School-Based Project a Catalyst for Positive Change in Lavender Hill
“Learn to turn obstacles into opportunities, respond positively to challenges and rise above your circumstances to become a success”. This was the message that encouraged learners at Lavender Hill Secondary School to actively make changes to their lives at the launch of a pilot project on Wednesday, 23 January 2012.
The project, called FUTURE CREW, is an initiative led by the school, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Virgin Active South Africa and others. It aims to promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle through the establishment of school gymnasiums while also developing life skills and discipline through mentorship and coaching.
Ms Chantel Rall of Virgin Active South Africa says by engaging with learners in sport and sharing knowledge, this initiative will also help create employment opportunities by identifying talent, and then harnessing and tapping into it. The project will be rolled out to an additional five schools over the next two years.
The designated schools are all located in disadvantaged areas where gangsterism and drug abuse are rife and alternative lifestyle choices are most needed. The schools are KwaMfundo High (Khayelitsha), Leiden High (Delft), Fairmont High (Grassy Park) and the Western Cape Sport School (Kuils River). They also form a key part of the Department’s Mass participation, Opportunity and access, Development and growth (MOD) programme.
Speaking at the launch, the brand ambassador of the project and former Springbok rugby player, Ashwin Willemse, motivated the learners by taking them on a journey through his life by sharing with them how he managed to make better choices and become successful, even in the worst of situations. “It’s for you to determine your success by taking action and then make a difference,” he highlighted.
The Department also praised this initiative. The Chief Director of Sport and Recreation, Adv. Lyndon Bouah said that the Department wants to see sport and recreational development in action and that it is evident here. “This initiative is a clear example of our vision of an active, creative and social inclusive province. This project will definitely make a difference, as learners from schools in the area are enthusiastically participating in our MOD programme,” said Bouah.
The principal, Mr Faseeg Manie, thanked the partners who have been instrumental to make everything possible. “I’m confident that the project will inspire many learners that it’s possible to come from a disadvantaged community and still dream big. It will enable us to work with our partners to create tomorrow’s champions that are both active and employable.”