Cara is one of our Youth Rising Programme participants who has recently received a scholarship to play football at Tennessee Wesleyan University in the United States. She has always had a dream to play overseas and has worked hard to achieve her goals!
From a young age, Cara has been passionate about playing football and has pursued her passion. Growing up, there weren’t many girls teams for her to join but she didn’t let that dissuade her and so she joined the boy’s teams. As she got older, more options opened up for her and she now plays for the semi-professional South African Women’s League.
Receiving a scholarship to play overseas means that she is one step closer to achieving her goal of becoming a professional football player. While this is great news, unfortunately, the scholarship does not cover all of the costs and we need help from United Through Sport supporters to cover the additional costs. Please donate to help Cara on her way to playing for a university team in the United States!
While Cara prepares to study and play overseas she is still actively involved in the United Through Sport Youth Rising Programme, receiving one-on-one mentorship and coaching younger football players from her area. She is focused on preparing herself to study and play overseas. We are excited to continue to support her on her pathway to success and your support will get her one step closer to reaching her goal!
For United Through Sport, July 18th was not only a celebration for Mandela Day and receiving sports equipment, but also the celebration and official launch of a 1200m₂ 4G mini astro-turf at Astra Primary School, one of the Junior School of Excellence centers; a first facility of its kind in the townships of Nelson Mandela Bay. The multi-purpose astro-turf was funded by the local e’Zethu Development Trust, Empower and the Sedbergh School in the UK, through the Bhubesi Pride Foundation. Astra Primary serves as a hub in the Northern Areas, meaning that the turf will be available for structured use by the community at large primarily for Hockey and Soccer training.
By donating sports equipment, the contributors were also securing a spot to show off their football skills in friendly games played on the new turf. The first game saw the heads of the Business Chamber and UTS going head to head against the Astra boys in a very entertaining 15 minutes. Needless to say, the young blood took charge in their territory and showed the businessmen who’s boss on the turf!
With all these festivities amalgamated on Mandela Day, it was only fitting that the event was dignified by the presence of Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay and President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dr Danny Jordaan. Other dignitaries included the CEOS and Directors of the businesses represented in the Business Chamber, as well as representatives from the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the headmasters of our Senior School of Excellence partner schools. In a warm speech, the honourable Mayor showed appreciation for the work that United Through Sport does to uplift and develop the youth that come from such disadvantaged communities in the Bay, giving these youngsters a much brighter hope for their future.
Mandela Day 2016 was a very special day for United Through Sport, highlighting the importance of concrete partnerships to pursue common goals. It was indeed very powerful to come together with the above mentioned institutions and organisations, holding hands in promoting youth development through sport.
“Facilities like this one and partnerships like these are the key to long term sustainable development. We are proud to support this initiative and look forward to working with United Through Sport and the other key partners in the future”.
Dr Danny Jordaan, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor.
When the clock strikes midnight on the 22nd of January I (Ross Edgley) will step foot on Silverstone race circuit ― with whey protein shake in hand ― and attempt to pull a 1,400kg MINI Countryman 26.2 miles in an event the media is calling, “The World’s Strongest Marathon”. Why? The short answer is to raise money and awareness for United Through Sport.
But the actual answer perhaps needs more elaboration on. Which is why I’ve put pen to paper to write this Blog post that begins with a brief back-story.
It was morning, Aug. 1, 2002, on the sun-bleached African plains of Namibia.
I’m 21 and have been tasked with documenting the life of the San Bushmen. A hunter-gatherer civilization who were no doubt wondering what the strange Englishmen was doing in their village. If I’m honest I don’t blame them either. I was completely out of my depth.
That’s because bright eyed and straight out of university I’d become this odd writer-athlete hybrid that had developed a reputation for accepting even the weirdest of assignments. Which is why I find myself emerging from a mud hut wearing nothing but a smile, homemade flip-flops and a traditional ‘tribal thong’ that barely covers my modesty.
Eager to earn their acceptance it worked. Never before had my bare buttocks received such rapturous applause as I was invited to sit among the men of the tribe.
However my victory was short lived. Handicapped by the language barrier it seemed once the novelty of my semi-displayed cheeks had worn off there was very little else to do. Without any means of communicating I had no way of developing rapport with my hosts.
Needless to say I wasn’t doing a great job as a writer or a San Bushmen.
What seemed like hours of silence passed until eventually I was saved by a moment of inspiration. I remembered the immortal words of Sebastian Coe ― former Olympic Gold Medallist ― that were engraved on a giant plaque in my University library.
“Sport is a universal language; building more bridges between people than anything else”
Politely excusing myself from the group I returned to the hut. Frantically searched for the semi-inflated football I’d kept in my luggage. Then returned to nervously present it to the tribe. Not a word was spoken. It didn’t need to be. We marked out some goals, picked teams and an impromptu match ensued.
Mr. Coe was right. For the rest of the week ― and for the rest of the life ― when in doubt I whipped out a ball, marked out a pitch and played sport. It’s never failed me. In the words of the Olympic Games founder Pierre Baron de Coubertin “The Olympic Spirit is neither the property of one race nor of one age.”
But it was experiences like this that taught me everyone loved sport. Everyone loved playing it. Everyone loved watching it. Everyone understood the value of it. Sport is an unwritten language understood by all.
Which is why I truly believe the work of United Through Sport is of profound importance! Which (coming back to the initial reason for this article) is why I decided to:
- Create a Virgin Money Fundraising Page
- Plan an insane stunt to capture people’s attention
- Use my small presence in the media to promote it
If at the end of the above ‘to do list’ myself and THE PROTEIN WORKS™ raise enough money and awareness for charity I will consider every blister, rope burn and painful step taken not in vain.
Last night saw the coming together of nations as United Through Sport threw its annual reunion party. Past volunteers and members of the United Through Sport family flew in from all corners of the world to mark almost 12 years of work. The evenings format took shape on board the Jewel of London, a cruise boat that rocked out some pumping tunes and took us on a four hour journey up the River Thames. Timed nicely with bonfire night, guests were additionally provided with a spectacular fireworks display near Hammersmith bridge.
The evening was an important opportunity to recognise all the work that is going on in the various countries where United Through Sport operate and the many people that have contributed to the charity in the form of volunteering abroad or through generous financial giving. Many of our volunteers had the opportunity to hook up with old friends who they have shared overseas coaching work with, reminding them that they are important ambassadors for the organisation to take our message back to their communities at work or university.
Thanks to all that came and made it a great night. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.
In partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), United Through Sport (UTS) implemented a series of community-based projects in the period of June-July 2015 to increase physical activity in the communities of Nelson Mandela Bay. These events were to encourage the residents of the Bay to lead a healthier lifestyle as well as to bring activities to the idle youth during the long school break. Over the winter school holiday, UTS conducted these projects in the form of three Community Walks and two Holiday Programmes in and around the Bay, where a total of 1589 participants took part in the various events.
This physical activity plan formed part of the Designed to Move campaign which highlights the importance of being physically active. As there are a lot of risks, conditions and diseases associated with physical inactivity, such as depression, heart disease and strokes, it was important to raise awareness around this. It is also important to inform the young children that they could pro long and improve the quality of their lives and brain power by taking part in physical activities.
The Community Walks were 2km routes in the townships and catered for everyone in the community; the young and the old. Each walk started off with a brief aerobics warm up session, especially considering how cold it was in the early mornings. At the end of the walks and after the cooling down exercises, there were challenges and competitions done to showcase ways of doing fun and free physical activities. These included a skipping rope and hoola-hoop challenges and dance competitions. Prizes were awarded to the challenge participants and competition winners, as well as our oldest and youngest walkers.
All the communities warmly appreciated having such events in their township, as they rarely have the chance to participate in these kinds of opportunities in their remote area. The youngest participants were still learning how to walk and the eldest walkers were in their 70s.
The different elements incorporated in the Holiday Programmes were life-skills, role plays, sport, general knowledge quizzes, indigenous games as well as arts & crafts. UTS also included some of their own beneficiaries from the Senior School of Excellence to work as volunteers at the holiday camps. The older and more mature beneficiaries assisted as peer leaders to the participants. At the end of the camps, these youngsters felt really good about being involved in such an initiative, and being able to be of service to other children. It was a good opportunity to develop their leadership skills and to take responsibility for developing younger children from their communities.
The older children participated in life-skills which focused on HIV and AIDS awareness. The different fun and interactive games in these sessions taught the children about the importance of decisions they make and the consequences which follow, the myths and truths on identifying someone who is HIV positive, how to minimize the risks of being infected and how HIV is spread. The younger children spent a lot of time in the arts & crafts sessions, where they did face painting, paper masks, storytelling and such age appropriate activities.
On the sport aspects, the girls and boys took part in netball and soccer where they were coached by the UTS international volunteers. On the last day of the holiday programme, they played against each other, as well as an indigenous games tournament.
The winter holiday programme was a great success in enabling us to take key aspects of our ongoing programmes to communities that wouldn’t otherwise benefit. Being a development through sport organization; it is great to be working in partnership with the municipality to encourage healthier lifestyles in our communities.
“It feels great that I can give back to other children and pay forward what United Through Sport has done for me in my life.” Lorenda , UTS Beneficiary, 17 years old
“We never really think about the dangers of living an inactive life, yet there is so much we can do every day to avoid many diseases; we just need to move a little more every day.” Sonwabo Jacobs, Colchester Community Member, 45 years old.
We are celebrating a decade of work in South Africa. Our first operation began ten years ago in Port Elizabeth. In that time we have established a great network of schools in which to use sport as a tool for development. We have permanently changed lives for the better in the impoverished areas in which we work.
Through our Mass Participation Programme (MPP) we have used sport as way to effectively tackle critical issues such as HIV and Aids, a major threat to kids growing up in townships. The MPP has also shown us which children show the correct attitude and level of promise in order to attend our Junior and Senior Schools of Excellence, where we have had great success. So much so, that our first year of grade 12’s all graduated to University.
With a solid infrastructure and a dedicated team in charge of operations, we aren’t letting up any time soon. Congratulations to all involved.
Watch our video and hear from Nick Mould, one of the United Through Sport founders, explain more.
Swansea City and Wales Captain Ashley Williams gives his support to United Through Sport.
We are excited to announce that Premier League Footballer Ashley Williams has given his backing to United Through Sport. The Wales and Swansea City FC Captain said of the charity “United Through Sport are doing some amazing things in parts of the world that need it the most”- “The work that United Through Sport does is vitally important and I’m proud to support it.”
The Centre-back recently celebrated his 50th International Cap and will be looking to lead Swansea City to a top 8 finish in the Premier League this year. We would like to congratulate Ashley on another great season of football and thank him for his support.
“United Through Sport are doing some amazing things in parts of the world that need it the most. Sport has the power to change people’s lives and teach them about so much more than the game they are playing. It’s hard to think that there are so many children out there who don’t have the opportunity to participate in organised sport. The work that United Through Sport does is vitally important and I’m proud to support it.”
Alex Carlton-Porter, Director of PTL Sports, has completed the Paris Marathon for United Through Sport.
Alex was initially a little nervous about running such a great distance, stating on his fundraising page “bearing in mind the furthest I have ever run is 10K, this will undoubtedly be a very painful and unenjoyable event. However it is all for a good cause.”
“Painful and unenjoyable” as it may have been, Alex came up with the goods!
Completing the 26 miles 385 yard course in 4 hours and 59 minutes, he managed to raise just over £600 for United Through Sport. Alex and his company PTL Sports have supported United Through Sport for many years and it is a support that we are truly grateful to have.
We are always on the look out for people to represent us on stages such as this, raising both funds and awareness for United Through Sport. For more information about how you can get involved check out our fundraising section here.
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Our Latest Updates
- Hartland and Clovelly AFC support United Through SportJuly 18, 2019 - 7:32 pm
- Lindiwe Wins International Award to Get Girls MovingJune 24, 2019 - 7:34 am
- United Through Sport Mauritius and St. Esprit College PartnershipAugust 9, 2023 - 2:10 pm
- Sport and Recreation Youth ProgrammeJuly 26, 2023 - 12:00 pm
- Meeting with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and RecreationJuly 20, 2023 - 11:00 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
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Charity Number: 1102107