South Africa

US basketball star Kyrie Irving visits schools in South Africa with UNICEF

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© UNICEF South Africa/2013
“I saw first-hand how early childhood education and school sports activities are making a difference in these kids’ lives,” said NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving during his visit to schools in South Africa.

The NBA’s Rookie of the Year takes to the court – and the classroom – to support education in South Africa.  

PRETORIA, South Africa, 29 August 2013 –Kyrie Irving, an All-Star in the United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA), recently concluded a visit to Gauteng, South Africa, where he participated in a variety of educational programs supported by UNICEF’s Schools for Africa initiative.

The Cleveland Cavaliers player was joined on the trip by Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA All-Star, member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Executive Board of Directors and NBA Global Ambassador.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF South Africa/2013
At Emaweni Primary School in Soweto, Kyrie Irving worked on an art project with children in the school’s Early Childhood Development program.

Over the course of the three-day trip, Mr. Irving, the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year, witnessed a wide range of UNICEF Schools for Africa programs in Gauteng Province, visiting primary and secondary schools in both Soweto and Randfontein, where he engaged with students, teachers and administrators.

“Even with the challenges they face, it was inspiring to see how much the kids want to learn and how hard the teachers are working,” he said. “I saw first-hand how early childhood education and school sports activities are making a difference in these kids’ lives.”

At the Bafikile Primary School in Soweto, Mr. Irving helped lead students through physical education activities that are part of UNICEF’s Sports for Development initiative.  Before taking to the court for a basketball clinic, he addressed the importance of staying in school to an assembly of Soweto’s Senaonae Secondary School, where dropout rates are high.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF South Africa/2013
Mr. Irving helped lead students through physical education activities that are part of UNICEF’s Sports for Development initiative at the Bafikile Primary School in Soweto.

“South Africa is a really interesting country for me. It has shown tremendous progress,” said Ms. Stern. “It was great to witness the changes that have occurred since 1994 – the calibre of schools and programmes, and how committed learners are to their own education.”

At Emaweni Primary School in Soweto, Mr. Irving worked on an art project with a group 5- and 6-year-olds in the school’s Early Childhood Development program. He also helped facilitate a discussion with students from the Pahama Secondary School in Randfontein who participate in the Girls and Boys Education Movement, which provides students with leadership skills and information that help them mobilize their communities to support the rights of girls.

The delegation’s visit to South Africa concluded with an interclass basketball tournament at Pahama Secondary School in honour of their special guests.


 

 

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