Ukhanyo Primary School and Masiphumelele inspire UK school
By Vince van der Bijl
Project leader of the MCC Masi 750 Club
5 netball teams, 2 rugby teams and a girl’s hockey team (89 pupils and 19 teachers in all) from Perins Community School in Surrey, UK, enveloped Ukhanyo Primary School, Masiphumelele and the South Peninsular Valley on 26/27 July. It was a sporting extravaganza.
They came bearing sporting gifts for both Ukhanyo PS and Masiphumelele High School as well as fully integrating with the Ukhanyo kids and the staff in class on Friday 26thJuly. They then played 5 netball matches (against Masi HS, Ocean View HS and Ukhanyo) and two rugby matches against the Masiphumelele HS teams on Saturday 27th July.
Tom Shepherd, the head PE coach, said “our kids were inspired by the verve, talent and enthusiasm of the Masi youth. It was an incredible experience that will long remain with our players and our coaching staff”
One of the Perins netball players told me that the visit had completely changed her attitude to school. Never had she seen such enjoyment and zest for life at a school – just breathtaking! She was determined to show the same attitude from now on. What an extraordinary tribute to Ukhanyo.
The Perins group was taken to the English, Math’s and Science Labs, run by the NGO, Masicorp, who have been dedicated to Masi for more than 20 years. These labs are key to the improved academic results of the school
Many of the netball girls left in tears as they had connected so strongly with the young learners at Ukhanyo. It was very moving. The Perins boys were hardier (!) yet equally moved and they never missed an opportunity to play a spontaneous game of touch rugby or soccer with the township kids. The fun was never ending.
The Perins scholars also assisted Nceba Jonas and his instructors in conducting PE lessons. After school the Perins team gave a hockey demonstration and their team then coached 18 Ukhanyo kids for their very first hockey lesson. Hockey now will be added to the Ukhanyo school programme, bringing the number of sports that girls can play for the school to six! In 2017 there was just athletics and netball – now they can also choose soccer, cricket, cycling and hockey!
Darren Clark, chairman of the Masiphumelele Rugby Club, conducted a human movement hour with the Perins and Ukhanyo rugby teams. Basic running and balance so essential for all sport and he mentioned that speed over 10 yards now is an essential element for successful players.,
On Saturday 27th seven matches took place. The 5 netball matches on the new Ukhanyo courts (Perins against Ocean View HS and Ukhanyo teams) and two inaugurated the new Masiphumelele High School netball court (Perins vs Masi HS), donated by the Rolf-Nussbaum Foundation. The local teams ended 3- 2 up and all 10 teams from the Valley and the UK enjoyed a SA boerewors braai cementing relationships.
The two rugby matches (under 15 and 16) were hard tussles. The Masiphumelele HS team included boys from both Ocean View and Ukhanyo schools so it was a real community sporting celebration and those matches ended 1-1. The rugby teams applauded each other through their man-made tunnels after the fierce contests. A braai at the Masi rugby club concluded this epic weekend.
The Masi community held their own against the strong UK teams illustrating the talent and sporting passion in the South Peninsular. It also showed the strength of the coaching at the three schools.
The Perins coaches stressed that sport gives their kids a more rounded education, helped mould them in making better life choices and revealed to them their overall potential. “Sport gives them confidence and a sense of their worth” Tom said.
Michael Thyali, Principal of Ukhanyo commented “Sport has been a game-changer at our school. Bless everyone who is involved”.
Tom Ledsham, PE head instructor of Perins said that they will be back every two years.
We look forward to them returning to the South Peninsular as well as us including Sun Valley and Fish Hoek HS in the match schedule. The Rainbow Valley at work.