Volunteer to stay on as Intern in Buenos Aires

United Through Sport, Argentina grew a lot in 2014. We received three times the volunteers we did during 2013. All as a result of the hard work of the organization, ensuring that every volunteer that chose Argentina for their volunteer programme was not disappointed. Our volunteers posted all over social media and told their friends and family about the great time they had on our projects.

Dhani-Perre Heath is a football volunteer from London who arrived in December on a 12 week programme and is now staying until November 2015. Yes, an amazing 30 weeks more than he had originally planned!

Dhani tells us that he is having a great time in Buenos Aires. He has met some amazing people and is learning from every coaching session he takes part in at Pereyra Park. He is also organising football games in a local league by hiring a pitch.

United Through Sport Staff in Argentina have named him as the new intern because he moves like a local in the city, his Spanish is improving, he knows how every project is working and he will now be staying until November.

So, we want to welcome Dhani to the United Through Sport working team in Argentina and hope he continues to work hard and have the time of his life in South America.

 

Christmas Surprise at United Through Sport Argentina

In November, Kevin Hagiel from Germany travelled to Buenos Aires to support United Through Sport Argentina. He is a player and coach at FC St. Pauli Rabauken in Hamburg. He came to Buenos Aires for a 6 week Football Volunteer programme and did a great job. His Spanish was good enough to gain the kids attention and affections.

By Christmas Eve, Kevin had finished his programme, but he couldn’t leave before giving some special presents to the kids he had been coaching for the past 6 weeks. At the end of his final session, when all of the kids thought it was time to finish, Kevin revealed the special gifts that he and FC St. Pauli Rabauken had arranged for them. Sport shirts, shorts and socks were given to the kids. Christmas came early for the kids from Pereyra park and for Kevin too, who couldn’t believe how happy and grateful the kids were.

We want to thank Kevin Hagiel and FC St. Pauli Rabauken for this amazing gesture. Beside Messi, Aguero and Tevez is a new name – and that name is Kevin.

 

Ghana Football Boys take on rival Ghana Academy

The Ghana Academy boys recently enjoyed a weekend trip to Sogakope in Ghana’s Volta Region to play the West African Football Academy, which up until recently was known as Feyenoord Football Academy – an incredibly good and well known Academy in Ghana. For this meeting our U13 and U17 squad’s represented United Through Sport in Ghana and did incredibly well.

The U’13s started brightly with some excellent pressure on the Feyenoord defence. As the game continued, more pressure from striker Wisdom Afrani led to a mistake at the back and he capitalised by rounding the keeper before slotting the ball away for a 1-0 lead. The boys were playing really well and with the pace from Sadiq Bawa threatening down wings led to the second goal, a great run by the winger with a calm finish in the bottom corner!

The second half started slowly in the 40 degree heat, a good move from Feyenoord ended in a good finish to half the lead United Through Sport had at half time. A few injuries forced a couple of substitutes which saw some of the younger development squad (U’11/U’12) boys make their first appearances for United Through Sport. With around ten minutes left a fantastic goal was scored by the United Through Sport side clinching a third goal. The ball was won in the centre of the pitch and a great move sweeping out to the right wing and quick low cross was put away by the goal scoring midfielder Charles McCarthy!

A great win for the boys against very tough opponents.

The U’17s started well holding on to the ball and playing some nice football. Unfortunately their good play didn’t lead to us taking the lead. Feyenoord hit us on the break and a nice finish put them 1-0 up. Not long after the opening goal we equalised with a very powerful finish from Ibrahim Sulley from a tight angle.

The second half was a close battle with neither team really taking the initiative, the midfield was being controlled by Joseph Amoah – who recently just returned from a training tour in the UK with St Mirren and Portsmouth – the game was ticking by and unfortunately Feyenoord hit us on the break and scored a second goal, after an initial good save from Amadu Ibrahim.

A close game, but in the end we fell just short, despite controlling the game!

Tennis Success for our Ghana Boys

United Through Sport in Ghana Academy Boys, Coaches and Staff give their best wishes and congratulations to three of the Ghana Tennis Players – Emmanuel Wettey, Albert Nti and George Nyarko. The three boys, all aged 15 years competed in the Seniors Tennis Tournament at the Accra National Sports Stadium and all managed to reach the tournament’s third round before making their exits from the competition. This is an incredible achievement for our Academy’s Tennis players as their opponents were much older than them as well as being considerably taller as well – as you will see in the photographs below!

Albert Nti completed the trio’s campaign in the tournament on Tuesday afternoon as he went up against the Ghana number 2 seed, George Darko. Albert was defeated in the match but he played tremendously and put up a good fight – much to the surprise of his opponent who was almost twice his size! Albert was easily returning his opponent’s fast serves and had him running around the court to reach his shots. As the match got into full swing more and more people filtered into the court to watch our junior player in his challenging match as he was surprising every one with his talent and skill. The final score left Nti defeated 6-1, 6-1 by Darko.

Some of the other match highlights in the tournament included Albert’s first round clash against Francis Gbolonyo – the match went on for three sets with the final result seeing Nti victorious with a win of 7-5, 1-6, 7-4.

Fellow United Through Sport Academy players George Nyarko and Emmanuel Wettey met each other in the second round; the match ended with George Nyarko defeating his colleague 6-1, 6-0 – although defeated by a fellow colleague the pair displayed excellent sportsmanship and congratulated each other on a challenging match.

Nyarko’s tournament campaign came to a close after being defeated by the Ghana number 11 seed, Francis Akpese. The match finished up with Akpese winning 6-3, 6-4 and moving on to the final stages of the tournament in the latter part of the week.

The tournament was a fantastic experience for all three boys and proved a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents to the Ghanaian Tennis world.

Under 11’s Triumph at Tournament

The newest recruits to United Through Sport in Ghana which form part of our new Under 11 side triumphed at the Right to Dream under 11’s tournament last Saturday, 29th November 2014 .

After a shaky start in the first match the players adjusted to the pitch and match format – 10 minutes each side with no off-side rule. The first match ended with a disappointing 2-0 defeat from the opposition and rival academy Right to Dream, but they picked themselves up and outshone their opponents in the second match of the group stage with a brilliant 2-1 win. As the boys found their game, they went from strength to strength for the rest of the tournament – the third match saw the team pick up even more momentum scoring goal after goal with the match finishing at a staggering 5-1 win to United Through Sport. This fantastic score sealed United Through Sport’s place in the tournament final

The tournament final saw United Through Sport take on rival academy team, Right to Dream – unlike their first meeting at the beginning of the day’s tournament, neither team were able to outwit each other to score. At full time the score was still 0-0 and the referee added 10 minutes of extra time to the match, this still didn’t bring results and the game was taken to penalties. United Through Sport started off well against their opponents as they took an early lead, scoring their penalties and saving the Right to Dream attempts; this was short-lived though and the teams were soon tied as they reached the end of the best of five shoot out. United Through Sport clinched the match in the additional penalties added – fellow players from U13’s and U15’s were ecstatic and joined the boys in their celebrations along with the staff members that had accompanied them.

Before the teams called it a day, the presentation ceremony took place with two trophies being awarded – the first being for the winning team and the second being for the best player of the tournament. United Through Sport were delighted to receive both trophies – winning the tournament and the best player award which went to one of our newest recruits, Richmond Asante aka Pedro.

All of the United Through Sport players and staff were over the moon and extremely proud of their achievement. It just shows that hard work and determination really does pay off!

A huge congratulations goes to all of our Under 11’s – long may your successes continue!

The United Through Sport U17’s are competing in their own tournament this coming Friday (5th December) and we hope they are able to replicate the U11’s success from last weekend.

10th Anniversary Boat Party Reunion

United Through Sport is excited to announce our 10th Anniversary Reunion Party. We want to celebrate the ongoing hard work done by our staff and thank all of our volunteers for the support they have provided over the decade of operations that began in South Africa.

To show our gratitude, we are throwing a reunion party for all those who have supported United Through Sport’s cause over the last ten years. The night will take place on a cruise down the river Thames on the 20th December, from 20:00 until midnight. On board is a bar, dance floor and DJ, so everything is in place for a really fantastic evening!

Admission is in the form of a donation of £20.00. To book your place, click here and follow the “joining instructions” on screen. You will be given the option of putting your name with the donation – please remember to do this so we know exactly who has paid and who is attending. If you are a UK taxpayer then you will be eligible for Gift Aid, so remember to use this option when prompted (it means that the government will give us an extra 25% on top your donation, at no extra cost to you!).

Unfortunately, the contact details we have for a lot of our volunteers may be out of date, so if there is anybody that you think we might not have been able to contact please extend this invitation to them if possible.

If you need any further details, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can e-mail Jack or Ia at the United Through Sport office on [email protected]

This will be a great opportunity to get back in touch with the friends you’ve made through United Through Sport and we would really love to see you all there!

Football trials in UK for Ghanaians

After completing a successful first two weeks of the UK tour in Portsmouth, our three academy boys from Ghana, have moved on to Scotland where they will be spending the next month training with St Mirren. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the boys to broaden their perspectives on football in the UK and Europe.

Other top level clubs in the UK such as Chelsea and Manchester City have also taken interest in what we are doing as a charity so the future for these boys and the charity as a whole is looking very exciting.

 

Rugbytots help 3 year olds into rugby

Thanks to the generous donations of Rugbytots Ltd and their coach Steve Cream, United Through Sport have been able to deliver the first ever rugby sessions to children from as young as 3 got this summer! Sessions use basic rugby specific skills to work on toddler cognitive development. Here’s young Cole from Canaries getting a feel for the ball!

United Through Sport Hosts Youth Rugby Tournament

Having hosted the inaugural event last year; United Through Sport, the St. Lucia Rugby Football Union and Micoud Youth & Sport Council came good on their promise to come back with a bigger, better event this year.

With returning teams from Micoud, Laborie, Pierrot, and Babonneau plus the additions of newly formed junior teams from Castries Comprehensive, Pierrot and Laborie, the tournament was split into U17’s and U12’s championships.

U12’s winners being Becky Hughes’ Pierrot ‘Local Heroes’ who were coached and managed by United Through Sport volunteer and England International Becky Hughes. The U17’s Championship was won by last year’s runners up Laborie RFC.

United Through Sport would like to express a wealth of gratitude to SMJ beverages for the provision of water and other drinks to the Tournament and preceeding training sessions in the aforementioned districts.

Run the London Marathon 2015

Take part in this great event and run the London Marathon whilst also representing United Through Sport.

If you think you have the fitness, like a challenge and also want to help raise some money for our work in transforming lives through sport then we need you.

We have a place for someone to run for us but we will need you to raise a minimum of £1750 for the charity. If you think that is achievable then you need to get in touch with us now and fill in the application form.

Read how to apply by visiting our ‘London Marathon 2015 – Run for United Through Sport‘ page.

Be part of something amazing in 2015.