Cape Town -The
picturesque setting of Muizenberg beach in Cape Town played host to 50 young
leaders from across Africa as the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation South
Africa used the power of sport to celebrate Freedom Day.
The enthusiastic leaders from South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Uganda and
Mauritius, participated in two engaging and exciting programmes, Waves for
Change Surf Therapy and Vuka Rugby, as part of the Laureus Youth Empowerment
Through Sport (YES) programme for 2015.
Laureus launched YES in 2011 to equip young leaders in Africa with the
skills and inspiration to effect positive change in their communities by
sharing valuable life-lasting lessons and principles that sport embodies.
The young leaders, many of them unable to swim or in the ocean for the
first time were introduced to the world of surfing and the Muizenberg waves by
Waves For Change Coach and YES Graduate, Apish Tshetsha, and Brandan Lobonne, a
YES Leader from Mauritius who uses surfing to target social issues. Vuka rugby
coach and YES Pioneer (2nd year) participant, Tisetso Masobe, then
led a game of touch rugby, teaching life skills and teamwork through the sport
YES Project Manager, Gita Carroll, commented: “Our successful candidates
are selected from a range of sport for social change projects across Africa.
They all share a true passion for sport and desire to mentor their peers and
uplift their communities”.
young leaders aged 18-25 from South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda, Kenya and
Mauritius making time for a photo op at the Waves for Change Surf Therapy site
on Muizenberg Beach before braving the cold for a surf
Speaking at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, Morne Du Plessis, Chairman of
Laureus South Africa, said: “Freedom day is a day where we could vote for
the first time as one country, I remember actually standing in a queue waiting
for the vote to be counted, I was actually sorry when it ended, it was a
feeling of being born again in that queue. It was a privilege.
“There are so many lessons, teamwork, dedication and effort which can
be learnt through sport. Sport has the power to change the world, it’s our
motto, I’ve lived through the 1995 Rugby World Cup which has become legendary
but I see the same thing through our programmes like YES today.”
Waves for Change Programme Manager Aphiwe Tshethsa said: “When I first started surfing I couldn’t swim
and the sport has given me so much. If I had one message today it would be to
hold on to Mandela’s legacy because what saw today was a true definition of
what Mandela meant when he said ‘nothing is impossible’.”
Sport for Good Foundation, Chairman Morné du Plessis and YES leaders after a
game of touch rugby
Lungelo Payi Vuka Rugby Programme Manager said: “It is an important
day and it is marked by a special celebration. We’re here and we’re engaged by
sport, it’s an absolute privilege.”
Waves for Change is a Surf Therapy & Mentorship programme for
violent communities which uses the sport of surfing to help stabilise young
people effected by emotional and psychological trauma.
Vuka Rugby, project is a multi-layered competition that aims to get as
many kids in the township and Cape Flats areas off the streets and on to the
sports field. The project targets 56 schools, many of whom have not played
rugby in recent years, and are setting up a league that is played every
Wednesday in their own areas. This competition is called VUKA which means
For more information on the YES programme and other Laureus supported
African projects, please contact: Gita Carroll on email@example.com.
For more information on Vuka Rugby, Waves for Change
and Laureus South Africa visit: www.laureus.co.za/