Oxford Brookes Business Management and Geography student Chris Zahn has completed the Weymouth Ironman in order to raise money for United Through Sport projects.
A promising rower in his late school years, having represented Great Britain at the Junior rowing championship in Rio and winning the Henley Royal Regatta with his University, Chris, unfortunately had to stop competing prematurely due to a back injury in sustained in 2017. He used this time of disappointment as a chance to refocus and decided to test himself in this year’s Weymouth Ironman, and decided to compete as a fundraiser for United Through Sport!
“I decided to pick United Through Sports because I really wanted to give back to the sporting community that had given me so much and had allowed me to do some amazing things and go to some amazing places.”
Chris set an initial target of £250 but was delighted to surpass that, finishing with a total of £335 to support our global grassroot projects. United Through Sport is eternally grateful for Chris’ efforts and those who supported his fundraising.
On Friday the 13th of September endurance athlete Cameron Bellamy will be attempting to swim from Barbados to St Lucia to raise funds his departing island Barbados, his arrival island St Lucia, as well as his home country, South Africa. Cameron has a large focus on making a difference in youths lives with education and development. The funds raised for United Through Sport will be going towards our learn to swim programme which has been running for two years. With this we hope to be able to expand and reach even more children in the island of St Lucia.
This swim has never been attempted before, the swim is a massive 160km long and is expected to take 60 hours to complete.
Cameron will start his endeavour from St Peters Bay, north west coast of Barbados, and end in Vieux Fort in the south of St Lucia. Previously Cameron has swam around the entire island of Barbados he was the first person ever to complete this and it was the 4th longest open water swim ever. Cameron has also completed the The Oceans Seven which is a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel swims.
You can track his progress here: https://ubunye.web.app
We wish him all the best for the journey and any funds raised are greatly appreciated and will go along way with developing swimming skills for the children of St Lucia.
Over the last 8 years United Through Sport Caribbean volunteers and staff have competed in a number of domestic and international tournaments to boost competition and add international flavour to proceedings. United Through Sport RFC aka ‘The UTeS’ has now been formed into a permanent domestic rugby club .
UTeS was created by United Through Sport to improve rugby involvement and to increase game time in the area. This is beneficial to both our team and the opposition such as Rouges and Reela as well as creating a great rapport between the coaches and players. Every weekend UTeS play in 7’s tournaments, these are hosted by a different team each week. The tournaments are competitive and rewarding to each participant.
We have open weekly training sessions to introduce and encourage new persons to come and get involved in rugby. This is coached by Evan Rae the UTS coordinator. We focus on different aims each session to ensure we improve and better ourselves as a team before the next game and to develop rugby and social skills.
After each training session or tournament the UTeS host team building activities involving all teams and supporters, this is a great way to get to know teammates outside of rugby which improves communication on the pitch, as well as providing positive role models for the up and coming St Lucian rugby players.
UTeS RFC has its own Instagram page which is used to display player profiles with key information about each player on the team. We also post highlights from training and game day so that we can look back and analyse our progress and our international supporters can stay up to date with UTeS progress.
Leaving a legacy by building a place where children can continue to play sport for years to come, was celebrated recently by United Through Sport South Africa.
The United Through Sport Multi-Sport Court is an initiative of UTS South Africa supported by The Swartkops Terminal PTY (Ltd). Having eagerly watched the building process over the last few months; Children from Isaac Booi Primary School and the surrounding community will now have their first opportunity to play netball, basketball and tennis on the facility.
Isaac Booi is an anchor school of United Through Sport’s Junior School of Excellence (JSE) Programme, which is based in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. The programme nurtures participants with ability and determination to give them access to extra academic education, sports coaching and personal development at after-school classes.
“Making a sustainable difference in the communities where United Through Sport works, is a core priority and we believe this Multi-Sport Court will continue to offer children a safe place to play sport – for years to come as a legacy project. The court not only benefits our programmes we run at the school, but it is also there for the enjoyment and benefit of all the learners at the school as well as the local community,” said United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.
To continue to develop the Junior School of Excellence children to the highest level and give them an opportunity to rise above their challenges, they need to have access to quality facilities such as the Isaac Booi Court to enable them to compete with their counterparts.
“I would like to thank United Through Sport for their initiative in child development. Their team does an amazing job. I am very proud of The Swartkops Terminal for its involvement in this project, that benefits children on a personal level which is carried through to adulthood. The fact that this project will develop children for years to come make it so much more rewarding,” said The Swartkops Terminal PTY (Ltd) Terminal Manager Colin Wilken.
Isaac Booi Principal Mr Ludwe Memese said the entire school looked forward to the opening of the court. “We are the first, if not the only school with such a facility in the township. This would help to market the school to the neighbouring schools. It will enable the learners not only to be keen in partaking in the sports they are familiar with, but also learn to play tennis which is a rare sporting code in our communities,” Memese said.
A parallel JSE Programme is run at Astra Primary School, where a Multi-Purpose AstroTurf, used for hockey and soccer training, was also built by United Through Sport– with the help of various funders. The Multi-Purpose Astro Turf court was launched in 2016.
United Through Sport is currently fundraising for a third Multi-Purpose Court for training activities. Read more about our latest project here: https://www.givengain.com/cause/3881/campaigns/18276/
UNITED Through Sport recently launched a brand-new programme, GirlsUnite, at Astra Primary School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, to empower young girls from the community.
The focus of GirlsUnite is to help girls cope with some of the challenges they face through structured Self-defence, Literacy and Counselling sessions. The girls’ empowerment programme is for girls aged 10 to 13 years old, from Bethelsdorp and surrounding areas.
“While we are piloting the programme at Astra Primary School, we hope to extend the programme in the years to come, as this has been identified as an important need in the areas where we work,” said United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.
United Through Sport currently runs a Junior School of Excellence (JSE) Programme for primary school children to receive extra academic support, further sports development and mentoring. The JSE programme is based at Astra Primary School in Bethelsdorp and Isaac Booi Primary School in Zwide.
United Through Sport’s JSE Programme offers an environment of safety and positivity and a beacon of hope for many young children growing up in the surrounding community. As an added investment into the girls from the school and surrounding community, United Through Sport launched the girls’ empowerment programme GirlsUnite.
Because of their socio-economic environment, many of the girls in the JSE programme have challenges preventing them from attending afternoon classes, and learning at school, including physiological (reproductive needs), safety at home and on the way to school, as well as personal needs related to self-esteem and self-actualisation.
The GirlsUnite Programme is a one-year project, made possible by EMpower’s Bright Promise Awards, from the Estee Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation. Nelson Mandela University’s Psychology Clinic, which is based at the Missionvale campus, is partnering with United Through Sport by offering counselling services for the GirlsUnite Programme.
Counselling and group sessions have started at Astra Primary in the school’s library room as well as a converted container, which was donated by Siyaloba Training Academy. When the container is not used for counselling, it functions as a “girls-only” space used for extra reading sessions and informal mentoring sessions. Other than girls from Astra Primary School, girls from the surrounding community will also make use of the girls-only space and drop-in counselling services.
ELEVEN children who are participating in United Through Sport South Africa’s programmes in Nelson Mandela Bay have been selected to represent their province (states) in either rugby or hockey.
“We are exceptionally proud of these young sport stars who always give their best on the field. Nurturing talent from a young age is crucial for the development of the children and we pride ourselves in unlocking sporting opportunities for the talented children who participate in our programmes,” said United Through Sport South Africa Director Nick Mould.
Currently 140 children across Nelson Mandela Bay participate in United Through Sport’s Junior School of Excellence (JSE) programme. The programme offers an additional two hours of teaching and coaching every day after school – providing extra academic support in Maths and English, further sports coaching, life skills classes and personal mentoring. Deserving children from the JSE are then selected for our Senior School of Excellence Programme (SSE), for placement at some of the top participating high schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
At Astra Primary School three boys were selected for the EP Hockey Under-13 team: Caylan Fouché (C team), Trent Gunn (B team) and Coby Jonas (C team). In addition, Caleb Gaseba – also from Astra Primary School – was selected for the EP Hockey Under-14 A team. In the Under-14 B team Sachin Padayachee was selected to represent his school, Alexander Road High School.
Claredon Park pupil Wayvin Meyer made the EP Hockey Under-13 A team, while fellow school mate Keenan Martin had been selected for the final round of the EP Rugby Trials which will be held in Bloemfontein later this month, where the A and B teams are selected.
At St. George’s Primary School Keanu van Niekerk made the EP Hockey Under 13-B team and Clireez Brugh made the EP Hockey Under-13 B team.
In the United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme, Kiara Meyer from Alexander Road High School made the Hockey Under 18-A team, as well as Kyra Jurgens from Pearson High School.
St. Lucia is a beautiful island surrounded by clear blue sea however many of its inhabitants are unable to swim and drownings are not uncommon, particularly within the island’s underprivileged communities.
Our seven-week Marchand swim programme is designed to give the opportunity for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn basic swimming techniques in open water as well as vital survival, and even lifesaving skills! Sessions are being run daily for up to 8 children at a time during and after school, with free transport to and from sessions provided for participants.
Lessons are being led by our swim coach Megan Holms; who is returning after previous placements with us in St. Lucia (2015) and our South Africa project (2016). As an experienced and qualified lifeguard and swim coach Megan has been working hard to enhance our St. Lucia swim programme and expand our reach across the island.
WHAT does a pilot, medical student and aspiring lawyer have in common? Their lives have all been transformed by United Through Sport South Africa.
A total of 19 young adults who graduated from United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme over the past three years have successfully moved onto tertiary studies or the working world, which is evidence of the progress made by the not-for-profit organisation in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Since founded in 2005, United Through Sport has used sport as a tool to develop children from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds. Starting at Primary School level, with our Mass Participation and Junior School of Excellence Programmes, we journey with committed children through to high school, where they receive top level education through our Senior School of Excellence Programme, at some of the best schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
A recent Impact Report shows that these United Through Sport programmes not only yielded the positive outcomes intended by the organisation, they also had a far deeper effect and encouraging spin-offs than what United Through Sport had anticipated, said United Through Sport Director and Co-Founder Nick Mould.
Just a few highlights of the results achieved between 2015 and 2017 include:
- United Through Sport doubled its intake of Senior School of Excellence beneficiaries from 49 to 89 children (compared to the previous period 2012- 2014). The learners have consistently achieved a 100% Grade 12 pass rate every year.
- In the Junior School of Excellence Programme, we have improved the English and Maths results of the participating children by 20% for Maths and 30% for English. 431 children received extra academic support, further sports development, life skills and personal mentoring in the period 2015 to 2017.
- The total number of children reached by our Mass Participation Programme over the past three years (2015 to 2017) were 34 569. The programme involves direct sports coaching, life skills and critical issues teaching at 180 schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The results from the Impact Report were obtained through tests, surveys, interviews and focus groups conducted by our staff as well as an independent researcher.
“The areas and evidence of change are hugely encouraging signs that we are progressing in the right direction. The children’s lived experiences inform our future analysis, evaluation and planning for programme development and growth as an organisation. We are proud of the outcomes of the past three years of intervention in the lives of the children of Nelson Mandela Bay – as we continue to support children in their rights to play, be healthy and get access to a good education to enable them to fulfil their full potential,” Mould said.
Thank you from our beneficiaries:
“When I look at my friends now, every friend is either pregnant or in jail. You’ve changed my life. You made my dreams into reality. Continue to help kids find their purpose in life. Continue doing the great job that you are doing!” – Lindiwe Cezula (Politics and Public Administration Student, Nelson Mandela University)
“United Through Sport gave me such an amazing opportunity. I feel like I have grown much more and have been exposed to many more opportunities and people thanks to United Through Sport. The fact that they also saw me as a deserving candidate for the bursary inspired confidence in me that I never previously had.” – Bronwyn White (Medical Student, University of the Free State)
United Through Sport Caribbean were able to provide 25 full uniforms for the St. Lucia National Men team and 15 for the Ladies side. The kits were bought as part as UTS Caribbean’s objective to raise the standard and profile of the St. Lucia’s National Rugby Teams.
In-country director Joël Martin:
We are delighted to be able to provide both teams with pro-playing kits and hope it is a design the players will be proud to wear. We wanted to give the young players within our programme something to aspire towards; the greater the National Team is, the greater the motivation to get there.
Uniforms will be worn for all National fixtures including oncoming Rugby America North tournaments.
The design of the kit pays tribute to the St. Lucian Flag with it’s cyan to epitomise the sky, and surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Yellow to symbolise the sunshine and prosperity, and triangles representing the island’s iconic Gros and Petit pitons. The background is made up of Carib tribal patterns as an homage to the original settlers to the island. The emblem of the SLRFU contains the Zandoli lizard which is endemic to the region and traditionally a sign of ‘good spirits’.
St. Lucia shirts and shorts are available to buy in the UK with proceeds going to back into UTS grassroots projects in St. Lucia, follow link to order yours: https://www.scimitarclubs.com/product-category/st-lucia-rugby
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- Lindiwe Wins International Award to Get Girls MovingJune 24, 2019 - 7:34 am
- Cara Receives Scholarship to Play Football OverseasJune 23, 2021 - 9:20 am
- Volunteer Testimonial: Giving Back to United Through Sport CommunitiesMay 17, 2021 - 12:25 pm
- Celebrating World Book Day at Astra Literacy Centre!April 23, 2021 - 7:24 am
- Internship Testimonial: Volunteering In South Africa Was The Best Decision I Ever Made!March 23, 2020 - 6:53 pm
- 100% Matric Pass Rate for School of Excellence BeneficiariesJanuary 14, 2020 - 11:29 am
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Charity Number: 1102107