TRANSFORMING LIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH SQUASH
TRANSFORMING YOUTH THROUGH SQUASH 2013 EGOLISQUASH ANNUAL REPORT
Egolisquash is a registered Public Benefit outreach programme of Central Gauteng Squash and uses the sport of squash to curb the vicious cycle of poverty and crime for disadvantaged youth aged 8-18 years of age from the communities of Alexandra, Soweto and the Inner-city. Report Compiled by Sharon Sibanda Visit our website: www.egolisquash.co.za OR www.facebook.com/egolisquash
We feel passionate about the ability of sport to change lives and in 2013 we were fortunate to work with a number of partners who shared our beliefs and vision: The Development Coaches team: Glenn Lazarus CGS Executive, Mass Participation Dikana Mthombeni (Head Coach) Lawrence Dlamini (Inner-city Administrator/Co-ordinator) Sharon Sibanda (Project Co-ordinator) Jacob Banda Nelly Mohaule James Letlake Jonathan Letlake Collen Vuma Isaac Matsupa Simpiwe Gqibani The following institutions for allowing us to use their squash facilities for training and homework support programme: UJ Doornfontein Campus Southern Suburbs Recreational Center Wits Squash Complex Wanderers Squash Centre Braamfontein Recreational Center Gazankulu Primary School (Soweto Squash Courts) Pimville Recreational Center (Soweto) Pace (Soweto) The following sponsors and organizations: National Lottery Distribution Fund Murray & Roberts (Jack Cheetam Awards) Maureen Kark & Associates Mining Concept Sports and Recreation Central Gauteng Squash Jesters The CGS Executive Committee The CGS Junior Schools management and support team Squash Community and Clubs Kemtek Our International Friends: Metro Squash Richard Dodd and Yale University Fernando Molina from Argentina Riley Waterous Tim Wyant Busani Xaba Governing Sports Board for their guidance and giving us an operational framework: Central Gauteng Squash Squash SA Gauteng Sports Council Department of Sports and Recreation Fitness Institute of Professionals Equipment and Clothing Sponsors Hi-tec/Wilson /ProKennex/ Technifibre /Prosupex
MESSAGE FROM THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR To Our Contributors, Colleagues and Friends, Volunteers and participants. 2013 has been a pivotal year for our organization. Our Mass Participation Programme, Colts Future Champions, Life Skills programme, Peer Leadership programme, Community Service and Capacity building interventions reached phenomenal results which saw our kids reaching significant heights in their lives through our programme. Many of our participants have achieved great millstones, which include both academic and sporting achievements. We are proud that our 100% Socio Economic Development (SED) BEE accreditation authenticates that the work we do benefits the community our programs are aimed at while providing you our sponsors with valuable BEE points towards your scorecard. With the arrival of our mobile squash court, will be taking it to schools, squash clubs, sport clubs, fun events and shopping centres as part of our marketing and fundraising campaigns. Reaching out to people and communities that have never heard of the game and by so doing encouraging a healthy lifestyle. I wish to thank everyone who has been involved in Egolisquash over the past 4 years. I would like to give a special thanks to our donors who trust in our capability and who assist us in establishing a solid, innovative youth sports development organization. I could not end this message without acknowledging the exceptional work done by our co ordinators, coaches and volunteers. I applaued you for your commitment to our youth. To our young people in Johannesburg inner-city, Soweto and Alex areas, whom we have been serving and partnering with over the last few years, you give us the inspiration and motivation to carry on. It is also through you that we have grown as an organization and as individuals. We are more positive than ever about our future and the great impact we can make in transforming thousands of ordinary, disadvantaged, inner-city and township kidsâ€™ lives into success stories through squash. We see tremendous opportunity and look forward to continuing the journey with you throughout the years ahead. With great appreciation to all our stakeholders,
Egolisquash Program Director /CGS Executive Member
“There is an urgent need to empower young people especially in the Johannesburg Inner-city, Soweto and Alex communities where the family unit is being broken down, households are struggling with high unemployment rates, and youth are exposed to environments with crime and violence nearly every day of their lives. Such realities are a central part of the rationale for continuing and expanding our Egolisquash programme to these disadvantaged communities.” Egolisquash was established in 2009 in South Africa to focus on an intensive and long term programme; incorporating squash, fitness, tutoring, community service and mentoring in order to change children‟s lives for better. Over the years, Egolisquash has managed to be one of the largest innovative programmes that effectively help 5000 youths aged 8-19 years of age to start, stay and succeed through the sport of squash in South Africa. To date, Egolisquash through its Life Skills, Homework Support, Community Service programmes strives to inculcate positive values of trust, commitment, cooperation, discipline and above all providing fun and enjoyable activities for South African girls and boys who would otherwise lack such opportunities.
OUR REACH IN 2013 Squash Mass Participation Programme opening up new experiences for disadvantaged children
“In a country so well known for its sporting prowess, many learners at townships and inner-city schools are not receiving the benefits of physical and sporting development. Schools do not have adequate resources to offer extra-mural or sport development facilities. Egolisquash is working hard to reverse this condition by making squash a sport that is accessible and help increase a disadvantaged child’s chances of achieving excellence in sport, in school and in life” Throughout 2013, Egolisquash involved its players in squash training, competitive leagues and tournaments and achieved the following:
Egolisquash worked tirelessly with the School Governing Boards (SGBs) and Sports Coordinators from the Inner-city, Soweto and Alex areas and managed to develop the sport of squash as a sporting code for 15 High Schools and 20 Primary schools from these areas.
We managed to engage learners to play competitive squash in
our 2nd annual
Egolisquash Inner-city schools D-11 Cluster League- A total of thirty –six teams entered the league, 11 High School Girls teams; 17 High School Boys teams; 10 Primary Boys teams and 8 primary school girls teams.
Our local tournaments such as the Heritage Day, Youth Day and Inner-city vs. Soweto ensured that the learners have more game time and further develop their level of play.
“Our Mass Participation Programme has enabled us to unearth great squash talent from the learners. Despite difficulties and challenging circumstances these players have demonstrated strength of character to achieve significant heights in life through squash”.
Developing Champions with Character: Colts Future Champions
“Our Colts Future Champions programme equips athletes to understand the requirments of an elite athletes lifestyle, the importance of balancing different life areas and the positive effects that that can have on sports performance. The Colts Future Champions program aims to assist young aspiring athletes to engage in healthy behaviours and make positive decisions which will enable them to progress along the high performance pathway”. Our Colts have had great year and some of the highlights of their achievements are:
Eighteen of our players were selected to go the SA Schools Interprovincial tournament 2013 Two players selected to go to the SA national under 13 tournament, ranking then in the top 10 in their age. Under 19 Winner of the CGS end of season tournament Under 19 Runner-up in the B section Gauteng under 23 tournament 16 players ranked in the top 10 in their different age group in Central Gauteng Eight players on squash school bursaries
In 2014 we already have three new squash bursaries for selected players
The success of every athlete enrolled in the program is due to the highly effective systems that have been put into place over the two years. These include weekly scheduled High Performance sessions; performance nutrition education and other structures that ensure that best results are obtained from each individual player.
SUCCESS STORY Driven to Succeed Makhosonke Ntuli is currently ranking number 1 in the Central Gauteng Squash Juniors and was awarded the 2013 Overall Best Colts Player of the Year Award. He also received an academic bursary at King Edwards School for 2014. Makhosonke’s passionate and persistent spirit is the driving force behind his continued success in squash.
“Squash has boosted my well being in terms of discipline and portsmanship. I dream of becoming a doctor in the near future and with the wonders this sport has done for me so far, I am convinced that I shall one day be the person I have always wanted to be”.
Education Access, Beating Poverty and Unlocking Prosperity Our Homework Support and Bursary programmes create a deep well of opportunities for the less privileged learners and bring about a window through which they have come to realize their potential and continue to grow and nurture it.
For most of our players, access to education is difficult due to family financial constraints, large families per household and parents who struggle to survive by doing odd jobs. Most of the family incomes are basically oriented to first needs such as food and shelter; and in most cases cannot afford the high cost of school fees and school materials, such as exercise and text books. Egolisquash has however, made huge strides this year in its â€žHelp Me To Readâ€&#x; programme to promote academic achievement for its players who face socio-economic challenges. Throughout 2013 our book collection drives retuned over a thousand books, educational toys and eight computers were donated. Two libraries were set up in our centers, in the innercity and Soweto. A library management system was set up and several kids taught to run it.
Through our partnership with elite schools such as Jeppe Boys, King Edwards School and Parktown Boys, a total of three new bursaries were made available to our players in 2013.
Learning to Live: Youth Skills for Life
Egolisquash has continued to create a legacy of â€žubuntuâ€&#x; values and equip youth with life skills to make personal and social decisions to carry with them throughout their lives. During 2013, Egolisquash through the guidance of social service organizations has helped youth learn important health and social issues including HIV/AIDs awareness, teen pregnancy, career guidance, drugs and substance abuse, self esteem.
While squash is always fun, it is through play that we educate children about vital life skills. That knowledge and confidence is helping them create change for themselves, for instance,
through Egolisquash one Soweto player was able to make a life changing decision to get help from SANCA to alleviate his „marijuana‟ drug addiction.
Equipping Youth with Leadership Skills “We believe that every child has the potential to be a leader: a world leader, a community leader, a leader at school, or a leader in the home. By fostering access to peer leadership skills, we are working to ensure that both girls and boys have the chance to learn the skills necessary to reach their goals and contribute to their communities.” Egolisquash strives to motivate young people to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development community activities and leadership activities. Therefore, during the year, Egolisquash enrolled 20 of its players in the National Presidential Award Programme which is an exciting personal challenge to young people between the ages of 14 and 25. The youths set their challenges within the sections of Community Service, Physical Recreation, Skills and Interest, and Adventurous Journey and after successful completion of all four sections; the youth are deemed to have achieved an Award.
Furthermore, a total of 32 Colts players are now part of the Egolisquash Squash Incentive Program (SIP) which is a points and reward system to encourage youth to set goals. The program is designed to motivate, recognize and reward youth, while providing them with the opportunity to explore and become involved in a range of areas including, academic achievement, squash, discipline and commitment. The structure of the program not only rewards and recognizes youth participants for their commitment but also sets achievable goals to encourage on-going participation across a range of Egolisquash activities while promoting leadership skills, personal development and social interaction with peers.
Reaching Out: Expansion projects in 2013 Sizwile School for the Deaf Squash Development Project- improving the odds and changing the lives of deaf Soweto township learners “Imagine a world without sound and the frustration of trying to express what you feel or need to others. Imagine you‟re standing in a sports field, the crowd is screaming, your coach is yelling, whistles are blowing but you can‟t hear any of it- this is the life that the deaf or hard of hearing children go through in their lives”. Regular physical activity and physical fitness are especially important in maintaining the health and well being of people of all ages. Statistics indicate that the Deaf athlete, however, is excluded mostly from the groups that participate in sport and labelled as „disabled and not able to play sports‟. However, the Egolisquash programme has, through its squash development clinics in 2013 shown that the Deaf or hard of hearing athlete is physically ablebodied and able to compete in sports without significant restrictions, with the exception of communication barriers. Over thirty township learners from Sizwile School for the Deaf in Dobsonville, Soweto are now part of the Egolisquash program and enjoy squash training sessions every Wednesday afternoons. International Development Partnerships
The Egolisquash programme uses sport as a medium for increased networking and cooperation with players, coaches and clubs from across different continents. During 2013 about twenty five players from different countries such as Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, England, France and others from across the world engaged in a three day coaching clinic for the Egolisquash intermediate, Colts high performance players and coaches from the Inner-city of Johannesburg and Soweto. Throughout the year, we had representatives from MetroSquash in the US, Canada Jesters, Urban Squash in the US, Yale University and Zimbabwe. Egolisquash has further given twenty kids from the Jabulani Khakibos shelter in for street children in Berea an opportunity to be involved in the sport of squash and other lifeenhancing programmes. More recently, we have assisted other squash provinces in South Africa to launch their development projects and have provided coaches and our knowledge to kick start project in these areas. They too have had great success in the short space of time.
Capacity Building: creating real and lasting change “Squash doesn’t only change the lives of disadvantaged young people but it can also change the lives of adults.”
James and Jonathan Letlake, Senior Egolisquash Coaches
“Growing up in the sprawling township of Soweto- I never imagined myself playing let alone coaching the game of squash. The only game that we played in the dusty streets was soccer. No one in my family or neighborhood knew such a game existed. But all that was put in the past through the Egolisquash programme which through Squash SA has opened up new doors in my life. I have done many squash skills courses and currently I have enrolled at the Wits University to do the Sign Language course to assist me in coaching my players from the Sizwile School for the Deaf. I now fully participate and contribute to the upliftment of the Soweto community where l come from.” -Jonathan Letlake Egolisquash Senior Coach Egolisquash focuses on enabling teachers, sports coordinators and coaches from the Innercity, Soweto and Alex communities to develop skills and competencies so that there is the ability, competence and teams to both manage the training sessions, run the programme with minimal external input in the future and earn a living from these structures. Our capacity building policies ensure that disadvantaged community members involved in our programme are more cohesive, more resilient and better placed to confront economic and social challenges.
Some of Egolisquash
Coaches, Schools Sports Coordinators and Volunteers
Significant results were achieved: Strengthening Local Community membersâ€™ capacities through Life- changing interventions Twenty-five Sports Coordinators from Soweto, Alex and inner-city were trained in three courses; Coach the Coach, Squash Organizer and Level 1 course in order to develop their understanding of the long-term player model. Three coaches were enrolled at the Institute of Fitness Professionals to pursue the Fitness Trainer Course. Three Exchange programmes with international coaches from StreetSquash, MetroSquash and Canada Jesters were carried out to improve coaches training knowledge levels, help them to design a coaching strategy and plan for their local school teams and clubs involved in the Egolisquash programme. Two coaches attended the Gauteng Sports Council workshop on Sports Injuries and avoidance. One Coach is attending a Basic sign Language course at Wits Sign Language Department. Three coaches were nominated by the Gauteng Province to do SA Squash Level 2 course
Press Coverage and Success Stories
“In future we will be teaming up with a number of newspapers, television and radio organizations to help spread the Egolisquash programme to the wider public. Our programme will encourage more disadvantaged young people to get involved in sport and highlight the incredible social outcomes that sport can achieve. We want the work that our kids do to be a nationally recognized part of the sporting landscape”. We are successfully utilizing social media as a powerful way to gain positive exposure and connect with the communities that we serve. In 2013, Egolisquash received excellent coverage in the local media such as Inner-city Gazette and Caxton. The Egolisquash programme was broadcast on National SABC 1 Television Channel which has the highest rating of all channels available in South Africa and has a viewership of over 15 million people. The broadcasting of Egolisquash in the Sports Buzz SABC 1 programme leveraged our programme and we had more kids from across South Africa wanting to join. Furthermore, we received a listener ship of over 3 million people across South Africa through the Sports on Fire live radio broadcast with Graeme Joffe on 1485AM and DSTV Audio Channel 869 reaching eight Southern African countries. Moreover, at year end, we had over three hundred “likes” and a total of 10,000 people from across the world have been reached through our Facebook page. Social media not only provides an important communication arm for Egolisquash to reach new audiences and build the Egolisquash programme; but also allows Egolisquash to connect to our squash players, coaches and organizations globally.
In order to enhance and advance the delivery of our services, a number of partnerships at local and regional level were set up throughout 2013:
We have set strong partnerships with School governing Boards (SGBs) and schools cluster boards in the D-11 Inner-city cluster and Soweto to run the programme. We engage in consultative meetings with them and ensure they are fully involved in the planning, implementation and execution of the project events and programmes. Parental involvement is the crux of our programme and the parents have established Parents Committees to officially represent the parent body in the realms of decision making when it comes to the entire management of our programme. We are affiliated with national sports governing boards to guide our programme framework and these are Squash SA, Department of Sports and Recreation and Gauteng Sports Council. We have made partnerships with AIDS counselling and youth focused social service organizations across the country which include Shout It Now, SANCA, Siyakha Ingomso, Youth Life Skills and Gauteng West College for Career Guidance. In order to assist our players academically we have set up partnerships with the University of Johannesburg and Wits University to utilize their studentsâ€&#x; voluntary support in our Homework programme. Our partnership with the Super Sports Lets Play programme. Therefore, selected Egolisquash activities will receive exposure during the Letâ€&#x;s Play programme flighted on the SuperSport TV channels.
OUR FUTURE Creating our future There is still work to be done as we work towards achieving our strategic priorities to bring about the desired growth and development of the sport. Significant opportunities exist within the sport and the Egolisquash team is excited to pursue those opportunities. The next 12 months will see us:
Growing our Mass Participation Programme to attract more youth from around the country.
Building on the Colts Future Champions Programme by providing the best structured support and training environment that produces a strong pool of competitive Colts players capable of performing successfully both at national and international competitions.
Continue to provide opportunities for academic excellence for as many children as possible and empower them to become competent, confident and responsible South African citizens.
Strengthen our Homework Support programme to include partnerships with likeminded organizations such as The Link, ASSA Maths and Science and others.
Leverage our Life Skills programme and ensure our youth are empowered to make wise decisions and live normal healthy lives.
Commit to building organizational capacity that improves and enhances Egolisquash‟s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time.
Continue to place emphasis on sport, especially to meet the socio-economic challenges presented by a rapidly increasing and youthful population, cultural change and more affluent lifestyles.
Ensure that the physical and psychological benefits of sports are also experienced by persons with special needs
CONCLUSION In the words of Nelson Mandela, â€œSport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else can. Sports can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.â€? This programme is a living example of the statement by one of our greatest statesmen and we are truly inspired by it. We hope to inspire many more people to use sport as medium for social change.
Visit our website: www.egolisquash.co.za OR www.facebook.com/egolisquash Tel 011 886 1740 Mobile contact Sharon 06050302096
Report back on our 2013 program activities