Coaching the next-gen sport stars amid Covid-19 crisis

While Covid-19 is putting many dreams on hold, CoolPlay, an NGO in South Africa, is helping the future generation to go beyond any limitation to achieve their dreams.

Over ten years, CoolPlay has been focused, improving the skills of talented school children interested in sport. Rather than play cool in this challenging time imposed by the Covid-19 surge, the NGO sets out to turn kids into stars.

Over the years of operation, the organization has expanded. According to Tori Gardner, the CEO, 21 schools have been supported through the promotion of “social-emotional learning and inculcating life skills via sport and life orientation lessons”.

So far, it operates from five hubs in the Western Cape.

“Khayelitsha, South Peninsula, the northern suburbs, Stellenbosch and the Koue Bokkeveld have been chosen as our main focus areas where we provide our services,” the CEO said.

“Gangsterism, drugs, alcohol and school dropouts are prolific in these areas, and we’ve found that by utilising sport as a vehicle for change in a safe environment, under the guidance of positive role models, the narrative can be shifted and our learners often rise to become positive contributors to their community,” she added.

Having identified toxic environments affecting the personal growth of so many children, the organization has made it its number goal to bring in positive change.

Cap: Siya Mayiya, 29, an educator for CoolPlay with 5 years experience

For Imange Tilongo, a 13-year-old from Ukhanyo Primary School, CoolPlay is helping her to live a healthy life.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

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