HER passion to transform the lives of girls from Nelson Mandela Bay has resulted in a young South African woman winning an international competition, which is co-sponsored by Nike.
United Through Sport co-ordinator Lindiwe Cezula, 22, was announced as one of the winners of the Gurls Talk Made to Play Fund Competition, Women Win in partnership with Nike.
The competition was open to young women under the age of 25 years, whose organisations are based in Ghana, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Turkey, United Kingdom, Italy, France and South Africa.
The purpose of the Women Win competition is to support inspirational young women from across the world, to encourage the next generation of girls to get active.
Part of the winning package includes grant funding, active wear and a spot in Women Win's Leadership Development Programme - which will include a trip to Paris, France, in June this year.
“It has always been my passion to create a safe space for us girls to just talk and share all our experiences on the expectations that society has of us. I would like to see the day where the girls own their bodies, the colour of their skin and most importantly, for them to know that they have the body, the mind and the courage; and that they are in charge of it all,” said Cezula.
She plans to utilise the Gurls Talk Made to Play Fund grant to develop a dance programme for United Through Sport’s girls’ empowerment programme, GirlsUnite. The purpose of the dance programme will be to get the girls moving through physical activity, while teaching critical life-skills lessons to boost their confidence, resilience and levels of self-actualisation.
Cezula graduated with her BA degree, majoring in Political Science and Public Administration, from Nelson Mandela University in April this year.
In primary school her netball talents were spotted by United Through Sport Director Nick Mould on a dusty sport field in Zwide. Cezula attended Pearson High School from 2011 – 2014 as part of United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence, and in her Matric year received a special award for Perseverance.
“We are extremely proud of Lindiwe. She came into our programme when she was just 11 years old, and to see her grasp the opportunities that have come her way and then complete the circle by giving back to the next generation is hugely inspirational. She encompasses the vision of United Through Sport and is a true example of the potential that exists within the youth of our society if they are just given the right support,” said Mould.
Lindiwe is employed as the Youth1st Network Co-ordinator on a full-time basis at United Through Sport in Port Elizabeth and plans to pursue further studies by doing an Honours degree in Public Administration.