Weekly Sports Programmes
The Football Foundation’s sports development programmes comprise training five days per week, with games, tournaments and coaching clinics taking place on weekends. Dedicated coaches and volunteers run football, netball, hockey and cricket coaching sessions and education lessons for the youth in the Gansbaai area, developing boys and girls from the age 6 through to 19.
Holiday programmes in Gansbaai, Hermanus and Hout Bay are a highlight on the Foundation’s calendar, and attract children from these communities for weeks of fun, games and educational activities.
Awareness programmes are launched around important days in South Africa like Youth Day, Women’s Day, Human Rights Day and World Aids Day. Children learn about significant events in history, as well as social and environmental issues pertinent and relevant in contemporary society. The Foundation also extends its reach to the broader Overberg area, conducting coaching clinics and holiday camps in neighboring communities.
The Guys FC
A crucial part of this development plan is keeping the older players involved in the Foundation’s programmes once they leave school. The Foundation has achieved this by establishing a senior football club with the Local Football Association (SAFA) - this has the potential to form the backbone of coaching programmes, and effectively places the future sustainability back in the hands of the community and football players.
As a result of the tremendous success of our football programme and the demand for other sports codes, field hockey was introduced in 2009. After a visit to Grootbos, former German Bundesliga player, Delf Ness (Der Club an der Alster, Hamburg) was inspired to launch the Alster Grootbos Hockey Project, bring the sport to Gansbaai for the first time. This project started out solely with support from Alster Hockey Club, but through dedicated campaigning has subsequently garnered the support of a number of large hockey clubs in Hamburg and further afield. Led by Delf Ness and Nicola Knaust, the Club hosts a fundraiser every year in aid of our Foundation, donating hockey equipment and playing an important role in recruiting hockey volunteers to assist us.
Hockey has a reputation as a healthy sport, is played by both girls and boys, promotes teamwork and hand-eye coordination, and is excellent for endurance. It is generally still regarded as an elite sport in South Africa, played mostly in affluent communities, and our aim is to take hockey to rural communities and give children who would otherwise never have been exposed to it, equal opportunity to play and learn.
This project was launched with generous support from Airtours in Germany. It aims at giving children from marginalised communities the opportunity to participate in organised athletics training programmes, to learn about their environment, and to get access to training opportunities in tourism and guiding. The project harnesses sport and tourism to give young people access to career education, training and nature guiding. There is a great need for induction to career paths and job opportunities, specifically in tourism due to a demand for skilled professionals in the sector.
Under direction of Coach Corrie Avenant, a number of young athletes have completed their Field Guides Association of South Africa Junior Guiding Certificates, and have the opportunity to shadow senior guides as part of a job training initiative. During Cross Country season the athletes travel all over the Western Cape to partake in races - this greatly broadens their horizons and gives children from rural communities the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country.
Athletics was selected because it can be practiced anywhere - on a beach, a mountain or a forest - no equipment is needed and also because it is not age-specific and is gender equal. Athletes can also compete against themselves by setting personal goals, which teaches children individual responsibility and empowers them.
This project is also excellent in helping us promote the breaking down of racial, social and gender barriers, as well as promoting female empowerment. A substantial number of girls is enrolled in the project.