Picture: Fuad Esack
Damons, a qualified personal trainer, visited Bramble Way in Bonteheuwel, to encourage children to exercise and to live healthy.
Athlone News caught up with the fitness guru during a training session at the school.
And, as always, he was enthusiastic in his approach, encouraging the youngsters who gathered around, to get involved.
This, he said, was important because a healthy body translates to a healthy mind. Not that they needed much encouragement, the energetic workout music blaring from a soundbox got them going in no time. Their reaction was just the kind of positive response Damon was hoping for, as the children seemed to enjoyed every moment.
“I have been involved in a number of programmes, over the last couple of years. The important thing, for me and my organisation, is to help the children become better human beings. Children need guidance and we are there to provide that much-needed guidance,” he said.
Damons also noted that the event was the first of its kind in Bonteheuwel.
“We have hosted a number of such programmes, in Mitchell’s Plain, this being the first in Bonteheuwel,
“We were impressed with the reaction from the pupils. It was phenomenal,” said Damons.
He also noted that their programme had different avenues, which, he said, were designed to develop the children holistically.
He said last week’s event was one of the many that they were planning to host in the coming weeks.
“We target youngsters, especially teenagers. We try look at the child’s all-round being, including his or her medical history. Our society, especially our townships for instance, have a lot of chronic illnesses, like high blood pressure and the like. So, one of our roles is to raise awareness around that and more. That is why our activities involve a lot of motivational speeches,” said Damons.
But he was not alone in motivating the children in Bonteheuwel. With him was Hassiem Nusterdien, who described himself as a former drug addict.
Damons said Nusterdien’s testimony was a strong one. “Hassiem, having used drugs before, knows exactly what challenges teenagers face today.
He has a strong personality and also understands the meaning of positivity. That is one of the things that connected us. He always wanted to help wherever he could,” said Damons.
Nusterdien concurred, adding that his background had inspired him to help others.
“I grew up in the streets so, I was basically influenced by violence. That is why, when I got older, I wanted to make an impact, to be a positive role model. I was on the other side of the fence, so I know what it is like and that is why I want to teach the children how it is like to live better lives, “ said Nusterdien.
“It is easy, especially for teenagers, to be caught up in that kind of life. I realised that I had a problem and then looked for help.
That is what I am trying to teach the children, to face their problems and seek for help. Kids have to be kids, the youth have to be youth, at the end of the day,” he said.
Nusterdien also noted that one of the purposes of their programme was to create a space for the children to be able to go to school.
“We need less children in the streets. Children these days do not get the attention they deserve and that is why they try to impress everybody.
“That is where we get in and, most of the time, we deal which children with special needs. Our message is simple: the youth have to be youth, they should enjoy life,” said Nusterdien.