Meeting the Challenge to give back through golf
The Nedbank Golf Challenge’s drive to be a tournament that promotes a positive change in the surrounding communities was given true expression at the opening of a multi-purpose sports court at the Mphuphuthe Primary School in Ledig Village just outside Sun City on 14 October.
“The learners are so excited and appreciative. They have never seen such a structure in their village and this is going to make a big difference to their wellbeing as we do not have a proper sports field,” said Mphuphuthe’s principal, Ms Rachel Mdaki.
The court was installed by The Sports Trust and funded by the National Department of Sport and Recreation in partnership with Nedbank, Sun International and the Bakubung Platinum Mine. The leaders of the Bakubung Ba Ratheo Traditional Authority also attended the official opening.
“This contribution will never be forgotten. It is very important to the future of the learners as we believe in teaching and developing learners holistically. Learners who play sport and are physically fit can concentrate and perform better academically, and they are more responsible. We have been getting our learners to exercise on the piece of ground we have at our school, and they love to play netball and soccer by putting up makeshift goals. But now that all the learners in our community have this multipurpose sports court, it is going to take them to a new level.” said Principal Mdaki.
Hundreds of excited learners watched as the sports court was opened and sports kits were presented to the eight schools that will share the court, which is the first of its kind in the area.
The 450 learners at Mphuphuthe Primary School will be joined by hundreds of learners from seven other schools in the area who will share the facility, which is designed for the five sports codes of soccer, netball, volleyball, basketball and tennis, as well as for general exercise for all members of the community.
“As Nedbank we pride ourselves in our brand essence of money experts who do good and we’re committed to making a positive impact in communities across South Africa,” said Nthabiseng Matshekga, Executive Head Group Marketing at Nedbank.
“Sport is an integral part of nation building and we strongly believe that value creation starts with investing in education. As such, the Nedbank Foundation is further contributing R100 000 towards classroom renovations and technology equipment at Mphuphuthe Primary School. We’re confident that this, along with the sports court, will go far in inspiring the children and their teachers to imagine and work towards a brighter future for themselves and their community.”
The Sports Trust Golf Challenge, sponsored by Nedbank and Sun International, is played on the Monday following the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge and raises funds to nurture golf development and disabled golfing talent in South Africa's under-resourced communities through its support of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) and the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA).
“The enduring success of the Nedbank Golf Challenge is its ability to make an impact beyond the actual tournament,” said Matshekga.
Bakubung Platinum Mine’s Corporate Affairs Executive, Hamlet Morule, said: “Sport provides a conducive environment for socio-economic development in communities. It helps to eradicate social ills, contribute to the wellbeing of the society, foster gender equity, enhance inclusion of persons with disability, and build skills that promote employment and economic development. The inclusion of this sports project into the Bakubung Platinum Mine’s Social and Labour Plan 2019-2023 and partnering with other key stakeholders to execute the project is in line with the mine’s commitment to meaningfully contribute to the growth, development and sustainability of our communities.”
“The multi-purpose sport court is the perfect vehicle through which to enhance education through sport for our youth in South Africa, and we are proud to partner with our Trustees to bring these world-class facilities to communities.” said Anita Mathews, Executive Director at The Sports Trust.
Nocawe Mafu, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, said: “Our objective as the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa is to ensure South Africans remain physically active and have access to sports facilities. We are mandated with creating an enabling environment especially in previously disadvantaged communities. Access to sports facilities still remains a serious challenge. For us to have cohesive and sustainable communities, we have to ensure that our communities have access to sports facilities. I applaud all partners involved in this initiative.”