A group of seven NMMU human movement science students have enriched the sporting lives of pupils at the De Vos Malan Primary School in Schauderville.
Grant Gait-Smith, Delaine Christian, James Beyl, Mpembe Bohla, Emma Thomas, Langa Nobambela and Ayabonga Mlanjana were given the task of raising funds to put up structures and create activities to promote physical activity and overall health at the school.
The group introduced balance beams, a jungle gym and a steady cricket net facility, five-a-side soccer posts and painted style games in the school’s quad.
The project, called Passport to Health, was introduced by NMMU Professor Cheryl Walter.
Gait-Smith said the aim was to encourage physical activity at the underprivileged school.
“We did a needs analysis at the school and based on that we formulated a low-cost intervention that could we embark on to build a facility for the school,” he said.
“It’s also to show these kids that there are people out there who care about their wellbeing and that school is a wonderful place, a safe zone, and that education in the classroom and on the playground and sports field is impor tant,” Christian said.
The students also had to find sponsorship.
They hosted a touch rugby tournament at the Addo Polo Club and raised a substantial amount towards the building of the facility.
Although acquiring suf ficient funds to complete the project was a challenge, there were cash donations from family and friends and the main sponsor, Mega Mould International.
“They [Mega Mould] sponsored us with the conveyer belts for the cricket nets, but most of our funds came predominantly through our touch rugby tournament,” Mlanjana said.
A further donation was made by Pearson High pupil Nicola Stock, who raised R3 000.
“I think we can all learn from Nicola’s passion for helping others. If a 16-year-old is willing to assist, why shouldn’t the rest of the community?” Christian asked.
With the help of the school staff and prefects, the facility will be monitored and regulated.
The group said they would continue to be involved with the school.
“We’ve all been involved with the teachers and some have asked us to be involved in planning some functions such as their athletics day,” Bohla said.