“I want to thank Sinazo and the young leaders, for bringing me into sport. If it were not for them, I do not know what I would be doing,” said sixteen year old Anita Kanuka from Western Cape township, Mbekweni. From a community riddled with drug and alcohol abuse, Anita left the streets and joined the football field under the guidance and mentorship of female coach Sinazo Magele. Sinazo joined SCORE only a year ago, but within this short time, she has used sport to build friendships and respect from girls in her community. “She is a sister to everyone,” continues Anita.
Young leaders like Sinazo can be found in communities that SCORE is working in across South Africa. The organisation uses sport to address the issues youth face in their everyday lives. Last year in the rural community of Tshidimbini, in Limpopo, nineteen year old Rinae Nemakonde gathered the youth together to help combat an alcohol-related problem. “Older members of our community started drinking at the sports facility and no one wanted to play there. We approached these people as a group and asked them to join us in football and netball and then we held a tournament and included them. Now, there is no longer a problem and our sports facility is again a safe environment to play. As the youth, we brought people together and gave sport as something for everyone, now people do not even have time to drink.”
In Rinae’s team of young leaders is Constance Nyawedzeni Chikhudo, “I kept attending SCORE workshops and they encouraged me to go out and do something for my community. I have become a facilitator and can now speak confident as a young leader and role model for girls to become involved in sport and not sit at home or become pregnant.”
Using knowledge from SCORE workshops, Sagwati Request from nearby community Tiyani, believes his role is “to take the youth and advise them on how to lead a proper life by engaging in sport to cope with different challenges. The SCORE workshops guide us on how to be good leaders, with that information we go and implement it in our communities.” Organising community leagues, tournaments and community events, and including speakers from various organisations like the local clinic, the young leaders are bring together community stakeholders to actively play a role in educating youth.
McTrevor Makhubele a community volunteer from Mapuve in Limpopo, recently got employed at the Department of Sport, Culture and Recreation in the Greater Giyani Municipality in Limpopo. He reflects on the benefits of being a community volunteer, “I grew up being mentored in sport. Being with SCORE has helped me gain job opportunities and become recognised by community stakeholders. Using the leadership skills I got from SCORE, I am one of the faces at the forefront of our community.”
SCORE’s mission is to use sport to provide children and the youth with valuable skills and opportunities that they need to succeed in life and to contribute to their communities. As these young people gain skills and experience, they change their own lives and the lives of those in the communities around them.
Community volunteer Ebrahim August from Dysselsdorp in the Western Cape, sums it up: “SCORE has brought sport to inspire and motivate our community to leave drugs and seek personal transformation. This leads to group transformation, which leads to continental transformation, which leads to global transformation.”
To help SCORE continue training young leaders to make a difference using sport, donate to the SANGONeT “No Pain No Gain” campaign today, by making a donation at http://www.givengain.com/activist/55367/projects/1333.