New Sports Coaches Getting Involved at Ukhanyo Primary School

Visitors to Ukhanyo School are sure to have noticed the big changes in PE that have taken place since the MCC Masi 750 Sports Club launched a few months ago. The first change is the number of staff involved in delivering sports education to the learners. Through volunteers and staff at the school there are now 14 coaches participating in addition to project leader Vince van der Bijl himself.

Pam enthusing the kidsHead coach Nceba Jonas remains in charge of Athletics, Soccer, Netball (together with Fez Payi the vice-capt. and Pam Ngcwama as a coach) and there is now a cycling club (Kwanele Lunga, the vice capt. with Nokuthula Gomba (Tula) and Vuyiswa Ninyusa (Lola) as coaches)

Sports coordinator Teddy Nyali is in charge of administration, head of rugby (Frank Charlie, the vice capt. and Xolani Mahlulo as coach) and cricket (Sergio Presence and Jade Schoeman as vice-capts.) and for mini-cricket (Vuyolwethu Gunguluza (Vuvu) and Lubabalo Peter as vice-capts.)

Five educators from the school have voluntarily put their names forward to coach after school. The most exciting shift. David Lewis, a seasoned cricket coach, ex cricketer and businessman attends every practice and assists with mentoring the cricket coaches

 The start of things to come

All 14 fulltime and part-time sports coaches at Ukhanyo workshopped and have agreed on The Coach Code of Behaviour. It has both key words and the actions which sets the approach required for competitive and fair sports activity.

Some examples of the key performance indicators are to lead by example, be respectful at all times, positive attitude, team first always, and of course to win with humility and lose graciously

As well as the learners at the school, the programme is assisting with the personal development of the coaching team themselves. Vince and Nceba recently attended a day of the Elite Sports Summit in Cape Town which featured high performance directors from the Great Britain Cycling team, Manchester City Academy, Blue Jays Baseball Academy in Canada, a sports psychologist from Australia, a 7s rugby coach who took Fiji to a gold medal in the Rio Olympics, Gary Kirsten and Jean de Villiers.

Nceba and Vince

The day gave the pair a broad and deep perspective of how the best in the world run sports performance coaching and disciplines.

Good Progress with Art Therapy

We recently reported on the introduction of art therapy into our ECD provision in Masiphumelele. Under the guidance of Yandiswa Mazwane, a local art therapist from Masiphumelele, the program has proven to be a big success. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Art therapy for children can provide youngsters with an easier way to express themselves since children are more naturally artistic and creative. For example, a young child is likely to be more comfortable initially expressing him/herself with some crayons and markers than they would be at expressing emotions and feelings through words.

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The program has been running with between 20 and 39 children and was initially based on our stay & play group at the library, but has since expanded to include Masi Educare. The children have been able to work with paper, ink and even clay. Yandiswa explains the benefits of this:

In this session I have noticed self-respect and respect for others is shown strongly. Children are learning to respect their own individuality, uniqueness, creative expression and to respect the creative work of others. This was very surprising because normally they will want to touch and take from each other, but with clay everybody was focusing on decorating their craft work and there was silence at some point. Although they were shown what to do with clay their confidence in showing their own capabilities was surely there. In this way, this is how we see them developing their art making skills and at the same time developing confidence. Working without comparing themselves to others was my highlight.

Another activity the children have participated in is the Thankful Turkey. Again Yandiswa explains the benefits:

We have used the following materials cardboard paper, bright colour papers, scissors, glue and colour pencils. They were asked to think of people who make them feel special and think of special times. They were asked to write or draw these person’s names on the wings on feathers of their turkey.  On their list appeared lots of moms, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, and one or two dads were written. Children were asked to think about Christmas time and their birthdays and share what comes to mind first. This brought some excitement to them and they began to shout out loud for cake new clothes, present and toys. Again, there were very quiet kids that we needed to get closer to and have one on one conversations about what happens at home during those times of the year and goes back to their parent’s unemployment and poverty.

One of the beauties of art as therapy is the ability for a person to express their feelings through any form of art. For children at the pre-school level this is not only a learning experience, but is also helping their teachers to identify and help those learners that may need extra attention.

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