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.
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”.
The year 2016 sparks off an immediate celebratory atmosphere amongst the United Through Sport family in South Africa, as we commemorate another successive 100% matriculation pass rate from all of our Senior School of Excellence (SSE) graduates. In spite of the national matric pass rate dropping from 76% in 2014 to 71% for the class of 2015, with a further overall bachelor’s pass rate of only 18% for all schools in the Eastern Cape, our kids managed to score 100% in both areas.
Each of our matriculates achieved merit passes with clear, strategic plans for their futures. Furthermore, our post-matriculates are aided by tips and tools accessible via various online platforms, alongside our continued support to help them continue on their pathway to success. Some examples of our scholars and their plans for their immediate future are:
Cody comes from an area renowned for drugs, crime and gangsterism, but he has overcome the odds stacked against him by sheer determination and a dedicated work ethic on both the sports field and in the classroom. His distinctive Grade 12 pass results have furthered his prospects of an aspired academic qualification in Sports Management or Sport Psychology at either the University of Cape Town or University of Johannesburg respectively. Cody is assured of a promising future with the reversal of the odds now stacked suitably in his favour. We are elated at being a part of Cody’s journey.
As in most instances with our SSE scholarship beneficiaries, there are some restraining circumstances around the guarantee of all our children’s academic success. Ayabulela is no exception and struggles through his mom’s absence from his home, simply because of her work commitments in the Transkei. Yet, Aya has transcended these challenges superbly well and now seeks to pursue Tertiary Education. Equally, we are delighted at Aya’s chosen option of Business Management Studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
Lorenda is well known to our team for her reserved, soft-hearted nature and passion for helping others, particularly those from disadvantaged environments. Hence, she has chosen a career pathway of nursing, which is apparent to all who know her, as the ideally suited choice for her life’s work. Subsequently though, we have the immediate privilege of having her continue as staff at United Through Sport for her gap year of 2016, thereafter she would begin her formal training in nursing.
Lorenda has gifted us with such heart-filled encounters of caring and sharing. It’s always rewarding when one of our scholars, whom having been given a chance, now chooses to give back by affording others the same opportunity for significant success.
A life transforming relocation to Jeppe Boys High in Johannesburg has proved most fruitful for our fourth 2015 graduate. Zolisa is a prime example of the significant impact we strive to make in the lives of all of our children. He has truly personified our endeavours of uniting through sport. For more of Zolisa’s story, please click here. He will now be progressing on to NMMU to study Marketing.
“We would like to bid all of our post-matriculates well with their projected plans and ambitions. When your heart is in it, anything is possible. Godspeed!” – Russel Aspeling (SSE Manager)
Our Volunteer coaches gave up their weekend to aid an inter-church tournament on their local playing field and ended up competing and eventually winning it!
When the inaugural St. Lucia inter-church 7 a-side tournament hit a few major snags, minutes before its scheduled start, the United Through Sport house was their first point of call. Our team of football coaches came down on a moments notice; marking pitches, organising schedules, providing equipment, filling in as match officials and even creating a team with the rest of the UTS coaches.
Competing against teams from Anse la Raye, Gros Islet and Castries, The United Through Sport Team comprising of volunteer coaches Joël Martin, Joe Page, Patrick Kasaga, Josh Lawrence, Simon Watters, Adam Butler and Alex Hardy were able to win the tournament on behalf of one the Castries churches that were unable to make the event.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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Charity Number: 1102107