Confident young sports leaders in Mbekweni, in the Western Cape, put their communication skills into practice by embarking on a four-day door-to-door campaign to increase community involvement at the Mbekweni Community Sport Centre, as part of an outreach campaign by sport and development organisation, SCORE.
Seventeen year old Sisanda Masila from Ihlumelo High School was joined by other sports leaders in Mbekweni, near Paarl, to talk to residents about the benefits of using the facility.
The state of the art indoor sports facility has an artificial pitch, seating capacity for over 300 spectators, changing rooms and conference facilities. It opened just over a year ago, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was funded by United Kingdom charity, Hope Through Action. The centre continues the legacy of the event by engaging more community members to get active in sport and develop skills they can use away from the pitch. One of the centre’s most successful programmes is the Mbekweni Community futsal league. The 5-a-side indoor variation of football gives teams the opportunity to practice ball control in a smaller area and learn new rules to the popular sport which hails from Brazil. The league currently has twenty teams and is an opportunity for different community teams to meet and compete against other keen players. The centre also hosts community celebrations and sports festivals which encourage older members of the community to visit the centre and take part in the activities.
Sisanda believes that engaging residents at the Mbekweni Community Sports Centre is a crucial step towards lowering crime rates, “thanks to the sports centre, we have seen more people getting involved in sport and now there is no time to do nothing. Crime rates are lower, and people take pride in the community.”
Offering coaching clinics and life skills development workshops for all groups in the community, SCORE hopes this campaign will increase participation and help develop more young leaders like Sisanda. “As young leaders we are recognised for doing the right things. We want to see more young leaders in our community helping youth make the right decisions.”
To help SCORE continue to build young leaders of the future, donate to the SANGONeT “No Pain No Gain” campaign today, by making a donation at www.givengain.com/activist/55367/projects/1333.