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Spar Women’s Challenge 5k “Most Beautiful Race in the World”

37 of our Junior School of Excellence Girls ran the Spar Women’s 5k this year in Port Elizabeth. This is the second year in a row in which our Junior School of Excellence Girls have run in this event and was a small treat for our girls who have been performing so well both on the sports field and in the classroom.

An added bonus was seeing our South Africa Teaching Coordinator Romain getting his best frock on to join the ladies, as all men who wish to participate must do so in drag. Well done Romain!

One beneficiary of the day was the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities in Nelson Mandela Bay who were presented with a cheque for R250,000.

London Marathon run for United Through Sport

Will Hurl and Mark Cooling have completed the London Marathon in support of United Through Sport. Both completed the run in good times. Mark ran in 3 hours and 4 minutes, with Will not far behind in 3 hours and 30, both more than respectable times.

We would like to show our sincerest gratitude to these two men for their support. Furthermore, we would like to wish Will luck on his Sports Management placement in Ghana with United Through Sport, which he will be embarking on later this year.

BIBA South Wales Regional Golf Day

United Through Sport recently became the nominated charity of the South Wales British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA), nominated by Chairman Sue Davidge. BIBA is an intermediary organisation representing the interests of Insurance Brokers and is the largest of it’s kind in the UK.

April 17th marked the region’s first Golf Day which included thirteen teams from across South Wales. The rain held off and the day was enjoyed by all. Not only was there an excellent turn-out, but over £700 was raised for United Through Sport.

We would like to thank Sue and everyone else at BIBA for their ongoing support.

 

Sportshack 24 Hour Radio Broadcast for United Through Sport

United Through Sport wishes to thank Tom Brown and Will Chamberlin of Royal Holloway University of London, hosts of the Sportshack on 103.2 fm. The guys recently hosted a 24 hour marathon broadcast in aid of United Through Sport.

During the show, the lads also ran a full marathon each, a truly remarkable achievement. The show was a great success, raising an incredible amount of £1379. The guys crossed the finish-line after a full day of broadcasting to the fitting tune of the Queen classic “We are the Champions”.

From everyone at United Through Sport, thank you for support.

Chaz Cepal Selected for Windward Islands U15s

One of the stars of our After School and Young Leaders projects Chaz Capel  has been rewarded for his hard work and recent good form for St. Lucia U15s with a call up to the Windward Islands U15s team, and had this to say:

“I think much thanks should be given to my Mom and Dad, my coach Alton Crafton, and the UTS coaches who ran the after school program at my school. I want to also thank the almighty for his help, protection, and guidance. I will continue to do my best with the help of God.”

Good luck Chaz from all the coaches, staff and volunteers at United Through Sport!

High hopes for Ghana Tennis player at ITF Africa Junior Championship

Following his recent success at the ITF West and Central Africa Junior Qualifiers tournament in January in Togo, United Through Sport Ghana’s youngest tennis player, Reggie Okai travelled to Tunisia this weekend to play in the ITF Africa Junior Championship tournament.

Reggie was the only member of the Ghana National team who travelled to Togo to qualify for the Africa Junior Championships. This is a huge achievement for United Through Sport Ghana and of course for Reggie himself – although he has been playing tennis for a few years now, he is a complete novice to tournaments of this level and calibre. The tournament will see Reggie coming up against rival players from all areas of Africa and it is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talents to the international tennis community.

The whole team in Ghana along with his Academy fellow students are supporting him every step of the way and wish him all the luck in the world. We are all looking forward to welcoming him back and congratulating him on his successes at the tournament.

We’ll be updating the website and our Facebook page with all the latest news on Reggie’s tournament quest, so keep checking back for the latest information.

Success for Senior Team at Benin Tournament

Earlier in February, our senior team and their coaches travelled to Benin for the J2A U’17 tournament in Cotonou. The team and their coaches travelled by bus to from Ghana, through Togo and finally into Benin. It was an extremely long journey of over nine hours each way due to border crossing delays but after the long journey and a good night’s rest the boys were ready for their first day of matches.

The boys won both of their group stage matches on the first day which put them in a good standing for the final group stage match the following day – the United Through Sport team won the match with ease which sent them straight into the semi-final later that day. The semi-final posed more of a challenge for our boys as they were unable to reach more than 1-1 at full time; after extra time and no change to the score they began a penalty shoot-out. The match finished on 5-4 to United Through Sport after the penalty shoot-out, securing a place in Sunday’s final at Benin’s national stadium.

The boys were extremely focused in preparation for the final and relished the sense of occasion that playing at the National stadium brought with it. The game started off well and the United Through Sport team had some fantastic opportunities but unfortunately it just wasn’t their day. The opposition team, Kozaf, took the lead at the end of the first half; our boys gave it everything but luck just wasn’t on their side on the day – they ended the match defeated 1-0 but the Burkina Faso side. Although the boys didn’t win, they had some incredible support and comments from spectators, fellow teams and coaches. They did everybody proud with their performance and effort throughout the tournament and left Benin with their heads still held high.

On arrival back at the academy house, they were treated to a hero’s welcome from the rest of the academy boys – with singing, dancing, chants, hugs, handshakes and prayers of thanks. Spirits were extremely high and everyone was incredibly proud of them and their achievements.

New Hockey Project in Pereyra Park, Argentina

 

Following an incredibly generous donation of hockey equipment to United Through Sport Argentina, our Director, Alejandro, had a wonderful idea. He thought about hockey in Buenos Aires and realized that there simply were not enough opportunities in the area surrounding Pereyra Park. So, Alejandro said “ Why don’t we run our own Hockey School at the park for free and open it up to all the kids living in the neighborhood and the shantytown next to it?

I’m very excited to tell you that from March, every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, United Through Sport hockey volunteers will be coaching hockey. Everyone is invited to join in with this exciting new opportunity that pretty much sums up what United Through Sport is all about. So remember, if you’re planning to volunteer coaching hockey abroad, it is definitely worth checking out what United Through Sport in Argentina has to offer. We could use your help and we know you’ll have a blast!

Military Batallion raises funds for United Through Sport

£1000 was raised in memory of LCpl Oliver Thomas who was sadly killed in Afghanistan last year. United Through Sport were invited to the memorial evening which was held on the 12th of February, where Trustee David Burton was presented with a cheque.

We would like to thank the Men and Women of 3MI Battalion for raising this money for United Through Sport.

We would also like to thank Olympic Gold Medal Winning Canoeist Etienne Stott who was on hand to lend his support. We wish him all the best of luck with his preparation for competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.

School of Excellence Class of 2010 Graduates to University

2015 is a land mark year for United Through Sport… our first group of children have graduated from high school and are starting their tertiary studies this year. We are proud to report a 100% pass rate from our five children who were doing matric last year, the first group of children to receive scholarships to our Senior School of Excellence Programme in multi-racial schools.

For Lindiwe, it really has been a life changing experience going through our programmes. Lindiwe will never forget her first year at Pearson High School as it was a huge change in the schooling system from her previous school in the township. She still looks back at her first academic progress report which had her in tears with disappointment. One of her highlights in the last five years was the international trip to Brazil in 2014. Lindiwe has now been accepted at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and will be commencing with her Bachelor of Arts studies in February.

Sibulele has been fortunate enough to travel internationally twice with United Through Sport in the last six years. His first trip in 2009 was actually the gateway to his entry at Pearson High School on the scholarship programme in 2010. With his very unique and inquiring mind, he has always been very interested in how the organization works and has always made himself available for any extra help needed. Also accepted at NMMU, S’bu will be doing Human Settlement Development Studies.

Back in 2009, Brad was also in the group of boys who travelled to the UK on a rugby tour with us. For Brad, being on scholarship in our SSE meant more than just a school change, but relocation from the small town he was living in, to live with his father in Port Elizabeth. The move developed his relationship with his father, and he is glad we made the opportunity available. Brad is planning to stay in Port Elizabeth one more year, taking a gap year before furthering his studies at the University of Free State in 2016.

Sithembiso’s entire high school life was dominated by his rugby. His achievements include playing for the school first team and his highlights in the six years he has been in our programme include his trip to the UK. With big dreams for his future, S’the has been accepted at the Algoa Flight Centre to become a pilot. He will start off with a Private Pilot License and Night Rating, before continuing on to do his Commercial License.

Last but not least, we have Athi, also a strong rugby talent. Athi would love to pursue a profession in the sport; and is well on his way already! With his love and passion for rugby, he has maintained his talent in and out of school. He has been playing Provincial rugby throughout high school, and is actually on bursary at the NMMU this year due to making the Eastern Province Rugby Academy. Athi will be starting his LLB Law degree and playing for the EP U/19 team this year. Together with the four above mentioned young men, his involvement with United Through Sport started in 2009 where they went on the rugby tour to the UK.

Needless to say, we are extremely excited to have all five starting the new chapters in their lives. It is a remarkable achievement given the expectation that only 3% of township children will make it to tertiary education. We are also very happy to have been helpful in affording them such opportunities, and are only expecting great things from them in the future. We wish Lindiwe, Sibulele, Brad, Sithembiso and Athi the best of luck in their studies and we will keep our supporters posted on their progress!

“The United Through Sport scholarship has changed my life! I wouldn’t have made it to University without their support, I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my life, but also want to help United Through Sport give more children from the township the opportunity to change their lives forever!” Lindiwe Cezula, SSE Graduate 2014.