“Imagine 50 unoccupied fields across Mitchell’s Plain (are) occupied through Unchain the Plain champions on a Saturday morning with soccer, touch rugby, street cricket and tennis. This is what we want to see.”
This is the vision of the near future for the Unchain the Plain foundation who have already enlisted 12 champions in the area to facilitate the donations of sporting equipment and coaching for local children.
“We have 12 champions, but this is small compared to the scale of the Mitchell’s Plain community of 1.2 million people,” says Juven Rittles, project coordinator.
The organisation has also done outreach in Heideveld, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Darling, Worcester, Kraaifontein and Gugulethu, but has a special focus on Mitchell’s Plain as their home turf.
The organisation is registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO), and launched their own line of branded equipment last year.
This included cricket bats, street tennis bats and rugby, netball and soccer balls.
The equipment is sold and then donated back to the community project.
“We are challenging all corporates to come on board to help us. We are in survival mode if you look at all the killings and violence in the area,” says Rittles.
On Saturday 13 March, the organisation also hosted a street cricket event with celebrity face-offs at the Beacon Hill High School pitch to promote the sport and spread the word.
Teams from Beacon Valley, Eastridge, Tafelsig and surrounds participated.