Our primary project is the Siyakatala Child & Youth Care Centre in Port Elizabeth. Our aim is to assist with sports development by: 1. Establishing a small gym and; 2. Building a multipurpose concrete slab for a netball/basketball/mini-tennis court The only large surfaced area is the road in front where the children stay in residential care. It is a public road and the children cannot play there. The children need to participate in sports activities to channel energy in positive areas
We need to create facilities at the youth centre we support to ensure the children are not denied opportunities. All boys and girls at the centre need to participate in sports activities as part of a normal healthy lifestyle and to channel their energy into positive areas. There is a specific need to give the girls at our centre a place for structured team practice as currently they have nowhere to practice netball and have this disadvantage when they compete against others.
Children do not always know how to handle conflict and become aggressive. We need to provide them with healthy alternatives to get rid of their aggression. Both the gym and court will play an important therapeutic role. It will also help them to set personal targets. Siyakatala have had children go on to represent their schools in athletics at provincial events and won races and we know that these facilities will also help build stamina and channel their potential effectively.
One case study is of a young teen girl with an intellectual disability who previously abused substances including methamphetamine. When she played netball with the girls and was their 'Goal Shooter' there were people watching who commented that she had the potential to really go far professionally. But without the practice court Siyakatala cannot channel potential. We know doors can be opened through the power of sporting excellence and achievement that can give these children brighter futures.