Fight with Insight and Jumping Kids each awarded first prize at the 2019 Jack Cheetham and Letsema Sports Development Awards!
Johannesburg, South Africa – Fight with Insight and Jumping Kids, were each awarded first prize at the Jack Cheetham and Letsema Awards, hosted by Murray & Roberts.
The Jack Cheetham Award was initiated by Murray & Roberts 39 years ago in recognition of the special qualities of Jack Cheetham, a former director of the company and the inspirational captain of the South African cricket team in the 1950s who was able to instil in young people the belief that they could win.
The award targets sports development projects, focusing on individuals or teams that have the potential to be champions.
The Murray & Roberts Letsema Award was first awarded in 2009 following the outstanding performance of athlete Hilton Langenhoven who captured the attention of the world at the 2008 Paralympics in Athens. This award recognises sports development projects for people with disabilities.
In its 39th year, the awards recognise and celebrate development projects that impact and transform the lives of young people from at-risk communities through sport. The Jack Cheetham Award commemorates able-bodied athletes and the Letsema Award, differently-abled athletes.
Fight with Insight, winner of the Jack Cheetham Award is an open-access boxing gym that creates a safe place for the children of inner-city Johannesburg. With a focus on the boy child, the programme aims to develop responsible men and to end the cycle of violence. The Fight with Insight approach provides a life skills programme to all children who attend the gym, as well as mentorship to access opportunities in education and employment.
Jumping Kids, winner of the Letsema Award, provides amputees and children with limb mobility deficiencies the tools to be successful contributing members of society through access to prosthetic and mobility devices, education and training, and sporting opportunities and coaching. Having the physical confidence to navigate the barriers in their communities, develops capable youngsters better able to access schooling, bursaries and the opportunities that become available with education.
First runner up of the Jack Cheetham Award was Amandla Safe-Hub, a world-class facility that provides a physically and emotionally safe space for young people to access services, opportunities and support from strong role models through a soccer-based after-school programme. Second runner up was CoolPlay, an initiative that uses netball and rugby alongside the CoolPlay ethos to provide participants with social-emotional learning, enabling them to navigate the challenges they face.
First runner up of the Letsema Award was Mandeville Para-Swimming, which has a focus on special needs and disadvantaged schools, encouraging learners to adopt swimming as a sport and has produced several medallists across national competitions. The second runner up was the South African Disabled Golf Association and their First Swing Programme, which uses golf as a means of rehabilitation for severely disabled juniors and introduces golf as a potential sport and career option.
“The finalists embody sporting excellence, and we are excited to see their potential develop with the additional assistance these awards provide. It is also a privilege to partner with the organisations in contributing to the development of our youth, and their communities” comments Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive.
Check out all the award winners of the evening below.
JACK CHEETHAM AWARD WINNER: Fight with Insight
Fight with Insight was established in 2006 as an open access boxing gym – free to anyone who wants to participate – with the vison of creating a safe place for the children of Johannesburg, with a particular focus on the boy child. Through positive role modelling, discipline and social services, the programme aims to reclaim manhood, where the boys take responsibility for not harming themselves or others and to break the cycle of violence. Fight with Insight works with over 300 children who are from single-parent families with little to no income and who are exposed to crime, drugs, gangs and ongoing violence. The Fight with Insight approach provides a life skills programme to all children who attend the gym as well as mentorship to access opportunities in education and employment. Children who present with behavioural issues receive further support interventions. The club has 55 amateur boxers who regularly compete in provincial, national and international tournaments.
JACK CHEETHAM AWARD FIRST RUNNER-UP: Amandla Safe-Hub
Amandla is an international social enterprise established in South Africa in 2007. The Safe-Hub project is designed to disrupt cycles of poverty, unemployment and inequality in disadvantaged communities. Each centre targets “at-risk” youth affected by crime, violence and destitute socioeconomic circumstances. A Safe-Hub is a world-class facility that provides a physically and emotionally safe space for young people to access services, opportunities and support from strong role models through a soccer-based after-school programme that focuses on health, safety, education and employability. Each Safe-Hub includes an artificial turf sports field connected to a youth centre including a job information centre, personal development and work-readiness training academy, psychosocial support centre and commercial spaces for young entrepreneurs. Safe-Hub also implements a developmentally appropriate life-skills-based soccer curriculum for young people. There are currently three Safe-Hubs across South African townships with another 12 becoming operational by 2021.
JACK CHEETHAM AWARD SECOND RUNNER-UP: CoolPlay
CoolPlay was founded in 2010 and uses rugby and netball as a vehicle to teach life skills to young people in disadvantaged communities. The CoolPlay ethos is focused on six key social and emotional components enabling participants to successfully navigate their environment and the challenges they face in their community, at home and at school. The programme has three components: Social, emotional learning, cognitive motor skills, and team skills. CoolPlay currently works with Grade 4 to Grade 12 learners across 43 no or low fee schools across the Western Cape and into the Eastern Cape. Participants who show a keen interest and promise in rugby or netball are encouraged to attend trials, and in 2019 four female rugby players from Khayelitsha were selected to represent the Western Province.
LETSEMA AWARD WINNER: Jumping Kids
Established in 2009, Jumping Kids’ mandate is to provide amputees and children with limb mobility anomalies or deficiencies the tools to be successful contributing members of society through access to prosthetic and mobility devices, education and training, and sporting opportunities and coaching. Having the physical confidence to navigate the barriers in their communities develops capable youngsters better able to access schooling, bursaries and the opportunities that become available with education. Partnering with IsAbility sports club, Jumping Kids has sent athletes to compete in international events organised by the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation as well as National athletics camps and competitions. The club has also produced a Rio Paralympic medallist.
LETSEMA AWARD FIRST RUNNER-UP: Mandeville Para-Swimming
The Mandeville Para Swimming Centre of Excellence started in 2009 with the objective of identifying swimmers with talent and to develop them to a Paralympic level and in particular, developing South Africa’s first black Paralympic swimming medallist. Mandeville Para-Swimming has a focus on special needs and disadvantaged schools, encouraging learners to adopt swimming as a sport. The discipline and self-confidence developed in training has contributed to the scholastic and career success of participants with many past swimmers entering promising careers. Over the past six years, the centre has tallied a great number of medals including 189 at the South African Disability Games as well as sending swimmers to compete at the Midmar Mile, bringing home 17 medals.
LETSEMA AWARD SECOND RUNNER-UP: South African Disabled Golf Association
The association started in 2000 to promote golf as a viable form of rehabilitation and recreation for disabled children and to introduce disabled golfers to careers in the golfing industry. The First Swing Programme is a series of clinics implemented by the association at schools across South Africa that focuses on the therapeutic, social and psychological development of disabled children using a modified golf environment. The programme is operational at 35 schools and reaches approximately 750 children. Graduates of the First Swing Programme who have finished school have the opportunity to attend the SADGA academy where they are trained as coaches and placed on learnership programmes sourced by the association. Golfers who display a talent for the game and manage to achieve an official GolfRSA handicap take part in the SA Disabled Golf Open and World Cup of Disabled Golf.