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Empowering Communities

Community Sports Development, Cape Town

By July 29, 2016 May 7th, 2019 No Comments

In collaboration with our partners Sporting Chance, our Community Sports Development program aims to unite 250 boys and girls under the age of 15 from three disadvantaged communities to participate in street cricket, soccer, and netball tournaments (while employing 30 young men and women to manage these tournaments as community member facilitators from the 3 communities). 

Both The African Impact Foundation and Sporting Chance believe that sport plays a vital role in children’s lives, in terms of physical and social development. In addition, in disadvantaged communities, extra-curricular sport provides a positive and healthy outlet for young people’s energy, whilst developing their social skills and discipline. The low standard of living means that many children in Cape Town’s township areas do not have access to sport and may often be exposed to negative influences, such as drugs, alcohol, gangs and abuse.

For the past five years, The African Impact Foundation have provided sponsorship for Sporting Chance’s Street Cricket Program, giving children an accessible extra curricular to engage in and to participate in sport in a safe after school environment. In addition, one interschool competition occurs per school term, to allow boys and girls of different grades to compete in the sport they have been learning at school. The partnership between Sporting Chance and AIF has come a long way and has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. Starting out with just two township communities we are now able to extend our reach to five communities in the Cape Town area, Langa, Khayeitsha, Masiphumelele, Steenberg and Constantia. We now have three different sport programmes for the children, soccer, cricket and netball.

 

Short Term: Too often in these communities, children are left unsupervised after school, before their parents or carers come home after work. The added value of positive role models and mentors found in the coaches, older children and community member facilitators reinforces the positive influence sport can have in a child’s life.

Long Term: Introducing sports to children from an early age will help to develop long term healthy habits and enhance their social skills and abilities. Sport helps to educate children about teamwork, discipline and time management, all valuable for success in education and other aspects of life. Furthermore, sport positively influences the children in growing up to become competent and confident citizens.

We can add that children from Khayelitsha have a ratio of 80% living in shacks and 20% living in brick homes. This means that there are limited open spaces for any team sports which includes cricket and soccer. The only roads that exists are heavily used by public transport busses and taxis ( minibuses) and children are not able to access these for free play. We should also mention the high unemployment rate which means that it creates an opportunity for employment through sports- facilitators from the local communities.

We can now boast an increase in the number of girls participating in our street tournaments since the inclusion of netball as part of our sports programme, this is a predominantly woman sport. It has been the draw card in attracting more girls to participate in the sports programme. Through the 7 week long tournament AIF continues to provide short term employment opportunities for community members to help us as coaches and umpires during the tournaments.

  • 2017: We held an inter-school netball and soccer competition between the two township communities of Langa and Khayelitsha. We also held a 7-week long street sports tournament between three communities (Khayelitsha, Langa and Masiphumelele) that included soccer and cricket competitions.
  • 2018: We hosted our third annual inter-streets competition where three different schools came together mid-year and competed for the winner spot in soccer and cricket. Additionally, in October- November, we successfully hosted our annual 7-week long Street Sports Tournament bringing together a total of 280 children from three communities. This year the tournament included soccer, cricket, and for the first time, netball, which increased the number of girls participating in our street sports programme. We were also able to raise funds to contribute to paying 36 community coaches, purchase 50 colourful T-shirts for the coaches and 280 T-shirts for the children participating in the sports tournament. These events aim to bring friendly competition and form a sense of togetherness between the usually much divided communities. It also creates the space for children involved to experience the skills associated with team sports and an income and experience for the coaches.
  • 2019: The fundraising focus will be to expand the tournament with our partners to ensure the furthest reach possible.

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