Learners fight back

2017-08-01 06:00
Cassius Baloyi visited Hillwood Primary School to motivate learners and teachers after he heard about the gang shootings in the area.

Cassius Baloyi visited Hillwood Primary School to motivate learners and teachers after he heard about the gang shootings in the area.

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Hillwood Primary school learners in Lavender Hill were in for a rare treat after they were visited by boxing legend Cassius “The Hitman” Baloyi last Friday.

Baloyi, a six times world champion, visited the school to motivate the staff and learners who have faced numerous challenges as a result of the gang violence that affects the area.

Steve Burke, co-owner of WeBenefit and a business partner on the Partners for Possibility programme, arranged the visit.

WeBenefit is a digital procurement platform for schools, charities, care homes and churches to buy high quality supplies and services at a discounted rate. It also provides a consumer portal so people can buy items and in so doing, make a donation to their chosen school or charity.

Partners for Possibility (PfP) is a creative solution to South Africa’s education crisis and is a co-action and co-learning partnership between school principals and business leaders, enabling social cohesion through partnerships, and empowering principals to become change leaders in their schools and communities. The PfP programme facilitates cross-sectoral reciprocal partnerships between business, government and the social sector.

Burke, who also owns the Armoury Boxing Club, invited Baloyi to box in an exhibition bout at The Armoury on Friday night.

Having heard about the gang-related issues in Lavender Hill, Baloyi wanted to show solidarity with the staff and learners and help promote boxing as a force for social good. Introduced by Hilllwood Primary principal Gavin Alkana, Baloyi delivered an inspiring talk to the staff and learners.

He shared the story of his humble background and the adversities that he has had to overcome on the journey to becoming a world champion. Most importantly, he emphasised the values of respect and self-discipline and urged the learners to pursue sporting activities. He also encouraged them to have the courage to dream and follow through on that dream. “You must make sure that you get a good education because that is what you will always fall back on” said Baloyi. He then handed over gloves to the children who softened them up on their new punching bag.

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