Community Sports Development

In collaboration with our partners Sporting Chance, our Community Sports Development program aims to bring together boys and girls under the age of 11 from ten disadvantaged communities to participate in street cricket and soccer tournaments.

Project located in Cape Town, South Africa
Project focused on Empowering Communities

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Sporting Chance was founded 24 years ago, and has grown into one of the leading sports coaching and development organizations in South Africa. Their vision is to provide opportunities for sporting achievement and personal development for as many children as possible, regardless of their culture, background or financial constraints. They seek to empower the children in their confidence and responsibility as South African citizens.

Sporting Chance holds a variety of annual events, such as Health of the Nation, Khulani Beach Soccer, Calypso Cricket, Street Cricket and Street Soccer. These events involve thousands of children from various townships and disadvantaged backgrounds. Their philosophy centers on the idea that sport breaks down barriers between people, and brings people from all walks of life together. With this belief and attitude at their core, Sporting Chance uses sports to improve the lives of children throughout South Africa, and educate adults about the importance of sport.

Both The Happy Africa 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.

The Happy Africa Foundation have sponsored Sporting Chance’s street cricket program since 2014. The street cricket program aims to engage young people in regular, extra-curricular sport over a three month period, typically running from October to December. Building on the success of the previous year, the street cricket project doubled in size and impact in 2015, with a total of 240 children from the communities of Langa and Khayelitsha being involved in the tournament. As well as allowing these young people essential access to sport, the tournament showcased and uncovered some fantastic raw sporting talent.

In 2016, this project will be extending further; The Happy Africa Foundation will further develop their relationship with Sporting Chance and will termly sports competitions between two schools in Langa and Khayelitsha, in addition to running two simultaneous street cricket tournaments, one in each community.

For the past two years, The Happy Africa 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.

 

Short Term: Too often in these communities, children are left unsupervised after school, before their parents or carers come home. This allows space for the children to fall susceptible to a negative environment of gangs, drugs and/or abuse. The Street Cricket program provides an alternative outlet in which the children can excel in their development, while having fun and learning about sport. 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. It also educates and involves adult community members on the positivity and importance 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.

Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in Western Cape, South Africa. Located in the Cape Flats area in the City of Cape Town, Khayelitsha means ‘New Home’ in Xhosa. It is noted to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Today Khayelitsha has an estimated official population of over 500,000 people but the unofficial number counts just under two million people including informal settlement areas as well. The ethnic makeup of Khayelitsha consists mainly of Black African residents, who predominantly speak Xhosa. Khayelitsha has a very young population with over 40% of residents being under the age of 19. As with other settlement communities, residents in Khayelitsha have limited access to basic utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and health care.

In 2015, The Happy Africa Foundation’s fundraising efforts meant that the project could take place in both Langa and Khayelitsha. The majority of residents within these communities live well below the poverty line and both townships suffer from high rates of unemployment.

As these communities continue to grow at an alarming rate, the population is predominantly made up of young people, with 40% of Khayelitsha residents being under the age of 19. The quality of education within these communities is variable and the overwhelming majority of children do not have access to physical education or sports within the school curriculum.

A number of successful fundraising events and campaigns took place, with volunteers and staff running the Cape Town Peace Run 10k and taking part in a sponsored Zumba event, while online donations and a large scale raffle meant that we were able to raise sufficient funds to roll the event out across two communities.

As the project expands in 2016, we hope we will be able to reach even more young people across the Western Cape region.

Online donations to the community sports development project will greatly assist us in running street cricket and street soccer programs in multiple communities, as well as funding termly inter-school sports competition in Langa and Khayelitsha.