Pupils already shining in sport, cultural arena

Dramatic intervention sees turnaround, official opening of town’s first public high school

Grade 11 pupil Sinethemba Mooi is a rising star in martial arts.
Grade 11 pupil Sinethemba Mooi is a rising star in martial arts.
Image: Judy de Vega

Jeffreys Bay Comprehensive High School has recorded many proud achievements in the first two terms of this year.

These included pupils competing in athletics on a district level, with tourism and Afrikaans teacher Kobus Henning putting them through their paces.

Former Springbok athlete and rugby player Henning used to coach the likes of Llewellyn Herbert, Alwyn Myburgh and Ockert Cilliers, and was the training partner of Olympic sprint star Carl Lewis when he lived in Santa Monica.

So to say that these young athletes are in good hands is an understatement.

Henning, who also coaches rugby at the school, has recently been appointed as Jeffreys Bay Rugby Club coach.

One of the school’s talented rugby players under Henning’s wing, Grade 10 pupil Damien Ruiters, from Mandela Bay, has been included in the Craven Week team. 

 

“My big dream is to become a Springbok one day,” said Damien, who says Henning’s motivation and “great coaching” had helped him tremendously.

Another achiever is Grade 11 pupil, Sinethemba Mooi, from Ocean View, who broke the South African record in high kicking at the recent NMA-ISKA Eastern Cape Tournament hosted at the school by sensei Buks Coetzee’s Raptors Mixed Martial Arts.

Mooi, who only started doing kickboxing with Coetzee and sensei Jacques Dennis from Raptors at the school since the beginning of this year, also won a silver medal for points fighting and a bronze medal for power breaking in his weight division. His achievements have seen him qualifying for the South African championships in Stellenbosch later this year.

This Saturday, the school will also host the Earl Hill Open chess tournament.

The school’s team consists of 45 chess players who are coached by Celestine Stuurman, wife of Springbok chess player Petrus Stuurman.

The sky’s the limit with care and support

Jeffreys Bay Comprehensive High School pupils Linomth’ilanga Ngeleza, 18, and Likhona Mani, 16, enjoy a game of chess.
Jeffreys Bay Comprehensive High School pupils Linomth’ilanga Ngeleza, 18, and Likhona Mani, 16, enjoy a game of chess.
Image: Judy de Vega

Jeffreys Bay Comprehensive High School is one of 17 schools in the Sarah Baartman Education District circuit chosen to pilot the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme.

The programme is ably coordinated by life orientation teacher Janet Dennis who has been with the school since inception in 2015.

“It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be part of this historic school which brings pupils from diverse backgrounds together. It serves as a good example of a school providing a platform for nation-building,” Dennis said.

CSTL is a South African Development Community (SADC)-initiated programme adopted by the Department of Basic Education.

This 10-pillar holistic programme provides a framework for the initiation, coordination and expansion of a range of care and support policies implemented in schools, such as the National School Nutrition Programme, the HIV/Aids Life Skills Education Programme and the School Safety Programme.

In Jeffreys Bay Comprehensive High School, the delivery of the integrated package of services has been going from strength to strength with the aim ultimately to improve education outcomes.

The school’s nutrition programme is boosted by a lush vegetable garden which was established with the aid of Vlakteplaas Quarry and is being maintained by Pauline Plaatjies and Grade 8 pupils.

The vegetables are not only used in the school’s kitchen to provide one nutritious meal a day for pupils, but are also sold at a reduced price to the surrounding Ocean View community.

With music being one of the pillars of the programme, the school has also seen the establishment of a 60-pupil choir at the beginning of this year.

Under the guidance of teachers Xoliswa Mapoloba and sisters Nondumiso and Nosiphiwo Magadla, the choir has already competed on provincial level in Umtata.

Kouga Jazz Ensemble co-founder Daniel Hutchinson has also been roped in to teach choir members how to play various instruments to enhance their performance and musical skills.

Sister departments of the DoE, which include health and social development among others, as well as the SAPS, also play a pivotal role in the programme, visiting the school to provide dental check-ups, sanitary pads, the services of social workers and safety awareness.

This article was written in partnership with the Eastern Cape Government. 

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