Comedy Evening FUNdraiser!

On April 24th we hosted a comedy evening fundraiser at Rondebosch Boys’ High School. It was such a fun evening full of laughter and telling the audience more about the impact that we are having in our areas! We would like to say a big thank you to the amazing comedians that volunteered their time to raise funds for CoolPlay. Thank you to Angel Campey, Nik Rabinowitz, KG, Dalin Oliver and Godfrey Johnson! Thank you for your jokes, your time and your willingness to give back!

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During the evening we were also able to hear from operations manager Luqmaan about the impact that CoolPlay is having, champion Nokulunga on how she is creating change in girls’ lives in Khayelitsha and from the Blitzbokke on how they are supporting CoolPlay.

Thank you to the Blitzbokke who came to our event and donated a signed jersey to our raffle – please see the video below on who won the raffle!

We are full of gratitude to all who gave their time, attended the event, donated money and organised the event – a big thank you to Karen for pulling the event together.

Stay tuned for more exciting upcoming events!  

Esther SampsonComment
EduCool Sports Day 2019
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The EduCool Sports Day is something that we look forward to every year and this year was no different! It is an excellent opportunity for kids from different communities to come together through the power of sport. This year it was held on the 1st of May.

CoolPlay brought along teams from all of the areas that we are working with around Cape Town. We had teams from Khayelitsha, Masiphumelele, Stellenbosch and Kuils River. This year it was the largest U13 rugby and netball tournament in the Western Cape!

See the pictures to see the fun that kids had competing and learning from each other!

Thank you to the Education Connection Team for organizing such a fun day for the kids that attended!

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Impact: A Thank You from Sinothando
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This month Sinothando from Bulumko High School in Khayelitsha wrote CoolPlay a thank you note:

“Dear CoolPlay,

I write this letter to thank you for the wonderful things you’ve done for us as Bulumko learners.

It pains me so much that that most black public schools are deliberately being ignored in sport. There is so much talent in these schools, but all that we need are resources. We thank you CoolPlay for giving us great opportunities and extraordinary adventures.

As netball players, we have been to few tournaments that helped us improve our skills and techniques. This helped us boost our ego and strived for more upcoming games. We have been to the beach with our school rugby team where we played exciting games and made us happy. We even get sponsors as netball players. We even do “Girls Talk” with our CoolPlay coach. It has helped us in a way that we now know how to deal with our social and private life. We are so grateful to CoolPlay.

Yours faithfully, Sinothando.”

On Beautiful News SA, Coach Noks explains why she always has her girls' backs

Before the game ends, Nokulunga Mvandaba’s netball team already know they are winners. The coach has taught them to build up each other’s self-worth, not just how to score goals. She knows the difference support can have. While at university, someone Mvandaba trusted sexually assaulted her. Like many women who go through this, she was emotionally vulnerable and unable to deal with what had happened. “I felt like I had no one to speak to,” Mvandaba says. “It resulted in a lot of self-destructive behaviour.” Turning to alcohol and drugs to cope, her life spiraled downhill as she moved further away from her family. The experience had robbed Mvandaba of her sense of purpose. That changed when she picked up a netball, and her life.

This year Mvandaba joined CoolPlay, and began rebuilding her life. Using her skills, Mvandaba mentors the youth while coaching netball across schools in her hometown of Khayelitsha. “This programme has helped me realise my leadership qualities so I can better others and myself,” she says. On the court, Mvandaba is ensuring that these players never have to go through what she did. “Terrible things happen to women and we often don't know how to speak about them,” she says. “I think a lot of girls could use the support.” Through coaching, Mvandaba has created a network for the youth to talk about their experiences, and emerge stronger.

By building their sport skills, tutoring them, and working through their goals with vision boards, Mvandaba is helping her team fulfil their potential. With every game, their confidence soars. And as they bond, the girls find support in each other, discover their intrinsic value, and learn to speak up. “I think South Africa needs to find ways of bridging the gap of communication so that women can realise their worth,” Mvandaba says. Her work goes beyond the bounds of the court. Through a game of netball, this coach is proving a valuable lesson: we are stronger when we stand together.

Scott SloanComment
Impact: How Jacques has gained control over his emotions
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Before starting at CoolPlay Jacques struggled with controlling his anger. He was quick to violently react to others, often lashing out and fighting with classmates and friends.  He struggled in making and keeping friends because of his short temper. Through the guidance and mentorship of Coach Carl, he has been able to build trusting relationships with his teammates and his coach. Carl has reassured him that, “if I need to talk he is always there,” and has helped him work through his anger with the CoolPlay curriculum.  Carl has provided consistent support to Jacques throughout this year and the positive mentorship has seen Jacques turn the corner.  

He (Carl) told us that without discipline that we won’t succeed in life. Discipline at home, at school and the way I live my life. He has taught me how to have discipline in dealing with my anger. Before I started playing rugby I was violent person. When I started playing rugby with Coach Carl, all the anger came out of me and I actually calmed downI have made friends with my teammates and I will always have their back and they will always have mine, they are my other family.”

The life skills taught at CoolPlay, especially learning how to maintain composure (Card 6) with deep breathing and thinking before reacting, has helped Jacques on and off the field. Carl has taught him that using these calming strategies will help Jacques to think and choose helpful responses to situations, rather than reacting out of anger or frustration. This change in behaviour has allowed Jacques to become part of a supportive community, his CoolPlay family.

Carl pointed out that "this is not the same boy that started at CoolPlay with us at the start of this year. He has calmed down and has become a leader on the field and in the classroom. The teachers and his mom have pointed out to me that he has grown a lot this year. He has learned how to think before reacting. Something that is going to help him succeed in the future." 

Scott SloanComment
Womens' Month: #ComfortablyConfident campaign ends on a high!

For the month of August CoolPlay has been busy with a sponsorship campaign in order for girls in our programs to feel more #ComfortablyConfident. Through a GivenGain campaign and a series of events we raised awareness about a lack of critical sports equipment needed for girls to feel their best selves when play sport.

Under Armour heard our call to provide this essential equipment and this Women's Month donated an incredible 560 sports bras (at a value of R560k) to girls across our programs. In order to celebrate this huge contribution we organised a special Netball Festival at Sarepta High School on September 1st. The event included:  

- An official hand-over of sports bras from Under Armour to CoolPlay netball girls
- A netball tournament for 60 girls from the CoolPlay program. 
- Zanele Mdodana, former SA Netball Captain and Head Coach of Matties Netball officially received on behalf of CoolPlay and inspired our girls with a rousing team talk!

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Scott SloanComment