Cool to Lead in Stellenbosch

This week we have held another Cool To Be Me workshop with the Grade 7s at Rietenbosch Primary School. The day started off with the Grade 7s sitting in their different groups and they were not interested in mingling and getting to know each other. This quickly changed when Coach Damion started with a fun ice breaker and encouraged each learner to sit next to someone that they didn't know. From a difficult start, the mood quickly changed to learners wanting to get to know someone new!

The learners learned how to work in groups with new people, how to respect each other's opinions and left with new friends! But don't take our word from it, see what the learners took away from the day

We are excited to see how the Grade 7s use their new leadership skills for the rest of the year and into their Grade 8 year! Once again thank you for Cool To Be Me for allowing us to have a deeper impact on the learners at our CoolPlay schools! 

Esther SampsonComment
Teaching Grade 7s that it's Cool to Lead!

This year we have launched a new initiative in collaboration with COOL TO BE ME (, social and emotional learning specialists and curriculum developers, to teach our Grade 7s that it’s Cool to Lead! We kicked off our new initiative at Kuils River Primary with 160 eager Grade 7s, what a fun afternoon!

Our facilitators focused on teaching our learners what qualities are essential to be a good leader, how important followers are in leadership and how taking responsibility for your actions is key. It not only taught the Grade 7s about leadership but it brought the whole group together. They were able to learn new things about each other with empathy and active listening. But don’t take it from us, see what some of the Grade 7s had to say about what they learned:

“…a leader must always have respect and listen…”

“I learned that you need to be a leader with values inside yourself…a person who wants to be a leader needs to have respect for yourself and others.”

“I’ve also learned that you need to be true and honest with yourself and others around you. I’ve also learned that without respect or values you cannot call yourself a true leader.”

“I am proud to say that I learned more about leadership and it has really helped our class!”

We are so looking forward to our upcoming Cool to Lead Workshops!

Esther SampsonComment
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!


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

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!

Impact: A Thank You from Sinothando

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