Impact: How QUIT doesn't fly with Sinesihle

Sinesihle plays netball at Masiyele High School in Khayelitsha.

She says “since Coach [Nokulunga] become part of my school or my life, she is my inspiration that no matter how hard the situation is I'm gonna push through. I have learned from her that the word "QUIT" doesn't fly, that being myself is important, reaching my goal is a way forward. Even if I'm starting to have doubts I ask myself who am I to quit? I have learned from her how to communicate, treat others with respect, how to be a better student and a unstoppable player. Coach always reminds me, 'you are who you are, see your goals as knowledge, and pursue your dreams.' I have become confident and risk taking. I can do anything that I put my mind to and believe in myself.”

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Impact: Hear how Claudia turned her anger into forgiveness

Claudia Mans is a 17 years old at Sarepta High School. Here is her story:

I would like to share with you about how CoolPlay and netball changed my life. I started with Netball last year, and at first I was a bit hopeless - sometimes sport codes at the school just stop but CoolPlay soon showed me that they are here to stay.

Before I started with the program I had a huge anger problem, I would snap for just anything, reason is that I come from a background where I have to fight for whats mine and I must protect myself. I am person who does not trust people easily but then again Coolplay showed me how to trust and to care for others.

Coolplay came with an angle that turned my life around. I remember when Coach Luke told us about the “Do over”. He said in life we all make mistakes but the big question is how we change our mistakes into success. Well I thought about what he said and it made me think, if I never forgive myself and put my mistakes in the past ill never go forward in life as a person, and that is when I told myself anything is possible. He also taught us that life is more then just playing Netball it’s about setting goals and having the right values, what we do on the court we should do off the court. I really look up to coach Luke his like a father/brother/Hero to me. He keeps his word and always opens up to us. He knows when we are sad or even in a bad mood, and how he has the ability to make us happy is just awesome.

So Coolplay thank you for what you have done here at Sarepta High, I hope that this is just the beginning and that we will have more memories to share and we say here at the school THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

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Stedman Gans of the Blitzbokke joins CoolPlay as an Ambassador

Gans, our first official rugby Ambassador, joined the South Africa Sevens' Academy at the end of 2016, and played for the team at the 2016 Dubai Sevens. In February 2017, he was named as an official reserve for the national sevens team for the 2017 USA Sevens tournament and a week later he was promoted to the main squad for the 2017 Canada Sevens in Vancouver.

Stedman is passionate about changing lives through sport and says "I firmly believe that sport has the power to change lives. I also believe in responsibility towards our immeadiate surroundings. And that responsibility is not only to not do bad but to do good when presented with the possibility. Live your best life!' We are so thankful that Stedman is choosing to do good with us!

He has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to following him on his rugby journey! He recorded a special message for CoolPlay, which you can see here!

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Champion Profile: Nokulunga Mvandaba
Player Profile (2).png

This month we would like to highlight Nokulunga as our Champion of the Month. Since joining CoolPlay this year she has worked tirelessly to come up with creative ideas to support her two netball squads. These ideas have included getting the girls to do vision boards and giving the girls various responsibilities on their respective teams. Most recently, Nokulunga has taken it upon herself to head up a weekly tutoring session on Saturdays to get the girls up to speed on their school work. 

It has been such a pleasure to see Nokulunga's interactions with her teams on and off the netball court. Well done and keep up the hard work!

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CoolPlay Mother | Daughter Netball Clinic 24 March 2018

A fantastic morning of CoolPlay games and drills with a twist was held on the 24th of March at Sarepta Primary School. It was a special day for many of the girls as their mothers also participated in the coaching drills, fun and games. The mothers got to experience first-hand the life lessons CoolPlay imparts onto their daughters and understand that there is more to a CoolPlay netball session than just being taught how to play the sport.

The afternoons proceedings started off with a short address by Mr Solomons (Headmaster of Sarepta) and CoolPlay Area Manager Luqman. Both placed emphasis on the life skills the girls are learning through participating in CoolPlay sessions. They encouraged the mums to get involved and enjoy the sessions that were being conducted.

There were four different stations; the first involved team work, the second avoiding conflict, the next one communication and the last touched on being resilient. Coach Luqman and Coach Damion also got involved, showing off their netball skills too!  Finally, the day’s proceedings ended with some very evenly and tightly contested netball matches. The group was divided into three teams that had a mixture of girls, mums and coaches! We could definitely see where some of the girls get their competitiveness from.

The matches though competitive were played in a good spirit and good sportsmanship was on display. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon where everyone involved learnt something new, whether it was a life skill they could use in the future or a netball skill! A big thank-you to our CoolPlay Champion Robynne for organising and running a very successful clinic. We look forward to running similar clinics in the future!

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Headmaster Profile: Raj Naidoo, Masibambane High School
Luqmaan Ismail, Mr Booysen, Mr Naidoo, Mrs JamJam & Johan Schlebusch

Luqmaan Ismail, Mr Booysen, Mr Naidoo, Mrs JamJam & Johan Schlebusch

What difference has CoolPlay made to your school?

CoolPlay came to our school when we were experiencing serious problems with gang fighting. We made a decision to employee coaches for netball, soccer and rugby to try and counteract the scourge of gangsterism. However, we could only afford to pay these coaches a nominal salary. These coaches were also not trained coaches but rather ordinary individuals who were unemployed and very passionate about sport. CoolPlay stepped in and offered training for these coaches in sport and the teaching of life-skills through sport, and this was especially valuable since our objective with the after school programme was to effect a change in behaviour. 

What effect has CoolPlay coaching had on kids in the classroom?

The most important thing about CoolPlay is its' emphasis on combining sports coaching with life-skills training. Learners are constantly being told the meaning of good discipline, commitment and values such as respect. This has resulted in learners changing not only their behaviour but also their attitude to educators, non-teaching staff and their school mates. 

What other benefits are there of an after school program like CoolPlay?

People may sometimes see sport and the academic programme of the school as two completely different entities, however this is utterly wrong as the skills used on the sports field such as listening, anticipation, momentum, effective communication and the values such as commitment and dedication are the very same skills and values required to succeed in the academic programme. 

What would you say to other school Headmasters on adopting CoolPlay?

Under-performing schools focus a lot of energy on the academic programme and are able to take their matric pass results into the seventies and eighties. They then reach a plateau and struggle to rise further. It is adopting a programme such as CoolPlay which helps effect behavioural change, attitudinal change and the successes the learners enjoy on the field helps build their confidence which translates into them having a positive self image which ultimately helps them improve in the classroom. 

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