her parents were going through a messy divorce. She was in a very unstable home situation and living arrangement, which had a negative impact on her hopes for the future. However, towards the end of the year, Kay’s social skills were improving a lot and being in the programme increased her confidence. Because of her outstanding abilities and the difficult home situation, Kay was one of the children selected to go on scholarship in the Senior School of Excellence (SSE) programme the following year and she was thrilled at the news!

Getting a sports scholarship to the school of her dreams was the best thing to happen to the 13 year old. To fully support her children, Kay’s mom had to make many more sacrifices and we applaud her for that! In the first few years in the new school and finally adjusting to a new single parent home environment, Kay’s sport ability developed further. She represented her school and the province a number of times, which led to her being selected for South Africa Schools Hockey, where she currently still competes. Due to her personality, resilience, hunger for success, social skills and the general manner in how she represents United Through Sport, Kay was selected to be in the group that went on tour for street football to Brazil in 2014. Her natural sport talent stood out in the tournament and she was very popular amongst her international peers during the short stay in Brazil. At this stage, Kay was completely feeling on top of the world and was very hopeful for her life.

Fast forward to 2017, Kay is in her final year of high school, UTS is assisting her in applying for sports bursaries in order to pursue her hockey to a professional level and she has been accepted at a few universities already. She forever shows gratitude to the United Through Sport family for pretty much just generally being the light in her life.

“UTS has developed me so much in many different avenues and not only sport! I know how shy I used to be when I started in the programme, but today I am a prefect, a leader in my school with so many friends and I will go to University soon! When I work, I will assist UTS to help more kids.”

Global Giving is a reliable platform for UTS to raise funds to realise dreams of many more others, and we cannot do it without our dedicated donors. Thank you and please continue supporting us!

Kay In Action For The School First Team
Kay In Action For The School First Team
Kay Represents The Province In Cricket Too
Kay Represents The Province In Cricket Too
Our Young Star Collects Awards
Our Young Star Collects Awards
 
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