Exactly one year ago I packed my bags, said goodbye to family & friends and left home. I had absolutely no clue what the next six months would bring, but it turned out to be the best time of my life.
Living abroad, getting to know yourself, learning about new cultures, meeting the absolute best people ever, is something I would recommend to everyone. I don’t regret anything… Okay maybe one thing, and that is to not fully enjoy every moment – even the little things. Because before you know it, you are on the plane back home and you regret just taking some moments in and taking it easy. But there is such little time, so you want to do everything, be everywhere and see everything.
Everyone I met during my time in South Africa holds a special place in my heart and I appreciate every single moment. From going out to Barneys and White Tiger, to ordering pizzas and eating it in the Wi-Fi room while watching TV, to safaris, and of course, coaching the amazing children.
Because that is what they are: amazing. The children I have met in South Africa who live in the disadvantaged areas of Port Elizabeth are my little friends, and I miss them every single day. They brought something into my life that is hard to describe. It is so special, and I did not thank them enough, because I did not know how to. I loved coaching them, having fun, dancing, singing and really being a part of their lives for a while. Sometimes I wonder how they are doing. Are they okay? Are they safe? Are they following the big dreams they told me about? I hope they are. Because that is what they deserve.
My time in South Africa was special and I would 10000000% do it all over again. Give me a plane ticket today and I would run to the airport. To people considering volunteering: definitely go and see South Africa if you have the chance. The country is beautiful and the people living there even more beautiful. I have met the best people ever, with the most incredible life stories. They are inspirational and I am happy to call them my friends and even my family!
The wildlife is absolutely stunning. I could not get enough of safaris and am happy I did every single one. I saw so many beautiful things! The sunsets I saw were incredible, I cried almost every sunset because in those moments I felt so grateful. Just sitting there, on the beach and watching the sun go down with amazing people surrounding me in the best country I have ever visited. I am happy I can call Port Elizabeth my home, even though I left, it will always be a part of me.
All I have left to say is it had a real impact on me. It was the best decision ever and I miss it every single day. Port Elizabeth has a special place in my heart, and I hope to go back there some time to see my friends and the children again.
- Carlotte Klop, Amsterdam
Of the ten UTS South Africa beneficiaries who wrote their National Senior Certificate in 2019 100% pass rate was achieved at their respective schools in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Their schools have partnered with United Through Sport over a period of five years – investing in talented children from disadvantaged areas by providing them with top level education and sport coaching as part of United Through Sport’s Senior School of Excellence Programme.
75 pupils formed part of the Senior School of Excellence Programme in 2019. They received academic and other support at seven partner schools in Nelson Mandela Bay. These include Victoria Park, Alexander Road, Grey, Muir, Pearson, Andrew Rabie and Cillié High Schools.
“Since the establishment of the Senior School of Excellence Programme in 2010, we have achieved a 100% pass rate and we are once again very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our beneficiaries. Our journey with them will not end here, since they now automatically form part of our YOUth 1st Network which supports youth members with job skills training, guidance and support in order to access higher education and/or meaningful employment,” Nick Mould UTS SA director.
Successful student; Carlyn Camineth only slept a few hours after finding out that she passed with a Bachelor’s Pass before collecting her results at Victoria Park High School on Wednesday morning and fellow Victoria Park student Onela Mkonto, said she was equally excited – particularly to further her studies. “I am more than ready – I can already imagine myself at campus. I love working with children and it is my dream to become a paediatrician,”.
United Through Sport’s Class of 2019 collectively achieved six Bachelor’s Passes, four Diploma Passes and four Distinctions. The Senior School of Excellence Class of 2019’s plans for the future are diverse – varying from furthering their tertiary studies in Social Work, Tourism to Business Studies.
“We are excited to follow these ten young people’s studies and careers with interest, as they transform their lives even more through the power of sport. We look forward to continuing our work in 2020 and want to thank all our partner schools for making this positive change a reality,” said Mould.
Years of dedication to sport for good work in Nelson Mandela Bay paid off for United Through Sport South Africa, who received a national accolade as the Recreation Body of the Year during the 14th annual South African Sport Awards.
Sharing a stage with South African rugby Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, who overcame many adversities because of the power of sport in his own life, made this award even more meaningful to United Through Sport Director, Nick Mould. United Through Sport runs sport coaching and life skills sessions at Kolisi’s former primary school, Emsengeni Primary School in Zwide. Kolisi was offered a rugby scholarship to the prestigious Grey High School in Port Elizabeth when he was 12 years old.
United Through Sport reaches over 12 500 children at close to 70 schools in Nelson Mandela Bay per year. “We try to cover as many of the Primary Schools in the disadvantaged communities across Nelson Mandela Bay as we can, so we actually work in many schools around the Zwide area, of which Emsengeni is one. We also have a good relationship with Eric Songwiqi who was Siya’s rugby coach at Emsengeni and later became Principal of the school. Even after he retired, Eric spent time coaching rugby in our programme. We also have some kids from Emsengeni as well as other schools who have gained scholarships at Grey and other top schools around the Bay, so there are actually a number of kids from our programmes following the same path as Siya,” said Mould.
The South African Sport Awards is an initiative of the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, initiated in 2004 in partnership with South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The awards recognise the impact, results and sporting achievements of the South African sport and recreation sectors.
“This is definitely our first major award. Generally, awards are not something we chase or focus on as we are more focused on just doing our work and trying to make a difference. However, it is nice to receive some recognition for what we have achieved, and I hope that winning this award will give us more exposure so that we can continue to expand the work that we do,” said Mould.
He thanked all United Through Sport’s supporters over the past 14 years – including corporate, foundations and individuals who have contributed to running the programmes.
“There are too many to list, but they know who they are, and we would not exist without them. I would also like to thank all the international volunteers of which there have been more than 2000 who have travelled to South Africa to give their time for free to support our programmes and have added a hugely valuable human resource over the years. Thank you to all the children, parents, teachers and the staff at United Through Sport for their team effort in achieving this award – we look forward to growing our impact even more in the years to come,” said Mould.
The lives of 14 South African football players have changed forever, after they jetted off on a plane to the United Kingdom.
On September 23, 2019 the Port Elizabeth boys went on their first international trip to the UK where they were hosted by Dulwich College in South London as part of week-and-a-half sporting and cultural exchange, made possible by United Through Sport and partners.
The boys visited the Arsenal Football Academy and went on a tour of the Emirates Stadium in London, as well as attended a Premium League football match between Crystal Palace FC and Norwich City.
However, the boys did not only sight-see during their time in the UK, they were also afforded the incredible opportunity to play football against top local professional academy teams and schools in London.
In addition to playing a friendly match against the Arsenal Academy’s U/12 and U/13 teams, the boys also played against Crystal Palace Academy and their host school, Dulwich College.
“There were school and club scouts watching the boys, keen to offer an opportunity of a scholarship to players that stood out. Aside from the football taking place, the boys participated in an academic and cultural exchange programme designed to broaden their horizons, sensitise them to cultural similarities and differences, teach them about career opportunities and foster long lasting exchange relationships with their UK counterparts,”
United Through Sport Director Nick Mould.
The football team who travelled to the UK was made up of U/12 and U/13 boys from United Through Sport’s programmes based in the disadvantaged areas of Port Elizabeth, as well as boys playing club football at Calledonian Football Club in the city.
The boys were hosted by families from Dulwich College in South London and attended school and trained with their football players throughout the week. Dulwich College is an academically selective independent school for boys based in London, which recently celebrated its 400th anniversary.
On Friday the 13th of September endurance athlete Cameron Bellamy will be attempting to swim from Barbados to St Lucia to raise funds his departing island Barbados, his arrival island St Lucia, as well as his home country, South Africa. Cameron has a large focus on making a difference in youths lives with education and development. The funds raised for United Through Sport will be going towards our learn to swim programme which has been running for two years. With this we hope to be able to expand and reach even more children in the island of St Lucia.
This swim has never been attempted before, the swim is a massive 160km long and is expected to take 60 hours to complete.
Cameron will start his endeavour from St Peters Bay, north west coast of Barbados, and end in Vieux Fort in the south of St Lucia. Previously Cameron has swam around the entire island of Barbados he was the first person ever to complete this and it was the 4th longest open water swim ever. Cameron has also completed the The Oceans Seven which is a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel swims.
You can track his progress here: https://ubunye.web.app
We wish him all the best for the journey and any funds raised are greatly appreciated and will go along way with developing swimming skills for the children of St Lucia.
Over the last 8 years United Through Sport Caribbean volunteers and staff have competed in a number of domestic and international tournaments to boost competition and add international flavour to proceedings. United Through Sport RFC aka ‘The UTeS’ has now been formed into a permanent domestic rugby club .
UTeS was created by United Through Sport to improve rugby involvement and to increase game time in the area. This is beneficial to both our team and the opposition such as Rouges and Reela as well as creating a great rapport between the coaches and players. Every weekend UTeS play in 7’s tournaments, these are hosted by a different team each week. The tournaments are competitive and rewarding to each participant.
We have open weekly training sessions to introduce and encourage new persons to come and get involved in rugby. This is coached by Evan Rae the UTS coordinator. We focus on different aims each session to ensure we improve and better ourselves as a team before the next game and to develop rugby and social skills.
After each training session or tournament the UTeS host team building activities involving all teams and supporters, this is a great way to get to know teammates outside of rugby which improves communication on the pitch, as well as providing positive role models for the up and coming St Lucian rugby players.
UTeS RFC has its own Instagram page which is used to display player profiles with key information about each player on the team. We also post highlights from training and game day so that we can look back and analyse our progress and our international supporters can stay up to date with UTeS progress.
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.
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 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.”
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