April 2024.

As a means to nurture sports talent and provide safe environments for children to engage in physical activity in the Naledi Local Municipal area, a community Sports Coaches Development Programme was launched in 2023. Now in its second year, this initiative aims to extend its impact by training and placing coaches in local primary schools for an additional three years, providing access to quality sports programmes and opportunities for youth within the community.

Over the next three years, the programme is set to extend its support to 15 primary schools within the Naledi Municipality, offering continuous training and mentorship to coaches and fostering a culture of sportsmanship and teamwork among children.

This initiative builds directly upon the success of its inaugural phase, during which the programme concentrated on football. A total of 18 coaches received training through the SAFA (South African Football Association) Accredited D-License, a testament to the programme’s commitment to high standards. Subsequently, these dedicated individuals were assigned across primary schools, high schools, and community clubs within the Naledi Municipality, with a notable 11 coaches embarking on their journey in primary schools.

“By prioritising our support for local primary schools, we aim to instill a love for sports in children from an early age, setting them on a path towards lifelong participation and excellence. The goal is to move the sports-focused primary schools, toward sport-focused high schools where scholarships and other funding assistance could be explored for identified learners,” explained Claire Phutieagae, Community Liaison Officer for Waterloo Solar, which funds this programme in partnership with the Naledi Local Municipality Sports unit; Department of Education; Department of Arts, Culture, Sports, & Recreation; the Basketball, Netball, Cricket federations and a chess NPO.

Furthermore, a strong focus will be placed on monitoring and evaluation, so coaches can be confident in the progress of their players, as well as facilitate a smooth transition for learners into higher sporting facilities and education institutions.

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