Lindiwe Wins International Award to Get Girls Moving

Her passion to transform the lives of girls from Nelson Mandela Bay has resulted in a young South African woman winning an international competition, which is co-sponsored by Nike.

United Through Sport co-ordinator Lindiwe Cezula was announced as one of the winners of the ‘Gurls Talk Made to Play Fund Competition, Women Win’ in partnership with Nike.

The competition was open to young women under the age of 25 years, whose organisations are based in Ghana, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Turkey, United Kingdom, Italy, France and South Africa.

The purpose of the ‘Women Win’ competition is to support inspirational young women from across the world, to encourage the next generation of girls to get active.

Part of the winning package includes grant funding, activewear and a spot in Women Win’s Leadership Development Programme – which will include a trip to Paris, France, in June this year.

“It has always been my passion to create a safe space for us girls to just talk and share all our experiences on the expectations that society has of us. I would like to see the day where the girls own their bodies, the colour of their skin and most importantly, for them to know that they have the body, the mind and the courage; and that they are in charge of it all,” said Cezula.

She plans to utilise the Gurls Talk Made to Play Fund grant to develop a dance programme for United Through Sport’s girls’ empowerment programme, GirlsUnite. The purpose of the dance programme will be to get the girls moving through physical activity, while teaching critical life-skills lessons to boost their confidence, resilience and levels of self-actualisation.  

Cezula graduated with her BA degree, majoring in Political Science and Public Administration, from Nelson Mandela University in April this year.

In primary school her netball talents were spotted by United Through Sport Director Nick Mould on a dusty sport field in Zwide. Cezula attended Pearson High School from 2011 – 2014 as part of United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence, and in her Matric year received a special award for Perseverance.

“We are extremely proud of Lindiwe. She came into our programme when she was just 11 years old, and to see her grasp the opportunities that have come her way and then complete the circle by giving back to the next generation is hugely inspirational.  She encompasses the vision of United Through Sport and is a true example of the potential that exists within the youth of our society if they are just given the right support,” said Mould.

Lindiwe is employed as the Youth1st Network Co-ordinator on a full-time basis at United Through Sport in Port Elizabeth and plans to pursue further studies by doing an Honours degree in Public Administration.

Belgium Physio Spends Year Raising Money for UTS South Africa

Ruben Cools, a physiotherapist from Belgium, is currently raising funds for United Through Sport, while simultaneously spreading awareness on global, all-inclusive health. His vision stems from a passion of inspiring others to take control of their own health and happiness. He stresses the importance of being active and making thoughtful, conscious decisions, both when it comes to your own health and when it comes to humankind. This is what drew him to UTS:

“The idea of United Through Sport is fantastic. It’s not just giving food or building a house.” Ruben goes on to explain how the organisation can provide opportunities in areas that may be lacking them, and if nothing else, an escape where kids can be healthy, have fun with their friends, and create dreams for their futures.

Ruben has been raising money and spreading his message by means of various exercise classes since December. He has already led a High Intensity Workout and Yoga session, with a variety of others to come including Salsa Dancing and Aquagym. It is clear that he is dedicated to offering something for everyone, pushing the idea that anyone can be healthy.

The fundraising period will culminate with the 2019 Ironman Race which will be held in Nice, France on June 30. Athletes, including Cools, will swim in the Mediterranean, bike through the Alps, and run along Nice’s historic coastline. Cools has raised 666 Euros so far and his goal is to raise 10,000 Euro by the competition. This is with the hopes of help from corporate sponsorship.

To follow his progress and support his endeavours on his total giving page: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/ironmannice

Seven United Through Sport SA Youth Members to Graduate

Seven members of the organisation’s YOUth 1st Network are entering the world of work after completing their tertiary qualifications in 2018 in Nelson Mandela Bay. Four of the graduates attended top South African high schools (Pearson High School in Port Elizabeth and Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg) through scholarships made possible by United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence.

United Through Sport Director Nick Mould said the beneficiaries have reached the top of the organisation’s pyramid model – consisting of four different programmes feeding into each other and each level increasing in its depth of the impact per beneficiary, starting at primary school.

“The graduates have come full circle from being identified on the sports field in our Mass Participation Programme, to completing their secondary schooling at top schools in the country, and finally stepping out of the poverty cycle by achieving their degrees. They are now able to earn a living and make a meaningful contribution to the economy and the communities where they live,” said Mould.

Lindiwe Cezula will graduate with her BA degree, majoring in Political Science and Public Administration, from Nelson Mandela University this year. Lindiwe, whose netball talent was personally recognised by Mould who secured a bursary for her to attend Pearson High School from 2011 – 2014, is the first person to graduate in her family.

“It’s only now that I am graduating, that I realise how far I have come. It wasn’t always easy, but I stayed positive and never gave up. I knew from the beginning that I just had to work harder than the other children at my high school. I never wanted to go back to wearing my old school’s uniform and that motivated me to persevere,” said Lindiwe.

This year she will be working as the YOUth 1st Network Co-ordinator on a full-time basis at United Through Sport’s office in Newton Park, Nelson Mandela Bay, and plans to also pursue further studies by doing an Honours degree in Public Administration. “My long-term future plan is to one day sponsor a child for all his or her years of studies, in the same way that I was assisted. For now, I think I am going to enjoy my job as co-ordinator at United Through Sport because I will be helping our youth with bursaries and encouraging them to work hard and persevere with their studies,” said Lindiwe.

Another United Through Sport beneficiary, Sibulele Mangaliso, will be graduating with his BSc. Hons (Construction Management) from Nelson Mandela University in 2019.

Like Lindiwe, he was part of United Through Sport for 10 years, firstly as a Senior School of Excellence beneficiary who was recognised for his rugby talent and placed at Pearson High School, and later as a YOUth 1st Network member. He will continue his studies this year by tackling his Master of Science Degree in Construction Management.

“I am here today because of United Through Sport. I was able to go to a top school like Pearson, which opened many doors for me. I grew as an individual and am grateful for the opportunity I got,” said Sibulele.

Sibulele is passionate about development work and was the co-ordinator of the youth chapter of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Port Elizabeth. He also developed a proposal for a resource centre in Missionvale, which he hopes will one day help children with afterschool homework and leadership mentoring.

“We have to build ladders and pay it forward. I was blessed with this opportunity and I want to give back to others in the community around the Missionvale Campus,” Sibulele, originally from Motherwell, said.

Sibulele and Lindiwe, along with the other graduates, all worked in the YOUth 1st Network during their tertiary studies by mentoring and giving homework support to high school learners from the Senior School of Excellence Programme.

Other graduates from the YOUth 1st Network include Zolisa Faba, who completed a B. Com Degree in Marketing and Business Management; Ayabulele Veliso, who completed a Tourism Diploma; Lindani Majeke, who completed a HR Management Diploma; Thandile Dandala, who completed a Journalism & Media Studies Diploma, and Unathi Matoti, who completed a degree in Quantity Surveying.

Hockey Star Makes High Performance South African Squad

DUE to an injury she played just one and a half matches during a national tournament, yet still made such an impression on the selectors that she was included in the South African Girls Hockey team. Kiara Meyer, a United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence beneficiary who is currently in Grade 10 at Alexander Road High School in Nelson Mandela Bay, was selected to the South African Under 17 High Performance Training Squad following the National Under 18 Hockey Tournament recently, where she represented the Eastern Province Under 18-A team.

Great was her disappointment when her hand got fractured on the very first day of the tournament, after playing just one and a half games of hockey.

“I got injured when one of my teammates accidentally hit me. I had to wear a brace for 4 weeks. I expected to just go home after the nationals and had to watch the rest of the games on the side-line. I was really happy when I heard that I still made the South African team,” Kiara said.

The High-Performance Training Squad continued after the national tournament and the selected girls practised stick work, one-on-ones, running and fitness.

“I made a lot of new friends and despite my injury, I learnt a lot during the training squad, especially from the other players,” Kiara said.

Known for her perseverance and grit, Kiara is a star on the sports field where she plays for her school’s First Hockey Team. Her goal is to make the Under 18 Girls Hockey team next year to represent the Eastern Cape, and we will certainly keep our eye on this talented young player.

Kyra Jurgens from Pearson High School, who also represented the Eastern Province Under 18-A team at the National Under 18 Hockey Tournament, was selected to the South African Under 18-B side. A total of 13 beneficiaries of United Through Sport’s programmes in Nelson Mandela Bay, including Kyra and Kiara, were selected to represent the Eastern Cape in either rugby or hockey.

“We are exceptionally proud of these young sport stars, particularly Kiara who showed true sportsmanship on the hockey field. While we pride ourselves on unlocking sporting opportunities for the talented children who participate in our programmes, it is equally important for us to nurture well-rounded children who show leadership and character on the sports field,” said United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.

Maths Whizz Scoops Second Scholarship Prize

RAKING in close to R100 000 worth of tertiary tuition scholarships is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

This is true in the case of Chadleigh Ownhouse, a Grade 12 learner from Alexander Road High School, who has for a second year in a row came in the top three of his age group at the annual Rhodes University Mathematics Experience (RUME).
Chadleigh, 16, is a participant in United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme and has been a beneficiary of United Through Sport’s programmes for the past five years.
At the RUME, which was hosted in Grahamstown on February 16, he competed against representatives from around 30 other schools in the Eastern Cape. He recently heard that he scored second overall in the Grade 11 to 12 category after completing a mini-Olympiad (20-question maths competition) during the RUME.
“Maths is actually very easy to me. It involves a lot of problem solving and creative thinking. You have to be innovative in the way you solve the problems,” Chadleigh, who lives in Bethelsdorp Extension 22, says.
Chadleigh is no stranger to performing well at the RUME competition, as he last year came first in his age group during the mini-Olympiad. Combining the two years’ scholarship prizes, he has accumulated almost R100 000 worth of tertiary tuition scholarships for studying at Rhodes University in 2018.
This gifted learner has not made up his mind yet on his future career aspirations but is leaning towards a BSc degree in Microbiology.
He is also competing in the South African Maths Olympiad and enjoys Advanced Programme Mathematics as a seventh subject.
His parents, Andrea and Neil, motivate him to always do his best and are very proud of his most recent achievements. When he is not studying, he enjoys playing tennis, squash and chess.

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.