Being a vessel of change and bringing hope to the hopeless is 28-year-old Johannes Molepo’s driving motto for his life. He and 10 fellow PlayMakers have successfully completed the one-year Sports Administration learnership and leadership programme at Diepsloot Safe-Hub III. To honour their achievement, a ceremony was hosted at Tsogo Sun’s Montecasino, one of the Safe-Hub’s key sponsors. Other Diepsloot Safe-Hub partners include CATHSSETA, Knorr Bremse, and Laureus.
The PlayMakers are the frontline coaching staff at the Safe-Hub and they deliver all after-school programming to the various age groups at the facility. A primary requirement for every PlayMaker accepted on the programme, all of whom are from Diepsloot, is a commitment to change their communities and be positive role models to children and youth. Molepo, who echoes the sentiments of the PlayMaker programme, says he values the chance to learn. “We never have a perfect start in life and improving and success come with learning. By providing a chance to learn, we empower ourselves and others. The Safe-Hub gives us the opportunity to change young people’s lives through sports development – a child in sports is a child out of court.”
The Diepsloot Safe-Hub programme has been operating at Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot since February 2016 and is delivered by AMANDLA EduFootball through a funding partnership with Montecasino at an investment of more than R4 million over three years. This year it provided 640 local youngsters from grades R to matric regular access to a safe environment for facilitated sports, arts, life skills lessons, personal development, and the opportunity for a better future. The Safe-Hub also runs the successful Night League programmes for 100 young men from the community, aged 19 and over, to play soccer on a Friday night. The PlayMakers (three boys and eight girls) between the ages of 18 and 27 worked at the Safe-Hub throughout the year with the children in the various activities, gaining valuable work experience and training to become more employable.
Their learnership included NQF level 4 in Sports Administration, and the entire 2017 PlayMaker intake graduated with pass rates of 75-95% on all assessments. They also completed training in First Aid Level 1, a SAFA Referee course and a SAFA coaching D-Licence course, the EduFootball Programme concept and tools, values integration & culture, child protection, and health, safety & security courses, basic computer literacy, as well as AMANDLA #MakeYourPlay workshops that cover facilitation, conflict resolution, relationship building, goal setting, professional communication, sexual harassment, CV writing, interview skills and financial management, to assist in their successful transition to future employment, education, or training.
Nomawethu ‘Wewe’ Sokoyi, head of facility at the Diepsloot Safe-Hub, says, “Our 2017 PlayMakers worked hard at implementing our programmes at Diepsloot and they built strong, caring relationships with the young participants, positively impacting their lives. They embraced the opportunity to practically apply their learnings in a professionally-managed workplace on a daily basis – and their professional conduct steadily improved throughout the year, which was assessed with quarterly reviews by line management.” She adds that the PlayMakers were also trained in the importance of being brand ambassadors and role models of the Safe-Hub values within their communities.
PlayMaker Olebogeng Moumakwe 21, loves working with the female programme participants. She grew up in Diepsloot and is proud to be seen as a role model in her community. PlayMaker Lerato Mogodiri also 21, wasn’t sure she would be accepted as she has no sporting background. “But after a couple of weeks of interacting with the managers and training, I realised we are not only about sport, but about bringing change in the community using sport as a tool.” She says AMANDLA has been a great learning platform for her. PlayMaker Letlhogonolo Tsiane says she applied for the PlayMaker position because she loves sports, and adds, “AMANDLA has made me see life differently as I no longer see soccer as a sport but as a factor that brings together different people. I now see myself as a coach who has positively impacted children’s lives and as a good role model.”
Sokoyi emphasises the value of working at the Safe-Hub. “Interacting with our participants on a daily basis is one of the biggest joys of our jobs, and their young faces are a constant reminder that each moment is an opportunity to amaze, create a smile, bring hope and make an impact.”
Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, is proud of Montecasino’s involvement with the highly beneficial Safe-Hub in the nearby Diepsloot community. “Over the course of the year, through Montecasino’s contact with the Safe-Hub, it has been wonderful to see the PlayMakers thriving in the programme, and working so effectively with the young learners in the Safe-Hub programmes.” He congratulated the PlayMakers on successfully completing the 2017 course and wished them much success in the future. “You have done us all proud and you have made a difference in many young lives through your hard work and commitment to the programme. We trust that wherever your life journeys take you, you will always be excellent role models of the excellent values you learned as PlayMakers.”
Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 100 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles. For more information on Tsogo Sun’s Citizenship initiatives, visit tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter @TsogoSun or like on Facebook /TsogoSun