A Durban businessman flew down to Cape Town for a donation of sports equipment he helped to arrange for his old school in Hanover Park.
Earlier this month, Theo Wilcox saw an appeal on Facebook by Voorspoed Primary School principal Reginald Esau for soccer balls. Mr Wilcox asked Juven Rittles, manager of Unchain the Plain, a Mitchell’s Plain-based non-profit organisation that donates sports equipment to worthy causes, for help, and together they bought R5000 worth of soccer balls, cricket bats and balls, netballs, and tennis rackets and balls for the school.
Mr Esau said the pupils were thrilled with the new equipment.
“It will help sway them from joining gangs and standing on corners. This gives them the opportunity to develop skills, which will take them far in life and keep them out of mischief,” he said.
He appealed to those who could afford it to plough back into the communities they grew up in.
“Help these kids reach their goals and give back as much as you can.”
Mr Wilcox said: “Coming from Hanover Park, I believe sport is an excellent way of keeping the kids busy and occupied and from being active in any gangs and crime. I applaud the work that Juven Rittles and Unchain the Plain are doing in the communities. Complementary to sports activities, life skills can be imparted to the kids of impoverished communities.”
Mr Rittles said the government had failed children by not ensuring that school sport was just as available in poor neighbourhoods as it was in wealthy ones.
Instead of letting their children become addicted to screens, parents should encourage them to play sport as it benefited all aspects of their lives, he said.
“Our kids are treated as second-class citizens and not given the same opportunities as other pupils. We need to create an enabling environment for kids to be kids again and just play with a ball. They need space and they need equipment to make this happen,” he said.