The Centre for Sport Leadership and Maties Sport, partnered with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), its Athlete’s Commission and other stakeholders including the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Western Cape Government, ASA, Netball SA, SARU and National Lotteries Commission to deliver the Commonwealth Games Federation Game Changers Programme from 5-7 May 2023. Participants from across Stellenbosch schools were given coaching in netball, rugby and athletics while team building activities by Love Life were also done in-between coaching sessions.
Head of the Centre of Leadership at Maties Sport, Dr Nana Adom-Aboagye expressed the importance of the event and hosting it in Stellenbosch: “Social impact is one of the focus areas of the university – to aid in advancing knowledge whilst being of service to society – in this case, our surrounding communities. Thus, as Maties Sport, we are being of service to our surrounding communities by providing opportunities for learners to get involved in sport, and to learn about the benefits of sport and physical activity.”
She went on to explain how social impact projects such as these are extremely beneficial to the broader Stellenbosch community. “Initiatives like this can be used as vehicles to attract learners and engage with them so that life skills can be imparted. Life skills are badly needed in many of our surrounding communities and if it can be done, whilst learners are having fun and perhaps identifying an individual with potential sporting talent, then that is even better,” she explained.
The need for projects like these are crucial now more than ever, with sport being a tool for change in the country. Adom-Aboagye calls out for people to partner with her office to bring more of these projects to the Stellenbosch community.
“We need more initiatives like this for communities in and around Stellenbosch. But Maties Sport, especially my office (Centre for Sport Leadership) cannot do it alone. Resources and manpower in putting such initiatives together are lacking and sorely needed, and hopefully, with time, we can gain support from those who are able, within the community. So that we can find ways to make such initiatives sustainable and use them as a platform to even possibly change the lives of a few who have the potential, in and through sport,” she concluded.