Cool to Lead – a breakthrough opportunity for Masiphumelele High School
By Vince van der Bijl
All 240 grade 8s in Masiphumelele High school were treated to a four-hour Cool to Lead workshop designed by Cool to Be Me, the pioneers and definitive experts on Social & Emotional Learning in South Africa. The workshop focuses on empowering learners to develop an awareness of their individual leadership potential; create an environment of mutual respect and appreciation and work collaboratively as leaders in their schools and communities. In addition, they are taught to make values-based decisions and engage in open, honest communication to reflect on their lives and what they are capable of.
The workshop, which is supportive, fun, creative and effective, opens the learner’s eyes to the possibilities that exist for them despite their living circumstances. For many, the experience was a breakthrough moment.
Luqmaan Ismail with Coolplay champions, Fesiwe Payi and Grace, led the four-hour workshop at the school. Two classes were workshopped each day for three days.
The feedback from the senior grade 8 teachers to me was immensely positive:
The discussions on leadership opened our eyes
The learner’s individual involvement engaged them fully
Communication and being open to revealing their concerns, fears and what they wanted from life was so important
This is of lasting value and can be used by the teachers too
So valuable and interesting – it shook me a little
Living by your values stood out for me – even in these difficult conditions
It taught me that I could decide my own future and walk my own path
Gave me real hope for the future
This course will be held for Grade 7s at Ukhanyo and grade 8s at Masi High School in the first term of every year. Bless you Coolplay. You have walked with us from the start and are an essential partner in the MCC Masi 750 Club’s drive to produce a positive next SA generation.
The two organizations have identical visions and purpose and subsequently, work so fluently together. We really do want the same outcomes. Coolplay has trained the MCC Masi 750 Club and Coolplay coaches to teach life skills and integrate it into each sports training and match session. The programme has been developed by Social & Emotional Specialist, Linda Bruce.
Coolplay is a Laureus backed NGO, who use sport to teach life-skills to school children often lacking in stable and supportive family structures. Their vision is to create positive and lasting change in the lives of children, their schools and the communities in which they live. They want to develop a child’s social and emotional capabilities, and by doing that improve immeasurably the chances of that child’s life success.
Finally, Coolplay and the MCC Masi 750 Club believe sport provides the ideal environment for the learning and development of disadvantaged youth. However, only if it is taught with life skills – and with the educational backing of the schools and their staff.
Each Coolplay training session has a sports objective, and a life skills objective, which are closely related so that the sport can be used to emphasize and demonstrate the life lesson. This series of drills and games was made in collaboration between a child psychologist (addressing social challenges like HIV/Aids, abuse/bullying, peer pressure, depression, and gang warfare) and a Sports Scientist.
The aim is to use this life skills sports skills technique to improve a child’s resilience, academic performance and mental and physical health. This with the joy of practicing sport, playing matches and learning to work within the team for something greater than oneself is what really matters? It will in turn build confidence to be able to open doors and create opportunities.
Sport alone can produce some great players. Education, Sport and life skills is the real life-changer.
All these life skill elements are essential in assisting those from underprivileged environments so that they are able to develop the strength, vision and self-belief to become better people, players and citizens.
It is through these partnerships that Ukhanyo has been able to flourish and the magic woven by Masicorp, Coolplay, Cool to Be Me, Goodsport, Sporting Chance, BenBikes, Quebeka, PedalPower, CTCT, Rotaries, Foundations, individuals with MCC Masi 750 Club. This magic is now being extended the Masiphumelele High School.
While this is always a work in progress, the dedication of the staff at both schools and all these organizations year in and year out makes real change to the community of Masiphumelele possible.
Thanks to each of you and we look forward to another exciting and fulfilling year. Please keep your support coming.