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Teach kids though sports

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Schermbrucker
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Schermbrucker

Fact: South Africa is a sports-mad nation yet thousands of poor children are denied their right to play.

Sports & Life skills

Sport is more than just a game. It is one of the best ways for boys and girls to learn teamwork, discipline, tolerance and the value of fair play. With the 2010 Soccer World Cup on the horizon, there is no better time to bring sports, information and self-development to disadvantaged South Africa youths.

UNICEF, the Department of Education and other partners are implementing a school and community-based life skills education and recreational programme for young people, with a special focus on vulnerable girls.

Take Note

Physical education has been removed from the South African education curriculum, limiting children’s opportunities for sports and play in impoverished rural and township schools. Children are more prone to abusing drugs and alcohol and engaging in risky sexual behaviour when they do not have access to recreational facilities and sports. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 have the lowest HIV prevalence rates and therefore provide a window of opportunity in halting the spread of the epidemic – if they acquire the knowledge and skills to stay healthy. Education is the best defence against HIV infection.

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Schermbrucker
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Schermbrucker

Take Action

Help us support children’s clubs. In schools and communities across the country, children’s clubs bring together friends and schoolmates to have fun, share experiences and develop life skills. UNICEF is working with its partners to incorporate sports activities and education on preventing HIV infection, violence and substance abuse into existing children’s clubs in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. In particular, soccer clubs will be set up with the aim of holding annual tournaments and awareness raising campaigns in the build up to the World Cup. These activities will culminate in a National Football Series for girls and boys in 2010. A local fundraising initiative, called ‘Let's Play a Million’, will be launched to encourage ordinary South Africans and business people to raise one million soccer balls for children.

Help us train teachers, coaches and children. Three hundred teachers and coaches will be trained every year to carry out the sports and life skills education programme. Workshops on leadership, peer education and positive role modelling will be held for boys and girls participating in the soccer clubs and tournaments.

You Can Make A Difference

Our aim is to reach one million South African teens through the sports and life skills programme by 2010.

  • A gift of R21 can provide 20 children with a ball to play soccer, rugby, volleyball, netball, handball, basketball or cricket.
  • A gift of R70 can purchase a sports kit for one child.
  • A gift of R350 can hire a trainer for an hour to teach a group of 50 young people in life skills and sporting codes.

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