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Initiative to support talented athletes

THROUGH the launch of the Wonder Kids programme, Khulasande Sports Development continues to defy the odds to give youth from the citrus farming community of Addo a sporting chance.

Over and above existing socio-economic challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult to implement sports development programmes in the township and rural communities of the Eastern Cape. Rather than to give up, this non-profit organisation has found innovative ways to maintain the support of essential items to beneficiaries during adverse times.

The Wonder Kids programme is a long-term athlete development programme that focuses on supporting talented track athletes from previously disadvantaged communities by providing them with access to professional coaching, training equipment, clothing, transportation and funds to participate in various provincial and national competitions.

“Each year, more and more talented athletes need further support,” said Thobela Thoba, director of Khulasande Sports Development.

“Since 2018, we’ve produced 13 provincial athletes who participated in various national competitions in Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and Paarl, with their travel and accommodation expenses being provided for by Khulasande, through our partnership with Grassroots Youth Development (GYD).”

The Wonder Kids squad comprises children who display exceptional athletic talent and are identified during the Khulasande Active Kids activations and selected by trained by coaches. These children have overcome insurmountable obstacles to pursue their sporting dreams and become part of the Khulasande Sports Development team where their skills can be nurtured.

The Khulasande Wonder Kids Programme currently has 20 beneficiaries from the citrus farming community of Addo and various townships in Nelson Mandela Bay. Athletes undergo daily, rigorous training to prepare them for provincial and national athletics and cross country championships.

According to Thoba, the squad includes four girls aged 12 - 17 that were selected to represent Eastern Cape Primary and High Schools as well as Eastern Province Athletics at various national events.

“To overcome the financial hurdles that could prevent the Wonder Kids squad from gaining access to competitions and supporting services, a crowdsourcing campaign has been registered on Sport4Change.

“This campaign allows anybody to contribute what they can and help change a life. The funds raised will be used to assist athletes with sports clothing such as sports bra’s, running shoes, spikes, socks and various training clothes,” said Thoba.

  • For more information about Khulasande or how to contribute to the programme, contact thobela@khulasande.org.za or donate via the Sport4Change campaign.
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