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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.

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.

Senior School of Excellence Beneficiary is Top Achiever in Nelson Mandela Bay

Chadleigh Ownhouse, 17, who has been a beneficiary of United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme for the past five years, was announced on Friday, January 4 as the Top Matric Learner in Nelson Mandela Bay, with distinctions in seven subjects – including English (86%), Afrikaans (95%), Maths (88%), Life Orientation (95%), History (94%), Life Sciences (95%), and Physical Sciences (93%).

An excited Chadleigh had a total of seven bursaries to choose from, following the announcement of his final year of high school’s matric results. Spoilt for choice, Chadleigh decided on studying Medicine at the University of Cape Town in 2019.

“I am very happy to not worry about my finances for the year anymore. I am actually ready for university now, and can’t wait to start,” said Chadleigh, who was so used to waking up early to study that he has kept up his routine in the school holidays.

Chadleigh crowned his high school career in 2018 with the achievement of being announced Alexander Road High School’s Dux learner at the school’s awards ceremony. In 2018 he was a co-winner in the Senior Maths Relay League in 2018, and his team participated in the Nelson Mandela University’s Rocket-building Competition where they won first prize.

Chadleigh is one of ten beneficiaries from United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme who have all achieved their 2018 National Senior Certificates. Partner schools in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, where the beneficiaries matriculated include Alexander Road High School (2 learners), Pearson High School (3 learners), and Victoria Park High School (5 learners).

The United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence (SSE) Programme, which is based in Nelson Mandela Bay, is focussed on providing talented and determined children with a top-level academic education for a full five years – with the final aim of further supporting them through tertiary studies.

Chadleigh’s talents were noticed by United Through Sport Director Nick Mould when he was still in primary school at Astra Primary School in Bethelsdorp. Mould said all the SSE graduates are expected to pursue tertiary studies, many being the first in their families to do so.  

“Compared to the national average, we are very pleased with our 100% pass rate and would like to wish all our beneficiaries well with their future endeavours. We are exceptionally proud of Chadleigh who is testament that hard work and dedication can open many doors for you,” said Mould.

Chadleigh is the second United Through Sport beneficiary who has gone through the Senior School of Excellence programme, to study Medicine. Bronwyn White, who achieved her final year 2017 National Senior Certificate with four distinctions, is studying Medicine at Free State University.

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.

United Through Sport Graduate Keeps His Eye On The Ball

UNITED Through Sport graduate Adrian Pretorius had a ball photographing a sports tournament in Zwide recently.

On an assignment for Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, he was tasked to photograph the tournament that was organised by two Dutch volunteer coaches from the university who is working at United Through Sport in Nelson Mandela Bay as part of their Sport Studies internship.

Adrian, 18, matriculated from Victoria Park High School in 2017 – the same year that he received his own camera from his older brothers, twins Ashwell and Ashwin, who run Ashtwinz Photography.

Adrian, who is the youngest sibling in his family, has been working for his brothers as photographer and assistant photographer throughout his high school career.

“I enjoy photography very much, as you get to meet and talk to new people all the time,”.

Currently working as photographer and studying to improve his Admission Point Score (APS) for university, Adrian was very excited to get the sports tournament assignment through a recommendation from United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.

“I loved working with the children, photographing them and seeing their interaction with the volunteers and coaches during the tournament. Sport is the best way to stay healthy and fit,” said Adrian.

Joira Vieira, one of the Dutch volunteers that Adrian photographed, said he was very professional on the day of the holiday camp, and that everyone loved the photographs he took.

Adrian, who went to Astra Primary School, currently plays Premier League club hockey and was in the first hockey team at Victoria Park High School for two years in a row.

While he admitted that he only started to play hockey in high school to “meet girls”, he soon fell in the love with the sport.

“I love hockey – when you play, you are so focusedon the sport, and what to do next. In that moment it is all that counts,” 

United Through Sport regularly engages in employing former beneficiaries, whether on a full-time or part-time basis, to assist in the organisation’s programmes.

Several Senior School of Excellence graduates, who remain in Nelson Mandela Bay to study or work, conduct weekly mentorship classes at different high schools to assist younger children in the programme to cope with the challenges of high school, as well as to offer academic tutoring after school.

United Through Sport Director Nick Mould concludes:

“This is part of United Through Sport’s commitment to help our beneficiaries with the transition from school into the working world and becoming a meaningful contributor to society.”

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.

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)

 

Senior School of Excellence Beneficiaries Excel at Final Year Studies with a 100% Pass Rate

From playing ball to studying to become a medical doctor – one South African girl’s life has been transformed through the power of sport.

Bronwyn White, a United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence beneficiary, achieved her final year 2017 National Senior Certificate with no less than four distinctions. She has been accepted to study Medicine at the University of Cape Town in 2018.

“United Through Sport gave me such an amazing opportunity, allowing me to attend a school such as Pearson. I feel like I have grown much more and have been exposed to many more opportunities and people thanks to UTS. The fact that they also saw me as a deserving candidate for the bursary inspired confidence in me that I never previously had,” said an elated Bronwyn.

Bronwyn is one of nine beneficiaries from the United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence Programme in South Africa who have all achieved their 2017 National Senior Certificates. They have chosen diverse career paths, from studying Photography to Accounting, at various tertiary institutions across the country.
The UTS Senior School of Excellence Programme, which is based in Nelson Mandela Bay, is focused on providing talented and determined children with a top level academic education for a full five years – with the final aim of further supporting them through tertiary studies.

The Class of 2017 is the biggest group of beneficiaries that have passed through the programme in South Africa, according to United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.

“Each one of our Grade 12’s is expected to pursue tertiary studies, many being the first in their families to do so. Compared to the national average, we are very pleased with our 100% pass rate and would like to wish all our beneficiaries well with their future endeavours,” said Mould.

The Senior School of Excellence beneficiaries’ 100% pass rate is well above the 75.1% average pass rate in South Africa. The United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence Programme achieved a 78% university pass rate in 2017, compared to the national average of just 28%.

Kaylin Fourie, another South African United Through Sport Senior School of Excellence 2017 top achiever, will be pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher through the University of Pretoria.

“United Through Sport has been there for me since I was 11 years old, and they have been the main reason I have achieved my dream of being the first person in my family to go to University. This opportunity has really changed my life,” Kaylin said.