More Bicycles for Masiphumelele

20171103_150017_preview.jpegLast week we reported the handover over of 22 bicycles to Ukhanyo Primary School, where a cycling club is being initiated. The same remarkable group of partners has also made a donation of 15 bicycles the Songezo Jim Cycling Academy, who are based at our Chasmay Road Campus. At Masicorp, we are incredibly proud of our partnership with the academy and to have the young cyclists coming and going and treating Chasmay Road Campus as their “home”! Songezo Jim himself will select 15 cyclists to receive these bicycles for participation in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour – there are already fifteen entries to the tour that have been registered.

20171103_144906_previewOur thanks once again to:

CLAREMONT ROTARY who donated R90 000 for the 15 bicycles, spare parts, clothing and equipment that are being handed over to Songezo Jim and have a remarkable track record of philanthropy across many spheres.

PEDAL POWER who have been promoting SAFE CYCLING for over 40 years and have been the mover and shakers to get cycle paths installed wherever possible.

THE CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR who as we all know, organises the world’s largest timed cycle race, raising money for a wide variety of projects. It must be a monumental task of organisation and logistics!

BEN BIKES who way back in 2002 began operating from a container on the Sosebenza site in Masiphumelele – now it is a double storey facility! BEN has handed out over 20 000 bicycles and trained 5000 people in safe cycling and bicycle maintenance. We must also thank those from BEN Masiphumelele who have been beavering away assembling the bikes prior to the handover.

QHUBEKA (a Nguni word meaning “to move forward, to progress”) – this organisation hands out bicycles countrywide for people to access schools, clinics, jobs….and run the projects to encourage people everywhere to CYCLE!   Their programmes include “Learn to earn” for kids and “Work to earn” for adults.

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AND TO THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED:

Ken Sturgeon and Ian Robertson of Claremont Rotary,

Ian Mills and Sithembiso Gwaza of Qhubeka,

Louis de Waal, Ken Sturgeon,Tim Mosdell and Gordon Laing of BEN,

David Bellairs and Ian Robertson of the Cape Town Cycle Tour and

Robert Vogel of Qhubeka

Songezo Jim and all at Songezo Cycling Academy

Sally Peterson of AWOL Tours, who also have a “home” at Chasmay Road Campus, and through whom Masicorp benefits from with funding every month.

A Cycle Club for Ukhanyo Primary School

The MCC MASI 750 Sports Club is expanding into cycling at Ukhanyo Primary School. Tim Mosdell of the Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) handed over 22 bicycles to head of department Sello Matloporo on Friday 20th October at the school assembly, on behalf of a collaboration of NGOs, including Masicorp, BEN and the following partners: Rotary Club of ClaremontPedal Power Association (PPA); Qhubeka; #Bike4All (a joint PPA BEN initiative); Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust (CTCTT) and Pedal for Peace.

The handover team of all invoved. Many thanks

It was probably the most memorable assemblies of the year ending with teachers, coaches and learners riding around the quad in celebration.

The Claremont Rotary Club have given a generous donation to both the MCC Masi 750 Sports Club and the Songezo Cycling Academy based at Chasmay Road Campus. They have further provided funding to support the required cycle training for Ukhanyo coaches and learners, after exams and during the holidays.

Tim Mosdell of Ben Bikes spoke at the school assembly saying

“We would like to thank Ukhanyo Primary for hosting this very special event where a fleet of 22 bicycles has been handed over in support of the establishment of a cycling club at the school. In particular, we would like to thank Sello Matloporo, the sports coaches, and all the learners for all their efforts in setting the groundwork for this project.

We would also like to acknowledge the role that MasiCorp has played in facilitating access to the school and community.

While this is a significant step in empowering learners through the use of bicycles, there is a lot more to come in terms of ensuring the sustainability of the project. Some of these activities include:

  • Providing bike maintenance training to the cycling club,
  • Running the “Cool Kid on a Bike” cycling safety program,
  • Running cycling related holiday programs at the school,
  • Providing more bicycles to the club as the club expands.

We are really pleased to be working in such a collaborative way with such a vibrant and enthusiastic community, and look forward to a very strong relationship going forward. Together we can make a huge impact in this community. We urge the learners at the school to get involved in the cycling club and the other sporting initiatives at the school and to have FUN!”

The Cycle Club is being geared to start its journey after training at the end of the 4th term. Take off will be in 2018.

Let’s Play at Ukhanyo School

Let’s Play is a corporate social responsibility initiative developed by SuperSport and partners to make more children passionate about sport and schools to encourage physical education. Children in South Africa are perceived as becoming alarmingly inactive and many schools do not even include Physical Education (PE) in their curriculum.   At Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele each child takes part in PE activities at least once a week. Their coach, Nceba Jonas (sponsored by Masicorp) works hard to instil a love of sporting activities in all the children under his care. The newly constructed sports court and sprint track at the school have greatly enhanced these sessions of course!

LETS-PLAY-2012-SiyadlalaThe Let’s Play Competition focusses on Grade 4 primary school children and has been developed to encourage and enhance a child’s physical skills of balance, agility, speed and co-ordination.   The incentive to the participating schools is the prize of a brand new sports court valued at R1.1m.    Children from all over South Africa take part each year and this year Ukhanyo Primary School entered for the first time.

A prior date set aside in April had to be postponed due to heavy wind and rain, but notification came through two weeks ago that a new date was set for the competition.   A number of Grade 4’s were chosen to take part and feverish preparations took place during the ensuing PE sessions.

There was thus great excitement at Ukhanyo Primary School on Friday morning 12 August.  The Let’s Play crew arrived to set up and as it was raining heavily, initially said that they could not run the competition as planned.   There was deep disappointment from all the assembled Grade 4 learners, so we scooped them up and drove them all to KFC for chips and Coke.   While on the way there a call came through to say “Come back! – we can do it after all”!

With tummies lacking chips and Coke (thankfully) they hurried back to school and re-assembled under the cover of the school hall (it was still raining lightly) and waited patiently while the obstacle course was set up. A great deal of explanation then took place, followed by demonstrations and practices. The course was deliberately complex and covered a number of key aptitudes that it became clear, are difficult for the children to grasp first time around. The boys and girls lined up separately and they were off, throwing and catching a rugby ball while jumping into coloured hoops, then a series of hopping over bars, rolling a soccer ball  and then a ‘potato race’ of sorts involving strict sequences. Each child took part twice and received a sticker after each go to avoid any avoidance or duplication.  In fact all the children were mad keen to take part!

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Coach Nceba played a critical part on the day and learnt from the whole exercise as did the Ukhanyo Primary School teachers who attended. The good news is that we scored well above average and the Grade 4’s of next year will be able to take part again, with a similar course, so Nceba will now be able put his PE classes through their paces with his new insight into the skills and concepts incorporated into the competition by the Let’s Play team.

We wait with bated breath to hear how Ukhanyo Primary School fared in comparison with other Western Cape schools who entered.

Maintaining the New Ukhanyo School Running Track

The new sports court and sprint track are up and running at Ukhanyo School. If you missed the video of the first set of sprints on the new surface you can catch up with the action HERE.

trackTo ensure that the surface is kept in perfect condition the suppliers informed the school that a high-powered blower or mechanical sweeper should be used to remove abrasive sand and grit from the surface. In the dusty environment of the school’s sports area such maintenance would help extend the useful life of the new surface. This is not something that the school (or Masicorp) had access to so we would like to extend a big thank you to Tool Hire and Sales Solutions (Sun Valley) MD Marc De Rooy who stepped in to provide a suitable machine. After visiting the site to check what was needed, they were able to provide a top notch Stihl BG56 hand held re-chargeable leaf blower, which Stihl and Tool Hire and Sales Solutions are sponsoring.  Marc has also kindly offered to give Melvin the school caretaker a lesson in how to operate it.

Carol Hanks and Penny Ramahloko from Masicorp called in yesterday to collect the new leaf blower. Penny is seen here collecting the equipment from Leigh Ann Burger, marketing director at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions. Our thanks to everyone at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions and Stihl for their generosity and help with making sports provision at Ukhanyo School possible.

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Elize’s Challenge for Ukhanyo Sports Field

After completing a number of long distance running events in recent years, including the Comrades Marathon on a number of occasions, this year Masicorp fundraiser Elize Taylor is tackling trail running. Elize has set herself a sponsorship target of R25,000 and is well on the way to reaching her goal.

24061056_22361Although still very much a novice she has been in training for several months and recently completed the first of three major events this year – AfricanX, which is held annually in the mountains around Elgin. The event was split into three stages, with Stage 1 covering a total distance of 36km and reaching a total ascent of 900m. Stage 2 covered 34km, but the total ascent on this leg of the race was 1100m, while Stage 3 saw the athletes covering a total distance of 22km with a total ascent of 800m. It sounds daunting but Elize completed it all with a time of 16 hours, 29 minutes and 12 seconds over the three days.

Next up (June 13th) is the Transfrontier Richtersveld trail run, which sounds even more daunting at 200km over 5 days. This race extends from South Africa to Namibia through the ancient arid landscape of the Ai Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

24059770_22363All funds raised are going towards Masicorp’s project to upgrade Ukhanyo Primary School’s sports field, which we discussed in our previous blog.  Masicorp has an excellent relationship with Ukhanyo Primary School, which takes all 1,600 of the township’s children aged 6 to 14. With Masicorp’s assistance the school has developed teaching facilities that are a benchmark for township schools, but their sports facilities remain limited. Masicorp have been successful in providing sports equipment and kits for the soccer, netball and cricket teams. However, the school sports field is in a terrible condition, and in places it is an uneven sandpit filled with rubble and broken glass. Masicorp have drawn up plans for a complete renovation. The first stage is to level the field, remove the rubble and prepare it for the construction of a multi-purpose sports field that can be used for netball, soccer and cricket. This is now complete but funds are urgently need to complete phase II, which involves the laying of turn and completion of a running track.

You can help Elize by contributing toward her project HERE.

Improving the Sports Facilities at Ukhanyo Primary School

Masicorp has had a sports programme in place at Ukhanyo Primary School for many years. Physical education is a crucial part of every child’s learning experience and we recognise that involvement in sport develops skills such as discipline, commitment, punctuality and loyalty, as well the health benefits. Our assistance has part funded the salary of Nceba Jonas, the local community coach, provided training equipment and transport to inter-schools competitions on a regular basis. Each child now receives two physical education (PE) lessons each week.

fieldThere is one very serious obstacle preventing the further expansion of sporting activity at Ukhanyo – the physical space available for sports is small and of poor quality. We have therefore started an ambitious plan to improve the situation by refurbishing existing facilities and seeking funding to develop the unoccupied land within the school boundary that is currently used as a playing field. The land was originally backfilled with builder’s rubble and covered with sand making it unsuitable for playing sports.

The first phase of the project – the refurbishment and remarking of existing facilities – is almost complete. We are currently undergoing fundraising for the next phase, which will see the development of the new multi-purpose sports courts and the laying of a new turf surface to the sports field.

A significant sum was recently raised by our UK team in an event that appropriately13010813_10154766652309167_6414238460217946362_n involved some well-known sportsmen from the rugby world. Our thanks go to UK fundraiser Alan McKelvey for recently hosting an evening with Ruan Pienaar (Ulster and South Africa international rugby scrum half) and Robbie Diack (Ulster and Ireland international rugby forward), who talked about life in South Africa and Ulster. The event was held at Belfast Harlequins Rugby Club and organised by Lisburn Rotary Club. Alan was the interviewer for an evening that saw over 100 people attend.

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As can be seen from the above picture of the meal time entertainment – the Lagan Sea Horses Male Voice Choir, the event was very much South African themed. The meal was complemented with South African wine and the diners enjoyed either an African stew or Cape Malay cuisine. Our thanks to everyone who attended and helped raise funds that will now go toward the second phase of the Ukhanyo sports field project – and of course our thanks to Ruan and Robbie seen here during the event.

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An Update from AWOL Tours

Back in November 2014 we were delighted to report on a formal partnership with AWOL Tours, who run bicycle based tours of Masiphumelele from the BEN bicycle shop in the township. AWOL generously agreed to donate R50 per paying guest on each of their tours, which is used to support early childhood development projects in the community. After a successful summer season we are pleased to report the donations received have exceeded R18,000.

cycle tour

The funds are used to support our Seedlings program that provides support to the pre-school children in the community, including the school visited on the cycle tour. In particular, the funds received so far have been used to support our “stay & play” initiative. The scheme is a mother & toddler club held at the Masiphumelele library. The funds from AWOL provide craft materials, equipment and the costs of support staff from the community.food

As part of the tour, AWOL guests also visit some of Masicorp’s business entrepreneurs including Nonny’s bakery for refreshments and Ndileka Biyo at the Pink house for souvenirs.

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Our relationship was further strengthened when AWOL recently employeIMG-20150520-WA0001d Zizipho Silwana as a sales consultant at their office in the V&A Waterfront. Zizi is a graduate from our bursary program and recently completed her studies in HR Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Zizi is seen here with her mother at her graduation ceremony in March of this year.

Hopefully it is a great help to have a resident of Masiphumelele to talk to potential clients at the offices. If you have not done the tour yourself yet why not call in for a chat with Zizi and book a place? There are more details on the cycle tour – and online availability checks – on the AWOL website HERE.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with AWOL and our thanks to all the tourists who take time to visit Masiphumelele on their travels through South Africa.