Sport programme excites learners

2018-04-17 06:02
PS4L founder, Miles October, speaking to the children about the positive impact sport can have on their lives.

PS4L founder, Miles October, speaking to the children about the positive impact sport can have on their lives.

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About 500 learners in the Factreton area had the time of their lives when they participated in the Play Sport4Life (PS4L) activity programme recently.

For four days, PS4L, a not-for-profit community organisation working in the area, put the learners through their paces in a variety of sport codes to either develop their skills or improve what ability they had.

Play Sport4Life head, Miles October, says the holiday programme has proven to be a very popular event in the community. The organisation decided to run it again over Easter despite having to move it from their regular venue due to water restrictions.

“We had a choice,” October says. “We could have called it off because of the presence of gangsters (in the field it was moved to) or we could say ‘no, the kids are our priority, we have an obligation to show them an alternate way of life’.

“It was a no-brainer. The kids won and the locals accepted that we are doing good in the community and left us alone. A lot of the children came from that same troubled area.

“We are overwhelmed with the response every time we announce we are having a holiday programme. Much of that huge demand comes from previous participants who want to be involved again,” says October.

Last week’s programme involved expert coaches helping kids find their feet in field hockey, netball, soccer, baseball and athletics.

PS4L’s five coaches – Faiza Koks, Ryan Everson, Justin Morkel, Noziphiwe Mbolambi and Quentin Langeveldt – are all fully qualified to mentor the kids.

The event also involved PS4L’s international student volunteers from universities in Holland, Belgium and Finland.

According to October, the student interns, including Jurian Meester, Marleen van de Meer, Thomas van Dijk and Erin Nellen, are providing a valuable service in their various study disciplines.

October says his organisation is focused on providing four to five hours of high-intensity sports and life skills sessions and activities that will have long-term benefits for the children.

“We at Play Sport4Life firmly believe that a healthy community starts with having our children believe in a healthy lifestyle. When the children attend our holiday programmes they are taught the basics of multiple sports. The aim is to get them interested and to stay interested so that they can continue to be involved in sport.

“The alternative of course is them hanging around on the streets and being exposed to the drugs and violence that is endemic in the poorer areas. We can’t have that. At our programmes they are active, they are fed and have positive influences on their thinking.”

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