The Journey Continues: Malawi, Zambia & Botswana

May has seen a busy month for our man Richard Bennett as he heads down through the African continent taking Rugby and important educational messages to thousands of kids.

Over the past few weeks the team of 6 have visited schools in Malawi (Mngwangwa Full Primary School) and Zambia (Nahumba Basic School), empowering local school teachers and coaches to work with the kids on an ongoing basis. Decent sports equipment has been left in each of the schools as well as link ups with UK based schools to continue the support after the team moved on.

Many pupils turned out in their hundreds to support their classmates in the rugby tournaments, with all children enjoying themselves and trying their hardest at the game; many cheering enthusiastically from the sidelines.

Head of P.E. at Nahumba Basic School in Zambia said the following about the visit:

“We have really enjoyed this week. Especially as the game doesn’t exist here yet – it has been a pleasure learning the game. The pupils are enjoying it very much and the ones who don’t play are eager to join in. We want to continue when you leave and go to other schools to teach them so we can have competitions. It would be my pleasure to spread rugby among the adults in Choma as well!”

The journey now sees the team head South into Botswana, with the final two destinations being Namibia and South Africa. Richard will spend time working alongside Nick Mould (Country Director) at our permanent United Through Sport base in South Africa (Port Elizabeth) where we currently work with over 20,000 kids. We are looking forward to welcoming the team and we are sure a long overdue haircut will be in order!

Facilities Boost for School of Excellence

There have been some exciting new developments at the Junior School of Excellence (JSE); the sports facilities are looking great! The children are very excited to start playing on their upgraded facilities, which will do wonders for their skills development. The upgrade of the facilities was sponsored by terres des homes Germany through the, ‘A Chance To Play Programme’ as part of their on-going support of United Through Sport’s mission to bring the opportunity of playing structured sports activities to every child in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The all round facility upgrade included building a new netball court, two cricket nets, rugby and football posts, a spectator stand for up to 70 people and purchasing an industrial lawn mower and line marking machine to allow the school to maintain the rugby and football fields.

The new facilities have now allowed the School to enter into the local Super 12 competition where they will be the only township school competing. This was previously not possible as they were unable to host home matches against top (former model c) schools. The children are all very excited at the thought of hosting multi-racial schools and playing against “abelungu” (white people) at home, as this will be a first amongst the township schools of the area.

These new facilities have been a great boost for the school and fantastic starting point, the next goal is to raise funds to extend the netball court to a tennis court and improve the hockey playing surface.

“I am so excited to play our first match at home, it will be the first time my dad can come and watch me play, and he will sit in the stands to watch me, like I am a professional!” – Zizipho Ndongeni, 12 yrs old, grade 7