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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.

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.

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.

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

United Through Sport Staff Tour Germany for Two Weeks

Tyler and Spakes, two United Through Sport staff members, recently came back from a two week trip to Germany supported by funder Go Ahead! This German organisation finances the holiday programmes that UTS runs four times a year during the school breaks.

The trip to Germany saw 8 South Africans doing a 5 city tour in the “Blickwechsel” (meaning ‘Change of View’) campaign that put a twist to the normal Global North to Global South perspective by inviting partners from Southern Africa to Europe.  Participating in the trip were representatives from four organisations that Go Ahead! supports in South Africa. This was an opportunity for the partner organisations to learn more about Go Ahead! as well as the members of Go Ahead! to physically meet the implementing partners and get more insight into the different programmes and the work done in South Africa.

In each city visited, there were structured activities for the touring group and a lot of social opportunities to mingle with the local members, which were mostly University students. As the organisation with the most experience in volunteerism, Spakes and Tyler were heavily involved in school workshops in Heidelberg about the topic, highlighting the benefits of volunteering to the individual, the impact on the receiving in-country organisation as well as the importance of the sending organisation in facilitating and preparing for the volunteer experience.  Other activities of the educational tour included panel and round table discussions on topics such as the education systems in South Africa and Germany, the stigma of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and discussing movie screenings related to volunteerism. The organisation Go Ahead! Celebrated 10 years of existence and there was a big party in Berlin, halfway through the tour, with everybody enjoying “Mzansi” music hits and doing the newly learnt South African dances.

Culturally, there was quite a good exchange as the South Africans tried out the local cuisine of Bavaria and the Germans were practising the clicks in the local South African languages. On arrival in Erfurt, the group was invited to give a cultural presentation of South Africa; Tyler & Spakes were amongst the three that were leading this presentation. The tour was arranged in a way that in some cities, the group stayed in youth hostels but in other cities they stayed with the university students, which had a further positive impact on the culture exchange.

Having such a good balance between the tour programme work and the social aspect, the two UTS members represented and presented the organisation well, and gave a lot of energy and effort in everything to strengthen the relationship with Go Ahead! Spakes and Tyler had an amazing time in Germany and appreciated the historic buildings, the structured and disciplined ways of the Germans but of course missed the sunny weather back home.

“I was inspired by the ordinary young people I met pooling their efforts for a good cause, putting in so much time voluntarily to support the work that we do and of course we formed such good relationships with the members of Go Ahead! I am truly grateful for the opportunity and I know for a fact that we left such a cool impression of South Africa in Germany!” –Spakes

“Anything is possible in life.  After my visit to Germany I see the world in a different way. I had fun and enjoyed every moment I shared with the University students and fellow participants. I had the chance to experience how other people live and do things in a different country. The passion they showed to help other people is indescribable. My highlight of the trip was the humility and love they showed to us and that we are all equal and we must treat each other with respect. Thank you UTS for the opportunity that you gave me. I will forever be grateful for the rest of my life.” – Tyler

Young St Lucian swings his way to the top

Ealier this year, young up and coming tennis star Ishmel Moise, from ‘Tennis St Lucia’, received a new tennis racket as part of “United Through Sport” summer donations drive. With it, he has secured a number of titles including Boys 12 and under Champion in the 5th Annual Easter Junior Tennis Tournament and the Semi Finals in the previous KIA National Independence Tennis Tournament.

Following these initial tournament successes, he trained continuously to be selected for the St. Lucia Team who travelled to Antigua for the annual Caribbean Junior Invitational 12 & under tournament. Ishmel played hard in the round robin competition but unfortunately did not make it to the main draw of the event. He performed exceptionally in the consolation draw and made his team & country very proud.

United Through Sport & The St. Lucia Tennis Association encourages young juniors like Ishmel, to specialize in the sport. The aim of the summer donations drive is to help children develop humility, flexibility, acceptance, fairness, and integrity through involvement in sport. United Through Sport in country coordinator Joel Martin said “giving the children a chance to learn the rules of the game and develop a love of the sport can help cultivate a child’s character and integrity. We look forward to many more impressive victories from Ishmel and others on the programme”.

How we changed an American’s life

Domineque Scott came to South Africa to work with United Through Sport in an effort to change the lives of disadvantaged children there — what she found changed her life.

In a recent visit to her old University, East Stroudsburg University, USA, Scott explained how her experiences in South Africa had influenced her new direction in life. United Through Sport was there to hear what she had to say.

Scott, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2008 and a master’s degree in 2009, both in sport management, from East Sroudsburg University, USA, had been coaching field hockey at a private college when she decided she needed to look for new horizons.“I wanted to go abroad, I wanted to make an impact and I wanted to give back to those who need it,” she said.

Scott, a four-year field hockey player at ESU, signed on to spend 12 weeks in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, starting in January 2014. “I went over for three months and I actually ended up staying for two years,” Scott said. At the end of her three-month volunteer stint, she was offered a job as mass participation program manager in South Africa. United Through Sport volunteers coach children in soccer (football), tennis, field hockey, rugby, cricket and netball. Scott coached the kids in field hockey and tennis and tutored them in English and Math.

The organization in South Africa works with thousands of children each year and it changes schools every six months in order to reach more kids. “We are coaching sports with them and also practicing life skills,” Scott said. That included lessons about HIV prevention and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as soft skills, such as leadership, communication, teamwork and decision-making. She was moved by the gratitude of the students, as well as the kinship she found in each village and town. It was the first time Scott had been abroad and the experience was eye opening.

“Africa is a magical place,” Scott said. “They have such a sense of community over there, such love, they’re family people. Everybody knows each other”. She worked with children who came from extreme poverty who really wanted to be in school. “The kids appreciate what you’re doing so much,” she said. The schools typically don’t offer physical education so the programs provided time for the children to run around and play sports.

She recalled one student, Lindiwe, who played netball and eventually lived with United Through Sport volunteers because her home life at her sister’s place wasn’t conducive to studying. “The volunteers were helping her out with her academics in the evening,” Scott said. Lindiwe did so well she went on to a university, where she is in her second year with plans to become a lawyer. That’s especially impressive since she comes from a community where only 3 percent of the population goes to college. “It was life changing for her to be a part of the program,” Scott said.

The 29-year-old Scott came back to the U.S. a few weeks ago and is currently living in Milton, Delware and working to start an American branch of United Through Sport. She is fundraising and recruiting volunteers for coaching children abroad and hoping to organize an internship program for college students to coach in local disadvantaged communities. “I want to open United Through Sport USA to give other people opportunities to have these experiences,” she said. Volunteers in South Africa were based in Port Elizabeth, a city by the Indian Ocean, and worked with children Monday through Friday. On weekends, the volunteers could take excursions such as safaris, bungee jumping and diving in shark cages. Scott made close friends among the volunteers who came from countries that included Great Britain, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Germany.

Scott visited ESU with her mentor, Paula Parker, Ed.D., associate professor and chair of the ESU sport management department, with whom Scott has kept in touch and looked to for guidance on career choices. Dr. Parker says Scott has become a great ambassador for United Through Sport.

“Domineque’s engaging personality and passion for education through sport make her an ideal advocate for United Through Sport,” Parker said. “She shares her volunteer experiences in South Africa in such a way that everyone she comes into contact with will want to explore opportunities to volunteer.”

If you would like to take part in an international volunteer sports coaching placement abroad, great for internships, meaningful holidays or a gap year and career break, then check out our travel website by clicking here.