Sport for Development organisations are very active across South Africa, playing a vital role in supporting children in vulnerable areas keep busy and learn valuable life skills during and after school
Due to the COVID-19 national lockdown regulations many children and young people have no longer had this safe learning space to go to. Although many organisations quickly and creatively adapted their models and curriculum to engage with participants through parents and coaches there was still a need for a formalised programme easily accessible by all.
The Western Cape After School Programme Office convened various donors and umbrella bodies to discuss the continuation of after school programmes despite school closures.
Laureus Sport for Good South Africa, collaborated with The Learning Trust, After School Programme Office (DCAS), and ASSITEJ SA to create a central ‘treasure box’ of resources from the 4-pillars of After School programmes – The Treasure Box. With Laureus predominantly working with their programmes on the Sports and Recreation activities.
The idea with the treasure box was to create a ‘one stop shop’ for parents and learners to ensure that the whole child continues being developed during COVID-19. Although there was academic contact with learners other important aspects were not being addressed.
Resources shared in the portal are not a substitute to the CAPS-aligned academic content made available on national and provincial government websites, but rather an extra-curricular and extended-learning compliment to the plethora of curricular resources already out there.
The resource page features the following 4 pillars: Academic, Life-skills Psycho Social Support, Sport and Recreation and Arts and Culture – and there will be regular assessment and reviewing of the content by the relevant partners.
Laureus funded programmes; HealthNutz, Waves For Change, School of Hard Knocks, Grassroot Soccer and Fight With Insight have all shared their unique programme content available for download in the sports section of the portal. Grassroot Soccer has a soccer curriculum available for players and coaches, and Waves For Change content features both physical and emotional tools for “checking in” over this time.
These programmes all use sport as a tool for social change. The resources that they have made available will get children active, and also focus on one of 6 Social Focus Areas which are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Mental Wellbeing and Health, Gender Equity, Education, Employability Inclusivity and Peaceful Societies. These various activities vary from being learner lead to including the family in getting active and learning key skills in the areas mentioned above.
“We are extremely proud to be involved in the development of the Treasure Box as it gives us the opportunity to showcase the phenomenal work that our programmes normally do on a day to day basis.
Developing the “whole child” is important because it is not just about improving students’ academic performances, but also about contributing to their overall development. Sport for Development Organisations aim to create safe spaces for children to have a sense of belonging, feel supported and learn key life skills that are not necessarily taught in the classroom like positive coping mechanisms, GRIT, improving confidence and building positive relationships. When children and young people are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, students are then able to learn to the best of their ability.” Concluded Morne Du Plessis, Chairman Laureus Sport for Good South Africa.
All the resources are available to anyone who can connect online. However, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais said, “Recognizing that many vulnerable learners cannot access online resources the next action is to print an offline pack for learners and to make provision for data-free access going forward. Despite school closures, quality education through sport and cultural affairs remains a priority as the Western Cape Government works tirelessly to offer learners a variety of learning platforms and availing e-Resources to compliment curriculum needs.
The online treasure box will also be utilised to create a printable version of selected activities which will be distributed throughout the Western Cape early in May.