UTS Drive Through 10 African Countries

Today sees our man, Richard Bennett, venture out into the African Continent taking sport, health and educational messages to thousands of children.

Richard and his team of 5 will spend 6 months in two Land Rovers (very cosy) visiting 15 schools in 10 African countries, taking important life skill messages to kids through the powerful medium of sport.

Over the past week the team assembled, in Hertfordshire, for some intense training and bonding excercises. The team also got stuck into sorting out all the equipment that will be left with each African school along their visit, including rugby balls, pumps, cones, bibs, whistles and referee jerseys.

Jon Parry from Training Expertise, worked with the team, helping each member to become aware of different situations which could be potentially hazardous during the expedition. The activities gave the team an insight into proper care in remote locations, where sufficient medical assistance is sometimes not available.

The team were also able to spend valuable time with legendary Welsh International and British Lions full-back, JPR Williams, talking through the various elements of this year’s mission, where rugby and it’s values are so key to the delivery of the programme.

“As with all things, the preparation is very important, you’ve prepared very well for it. It’s quite exciting really, this all coming to fruition. We wish you all the best and our thoughts will be with you and let’s hope we can help the children of Africa to take on what is a great game of rugby union.”
JPR Williams

From all in the United Through Sport community we wish Richard a successful and sports fuelled trip. We believe this team truely have the power to touch the lives of many children and our thoughts go with them.

Keep coming back to our website to see updates on the team’s progress as they navigate their way through Africa

UTS at the Careers in Sport Conference

This week saw, United Through Sport team members, James Burton and Richard Bennett attend the Careers in Sport and Leisure event at the International Centre in Telford.

Careers in Sport and Leisure is the only national careers event for the sports and leisure sector attracting over 4500 young people. It aims to provide proactive, driven young people with the best possible information, support and expertise to help in their decision making when it comes to their future careers.

James gave a comprehensive presentation both on Wednesday and Thursday, giving visitors to the event a better understanding of United Through Sport’s charitable goals and the chance to get involved in supporting the charity in the UK or as a volunteer sports coach overseas.

If you would like to know more about how you can get involved then check our our Volunteer or Fundraising Page.

UTS vs Grassroot Soccer Match

On Friday, 21st October United Through Sport South Africa were invited to play a friendly soccer match against our fellow NGO, Grassroot Soccer (GRS); who also use the power of sport to develop our youth and spread awareness about HIV/ AIDS. Having a staff on staff soccer match has become a customary activity between the two organisations and along with our kids playing in each other’s tournaments and our joint events, contributes to a strong relationship between us.

As both organisations host international volunteers throughout the year, each team is made up of local and international players as well as a combination of male and female players; ensuring sound fair-play! The match was held at the City Lads Grounds in New Brighton, which is the home ground for most of the staff at both organisations. So, even the venue gave each team a “home-advantage”!

Because a lot of the United Through Sport SA staff have previously volunteered at GRS and because of the close relationship between the two NGOs, it is always such an exciting game to watch ; with spectators cheering both teams on and torn between who they want to win. The United Through Sport South Africa Director, Nick Mould, was feeling a bit anxious this time around though; he was under the impression that his team might just struggle without him on the field, having scored two goals himself in his last game. With a 4-2 win, the United Through Sport SA staff showed Mr Mould that his boat can still sail well without its captain on board with United Through Sport Life Skills Coach, Shankie, scoring the two winning goals.

It is always great to maintain such relationships between organisations, especially since we all share a common vision and goal to develop the youth in our disadvantaged communities. Being a sport-based organisation, it is also important for the United Through Sport SA staff to socialise with colleagues from other NGOs on and off the field. If we work together, we should also play together! This also teaches the children the value of sharing and working with those around you, instead of competing for resources.

SESSA and UTS join forces

On the 24th June, United Through Sport were warmly welcomed by members of the Southern England Students Sports Association (SESSA), in celebrating their 50th anniversary at The Royal College of Surgeons.

This was also the official lauch of the partnership between United Through Sport and SESSA to encourage students from around the South East to participate in more sport whilst contributing to the work of the charity.

After speeches from United Through Sport and SESSA a few glasses of champagne were consumed and a chance to network was taken full advantage of.

United Through Sport look forward to developing this relationship and getting sport to a wider group of sports mad people!

The Southern England Students Sports Association (SESSA) organise leagues, championships, cup competitions, knock-outs and one-day events in any sport.

The main purpose of SESSA is to provide Wednesday afternoon sport in all its forms for its members. They exist to enable as many people as possible to participate, and to play as much sport as they can provide, something that is also at the heart of United Through Sport.

If you are an educational post-16 institution, you are more than welcome to join SESSA as well as support the great work United Through Sport is doing around the world.

For further information on SEESA check out their website at www.sessa.ac.uk.

Stationary donation for School of Excellence Kids

Rio-tinto continued their all round support of the School of Excellence kids by providing 180 brand new stationary packs for all of the sponsored children at the School of Excellence. Each pack contained pencils, pens, a ruler, eraser, calculator and scissors. Lubabalo Mpongoshe, Project Manager of the School of Excellence program said, “These packs are the perfect gift to start off the new year for the scholars. Every year it is a financial struggle to make sure our kids have the right equipment to perform academically, this year Rio-tinto’s donation has really given them a push start”.

Launch of the new Soccer Fun Bus

A new project under the A Chance To Play (ACTP) project umbrella (funded by VW Works Council through Terres des Hommes Germany) within United Through Sport South Africa is a real eye-catcher! The colorful Soccer Fun Bus was launched recently with qualified trainers and the necessary equipment on board to visit schools and other facilities in and around Port Elizabeth, offering sport and play opportunities for girls and boys. The physical activities are accompanied by special training sessions for children and young people on relevant topics such as HIV and AIDS, gender equality and self esteem and decision making. The initiative that also has support from Volkswagen South Africa, making the bus available, and the German State of Lower Saxony will reach out to more than 12000 children in 2010.

In recent months United Through Sport South Africa (UTS SA) has already visited some 30 schools in underdeveloped areas and presented different sports codes as part of an ACTP road show. Nick Mould, Director of UTS SA explained, “Thanks to the bus we can now broaden our impact and also visit other schools outside the Nelson Mandela Bay, we can now take our key life-skills curriculum to areas that seldom see any kind of intervention”.

DJs to Travel 23,000 Miles to 92 Football Grounds

Local radio presenters Lee Partridge and Richard Williams have set themselves an incredible challenge in aid of United Through Sport – travel to all 92 English Football League and Premier League grounds in just one season!

The gargantuan trip will cover 23,000 miles, equivalent to once around the world, taking in six full days of football as they watch a match at each location. Watching 92 matches will be like two seasons in one!

Armed with a video camera and micropohone, Lee and Rich are targeting home fans outside grounds in order to record their unique view of their own clubs. Their interviews will then be broadcast on the Sports Bar show on TalkSport Radio with Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy.

Soup Book Released

For their 2008 Christmas campaign, United Through Sport has produced a unique soup recipe book to support the South Africa School of Sporting Excellence in building a soup kitchen to feed all their students.

The aims of the school are to not only enhance sporting levels in football, netball and rugby but also to offer a fully rounded education to increase the choices available to these talented yet disadvantaged children. Students are given the kind of attention and education that is hard to achieve in a regular school, as well as additional life skills training in subjects such as HIV/AIDS awareness, alcohol and drug abuse and career guidance.

To support this great cause in South Africa, please buy a book! Even if you don’t like soup, these books make a great Christmas stocking filler for friends and family.

To buy a book, go to www.JustGiving.com/soupkitchen and follow the instructions.