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Department of Sport & Leisure Studies

Outreach programmes initiated by BSport Science student

By Salmar Burger

Posted on 29 March 2012

A BSport Science student has been doing various outreach programmes in a number of African countries since the beginning of the year.

As an own initiative, Shanna Rae Groenewald travelled to various communities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia. She visited schools and orphanages and worked with various foundations. Groenewald had the goal of using sport and exercise to develop basic skills in these communities. These range from basic motor skills, implementing sports programmes, building basic sports facilities, training coaches and even team building.

“I have had such an exciting and inspiring start to my year! For 2012 I have made no small plans, for they have no power to touch the soul. I'm dreaming BIG,” said Groenewald. Sport 4 Africa is a project that is aimed at developing sport in the various communities of four countries in Africa: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland and Namibia.

Groenewald believes that sport truly has the power to change the world, especially in Africa where it has not only the power to inspire but also the power to unite people in a way that little else can. Although this project is on a small scale, Groenewald has realised that even the little things can make a difference, and that the joy children derive from playing a game of soccer or hopscotch is priceless! "It is amazing to see how much one can do with so little. Initiative and enthusiasm go a long way to inspire these children whose lives receive so little attention, and who have neither the  chance to develop, nor the opportunity to try new things," thus Groenewald.

Groenewald recently returned from a trip to Swaziland where she conducted a coaching clinic for 30 coaches at the Usutu School in Mbabane. Groenewald also visited the Sandra Lee Orphanage and the Noah’s Ark Kids centre. There are plans to return to Swaziland for a more intense trip targeting 200 kids, as well as trips to Zambia in April and Zimbabwe in June. Closer to home Groenewald also has plans to be involved with a kids centre in Durban.

“Every moment is a gift and I have every intention to spend it on things that matter and that create happiness and joy!”

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