Back in action in the Eastern Cape
March 15, 2022

CoolPlay Operations Manager Luq travelled to Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape in March 2022 to engage with our partners at the Kariega Foundation who employ community coaches and SEL facilitators to run a Youth Development Programme across three communities that neighbour Kariega Game Reserve. Sport is an integral part of this programme and all six Kariega Foundation coaches serve as local Champion coaches.

The Kariega Game Reserve is the largest employer in the Kenton-on-Sea area and the Kariega Foundation was established to enhance the wellbeing of the surrounding local communities. This is done through enterprise development, education, and youth development with the aim of protecting and conserving the natural heritage of the Eastern Cape.

CoolPlay was set to launch in the area in 2020, however the instability of COVID-19 meant that sessions and sport couldn’t continue as planned.

Luq with Champions

Despite a two-year pause, CoolPlay in partnership with the Kariega Foundation is well and truly back on the agenda in 2022. We’re thankful for our relationship with Lindy Sutherland (Bruce) and her brilliant team from the Kariega Foundation for their commitment to get children back onto the sports fields and courts.

Training took place over two days, which included CoolPlay Curriculum training, Child Protection, Gender Equity and Monitoring and Evaluation. The seven Champions had already received the foundation training of Social and Emotional Learning through Lindy, so it was a natural next step to learn how to deliver the concepts within a sporting context.

The trip culminated in a Community Sports Day on Saturday 12 March where 250 children from the area came together for a morning of healthy competition, playing soccer, rugby and netball. The life-skill focus weaved into all the matches was the POWER of DIVERSITY which is a key theme from Coaching Card Number 4. Pre-match warm up games also focused on the use of teams using BUILDER WORDS as a way of encouraging team spirit.

CoolPlay & Kariega Foundation Community Sports Day – 12 March 2022

Gender Equity was also a key theme throughout the day, as mixed teams of boys and girls took to the netball courts for well matched competition.

Huge thanks to Spar, Impi Visser and STBB (Cape Town) for the generous contributions towards the day and for sponsoring the wholesome meals given to all the learners.

We received feedback from Kariega CoolPlay Champion Oza on his role within the Kenton community:

Oza – Kariega Champion

I became a coach because I feel the need to give what I have to my community and also share my experience and love for Netball. I love helping, supporting, encouraging and giving credit.  I started out coaching a team in my community that didn’t have a coach, and the respect I got from doing that made me more confident and I became interested in doing more. 

Seeing all the different personalities working towards one goal was one of the other things that made me love what I was doing. There were ups/downs during COVID but I never gave up because I wasn’t doing it for myself, I wanted to help the kids and the youth in the community.

After attending the CoolPlay training I have learned the best strategies that I can use to achieve my mission and I am confident that I will accomplish this. The CoolPlay coaching cards have given me a clear picture of how I can coach on the field during practice and at matches. They will also help when I teach Social & Emotional Learning in the classroom.The CoolPlay Way will help me to coach my team, but there are also skills that I can apply to my personal life.”

We look forward to working and learning with the Kariega Foundation and making a positive impact on the community through the power of play.