Annual Report – 2023
March 1, 2024

Chair’s Report

It is with immense respect and pride that I present my first report as Chair of CoolPlay. Stepping into this role has opened my eyes to the transformative power of sport for development, and the dedication of the people who make it happen.

2023 was a testament to the organization’s agility and unwavering commitment to serving the children and young people within the programme. Our operating model, including governance has been strengthened and we continue to be focused on our purpose. Facing challenges head-on, the team delivered on their promise, creating safe spaces through sport where children can learn, grow, and thrive.

This organization’s core strength lies not in sports drills and skills, but in the indomitable spirit of its Champions. These dedicated individuals are the true heroes of our story. They go beyond the field, becoming mentors, role models, and beacons of hope for the children entrusted to their care. Their ability to ignite potential, mentor and foster a growth mindset in each child is truly inspiring. From all of us one step away from the courts and fields – thank you!

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our Management Team of Tori, Carl and Damion, who steer the ship with skill and vision. My deepest appreciation also goes to my fellow Trustees and the Advisory Board for their unwavering support and strategic guidance.

Without our partners and funders, we wouldn’t be able to change over 2000 lives a year, thank you for believing in us.

We look ahead with optimism and purpose as exciting developments await us in 2024. We are determined to leverage the power of sport to empower even more children and young people to reach their full potential. Through innovative programmes, dedication and partnerships we will strive to build a brighter future, one child, one game at a time.

– Saleem Sonday



CEO Report

2023 was one of remarkable growth for our organization.

We’re proud to share some key highlights:

  • More opportunities for learning: We delivered 6,047 learning sessions, a 33% increase compared to 2022. This is split into 3,118 after-school sessions and 2,543 mini-sport sessions. The consistent delivery of sessions over 10 months of the year helps build a sense of security and enhances the connections to Champions and team-mates.
  • We reached more children and young people: Our participant numbers rose significantly, from 1,716 in 2022 to 2,771 in 2023! This growth has been seen mostly in the rise in Mini-Sport.
  • Recognized excellence: We were nominated as one of the best after-school sports programmes in the Western Cape by the Department of Culture, Arts and Sport – a testament to our dedicated staff, our dedication to quality programme delivery and our relationships with schools.
  • Event success: Our second annual event with Guernsey Finance, featuring Alan Committie, raised over R400,000 thanks to your incredible support. Impactful partnerships: We hosted two successful holiday programmes funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, reaching 188 children.Additionally, a successful CoolPlay Youth Day tournament, facilitated by the HCI Foundation and the Sport for Social Change Network. This event connected 200 children across Cape Town. Another impactful partnership that represents the CoolPlay culture is with Under Armour whose support is responsive, meaningful and genuine.

We are deeply grateful for the ongoing collaboration with our partners in the NGO space: MasiSport, Periods for Hope, HeadStrong, Laureus Sport for Good, Kariega Foundation, Kolisi Connect and TEAMPact. Thank you to Sentinel Trust for your diligent treasury management and for ensuring good governance practices.

Endless gratitude to Denis Handley for his invaluable financial expertise and support.

Thanks to the Advisory Committee: Gontse Tstatsi, JP Maurel, and Nokhulunga Mvandaba for your wisdom and dedication. And last but not least – thank you to our Trustees: Barry O’Mahony, Saleem Sonday, Ismail Teladia, and Dale Irvine for their commitment to the CoolPlay Way and for always holding the organisations interests at heart.

As we tackle 2024, we remain committed to providing a thriving environment for our Champions so that they are equipped with everything they need to make a positive impact in their communities and where the growth and wellbeing of every child in the programme is our ultimate priority.

Securing adequate funding remains a key challenge to ensure success and expand our impact . If you recognise the importance of confidence, empathy, values and resilience in a young person’s development – please consider supporting us!

-Tori Gardner