United Through Sport Builds Second Sport Court in South Africa

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 South Africa Launches Girls’ Empowerment Programme

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.

United Through Sport South Africa Delivers 11 Budding Provincial Sport Stars

Kiara Meyer and Sachin Padayachee are two of eleven United Through Sport South Africa beneficiaries who have been selected to represent their province in hockey and rugby.

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.

UTS Caribbean Roll Out Marchand Swim Programme

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.

Three Solid Years of Impacting Children’s Lives Through Sport

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 Provide St. Lucia Rugby Team Uniform

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

UTS Beneficiaries selected for EP teams

At United Through Sport we are committed to using sport to develop disadvantaged kids. Sport is a powerful tool that can be used to benefit learners and to create a lot of opportunities to excel.

The United Through Sport beneficiaries do not only excel academically but also on the sport field. The Eastern Province sports teams have been selected and we are proud to announce that ten of our beneficiaries have been chosen.

From our Junior School of Excellence(JSE) six learners were selected to represent the province and from the Senior School of Excellence(SSE) four learners were selected.

From the JSE Ethan Vitealingum from Papenkuil Primary and Jason Ndoni from Bethelsdorp Primary were selected for the U13 A rugby team. Caleb Gaseba and Wayvin Meyer from Astra Primary were selected for the U13 A boy’s hockey team and Trent Gunn was selected for the Vipers Indoor Hockey U12 B team. Shameese Hannies from Van der Kemp Primary has been selected for the U12 A netball team.

From the SSE Kayrian Le Minnie from Grey High School has been selected for the U 14 A boy’s hockey team and Storm Phillips also from Grey has been selected for the U16 A boy’s hockey team. Kaylin Fourie and Kyra Jurgens from Pearson High School were both selected for the U18 A girl’s hockey team. Excitingly Kyra was also selected for the U17 South Africa team due to her strong performance at the Provincial tournament. This is the second year in a row that Kyra has made the national age group side.

We are proud of these learners and we hope that they will serve as a motivation to our other beneficiaries.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”- Nido Qubein

UTS Run Free Summer Camps For Over 80 Children In St. Lucia

United Through Sport ran simultaneous netball and multi sports camps over the school holidays this summer providing childcare and sporting expertise for underprivileged families in St. Lucia.

Our girls netball camp was run on the Vigie sports complex with girls from Egrets, Bocage, Soufriere and St. Lucia U14s netball clubs, who had been attending our after school projects in the year. The girls were treated to a range of games, exercises and drills from our UK volunteer coaches and programme coordinator Sarah Mosley.  

The La Clery summer camp was a chance for children to sample a range of different sports including; Football, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Athletics and Swimming. Attended by boys and girls from the La Clery community, Pioneers FC and our ongoing after school projects in Vide Boutielle, Marchand and Corinth, children were encouraged to find the sports they most enjoyed, and linked to our partner clubs to encourage adherence to the game.

The main focus of our camps were fun and inclusivity; Camps ran 4 days a week, food, transport, swimming lessons and one-on-one supervision was provided for those that needed it and our large volunteer numbers meant ability levels and age groups could be split during session. Meaning children from all backgrounds social backgrounds, age, ability and health got the opportunity to attend. United Through Sport was also able to donate playing shirts, boots and other sports equipment for camp attendees.

Highlights of the summer included; Fortnightly beach days and swimming lessons at Vigie beach, fun day on Splash island with Daren Sammy and the St. Lucia Stars cricket team, winners dinner at Coco Palms Hotel and our National youth Netball tournament.  

Saint Lucia Stars Meet our Stars

St. Lucia Stars host fun day for UTS Summer programme children  

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is back in town! And although so far this season the Stars have not had the success they’d might had hoped for out in the middle, they certainly made an impact off the pitch this week.

On Monday 14th The St. Lucia Stars, Bay Gardens Hotel and United Through Sport collaborated to host a Beach Olympics fun day for local underprivileged children to meet their cricketing heroes. Hosted by Bay Gardens at their ‘Splash Island’ water park; St. Lucia Stars Captain Daren Sammy and team mates: Shane Shillingford, Eddie Leie, Obed McCoy and Kyle Mayers joined teams comprising of children from our La Clery and Vigie Summer Camps programmes and UTS volunteers, as they competed in volleyball matches and time trials on the inflatable assault course.

The competition was hard fought with great leadership, teamwork and bravery on display throughout. It was also the perfect chance for our children to utilise their newly learnt swim skills from the ongoing Summer Camp swim lessons.

An award ceremony and lunch buffet followed, hosted by Bay gardens in their beach side restaurant. Prizes included: St. Lucia Stars Tee-shirts and Match for tickets St. Lucia versus Jamaica Tallawahs for everyone who competed. 1st prize included free lunch for the team and their captains for the following week courtesy of the Bay Gardens Hotel. It was a great experience for all the children involved and is sure to prove one of the highlights of their summer holidays.

De Montfort University Cricket Team Support UTS St. Lucia Projects

A touring cricket team from De Montfort University took time out from their busy tour schedule to spend a day within the United Through Sport projects.

The day was designed to display the UTS development model: from the mass participation stage up to competition level and give the De Montfort players a chance to impart some expertise to our students.

Accompanied by UTS volunteer coaches Jamie Inglis, Freddie Nehls, George Thomson and Director Joël Martin, the squad first visited our grassroots project at Bocage school. The arrival of a large team of English cricketers caused great excitement within the school: the session had been scheduled for 30 children however another 30 came to watch, even the school’s principal participated in the session! The De Montfort players were able to do fielding, bowling and batting drills before mini-games to finish. Perhaps more essentially the team bought a vast amount of specialist equipment which they were able to donate and will be of benefit to the children in the school for years to come.

The team were then taken down to our after school project at the SDA academy, where many of the players were scheduled to face De Montfort in the weekends fixtures. Here the guys were able to create more game-like scenarios with our players and really put them through their paces, leaving our visitors notably impressed with the talent on offer.

We finished the day at Gros Islet Cricket Club, allowing the De Montfort player so get in a quick practice net.

Chairman of the De Montfort University Cricket Society Amer Nazir:  

“United Through Sport were great to work with as they were able to put in place all of the coaching sessions, school visits and fixtures, which was a real help.

“We visited a sports academy which schooled the upcoming talent of the island and we donated two bags of kit to them, which you could see they needed.

“Being out there witnessing this, just shows how privileged we are here in the UK, having access to all the kit and equipment we could possibly need. It just doesn’t compare.”

 We would like to thank De Montfort University for their generous donations of cricket kit and gears to our children and projects and hope to continue working with them in the future.