Brand South Africa, in conjunction with the NGO Sporting Chance, hosted the Play Your Part Rugby Activation at the Khayelitsha Rugby Stadium, in Cape Town, on Friday, 2 October. And with the Rugby World Cup currently under way, there was no better time to get the learners enthusiastic about the game.
A former professional rugby player and Sporting Chance coaches taught dozens of children from the area rugby techniques and rules. Furthermore, the children learned about the health benefits of an active lifestyle.
“I call sport the MBA of life,” said Mpho Mbiyozo, a former World Series champion with the Springbok Sevens, “firstly because of the discipline required to be in a team and secondly, the desire to succeed and to keep getting up and going.”
Mbiyozo wanted to spread the message that sport could improve one’s quality of life and unite a community. Hailing from Lusikisiki in the Transkei, Mbiyozo grew up playing sport. After starting with football as a child, he got hooked on rugby at the relatively late age of 14. He said playing sport from young was important as it became a pattern that was carried throughout one’s life.
The rugby activation, he said, should not begin and end on the same day but act as a springboard to future events centred on sport. “Things like [the rugby activation] bring hope. Hopefully Brand South Africa can continue. This event is a seed but we need to water it to germinate.”
SUPPORT FROM PARENTS, TEACHERS
Khayelitsha local Lelona Daweti, who is an attacking midfielder in the South African Women’s U20 football team, was also on hand to pass on her sporting wisdom to the young boys and girls. Her message was that they must fulfil their dreams.
When asked how she realised her dream of playing for Basetsana, she was quick to reply: “Support from my parents and the teachers at school. Some parents think, ‘My child wants to play sport, so it’s fine, she’s keeping herself busy’. But they are not supporting them. So if the child needs boots the parents will say: ‘You’ll only play this sport for two minutes and then you’re going to leave it.’
“So you kind of need motivation from your parents who say: ‘Keep on doing what you are good at and I’ll keep on supporting you step-by-step.'”
Bulelani Menze, a Sporting Chance coach and co-ordinator in Khayelitsha, said sport taught discipline and guided one through life. “It gives you direction and life skills. The more you grow into sport, the more your skills are honed.”
He told the learners that they should remain positive and always do what was best for them. “Play sport because it can change your life like it changed mine.”
ABOUT SPORTING CHANCE
Sporting Chance project manager Bradlyn Stuurman explained that the organisation aimed to coach and develop children between the ages of four and 13 throughout the country through all sporting codes. It wanted to get children to lead active and healthy lifestyles.
“The beauty of our coaching is the combination with life skills that we do, such as discipline, importance of nutrition, eating the right types of food, keeping physically active, and personal hygiene. We also cover environmental awareness, looking after and taking pride in your community.”