Sports programme offers hope for brave girls

2017-08-09 06:03
= Coach Linda Odolo of Port Elizabeth has taken her teams from knowing nothing about netball to dominating the scene in the Eastern Cape.  Photo:SUPPLIED

= Coach Linda Odolo of Port Elizabeth has taken her teams from knowing nothing about netball to dominating the scene in the Eastern Cape. Photo:SUPPLIED

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

ONLY one out of 10 schools in South Africa offers sport as an extra-mural activity.

What began four years ago as a dream to improve the lives of underprivileged children through sport has since developed into an incredibly uplifting programme.

The African Bank programme, Let’s Play Netball, is now in its fourth year and the results are really starting to show.

Coach Linda Odolo of Port Elizabeth has taken her teams from knowing nothing about netball to dominating the scene in the Eastern Cape.

Odolo trains primary and high school girls in the townships of Uitenhage, where extra-mural sports and activities are almost non-existent.

This year her players have remained unbeaten, winning matches in all age groups against private schools, Malherbe and Pearson, as well as netball clubs such as Phoenix.

On Youth Day this year African Bank’s players took the trophy home at a tournament at Zwide Stadium.

“It’s really satisfying and exhilarating to see young girls, who have very little in life, come out and show their strength on the court,” said Odolo.

“I am so proud of their hard work and bravery. They inspire me every day.”

Odolo’s project is supported by the African Bank staff in Port Elizabeth and championed by Uitenhage branch manager Clifton Geswint.

“Cliff is at all our matches. He is our biggest supporter and also an advisor and friend to me when times get tough.”

Odolo explained how things are not always easy working with children in underprivileged communities.

“Just last year one of the young netball players was tragically murdered near her house in the Ibhayi Township. The sad reality is that many other young girls face challenges arising from poverty, failing schools and no access to good nutrition.

“These girls are formidable. They keep playing their game and find a lot of hope and confidence on the court,” she said.

Kennedy Dembetembe, CSI manager for African Bank, said African Bank runs a number of different sports programmes across South Africa as sport has the unique ability to bring people together and inspire children to dream and to find focus.

“Through team sports in particular kids learn to communicate with each other.

“This instils discipline and teaches them fair play. Introducing after-school sports programmes into disadvantaged communities offers more than just sports skills; it also assists in furthering a variety of valuable life skills like self-esteem, teamwork, social integration, healthy living, safe environments and creating new bonds and friendships,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.