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Sport and hobbies help heal youth

By unknown | Dec 15, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sport is put to good use to motivate the young residents of the Othandweni Children's Home in Mofolo, Soweto.

Sport is put to good use to motivate the young residents of the Othandweni Children's Home in Mofolo, Soweto.

Soccer and netball are the most popular sports at Othandweni, which is a part of the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society.

Othandweni is home to 90 children from birth to age 18 from different and often difficult backgrounds. Karate does hold its own, but the sewing classes are unpopular.

One particular youngster, Thandeka, is always game to try new sports. When she was younger, soccer was her favourite sport. But after an ankle injury, the 15-year-old decided to play netball. She loves it and is a real natural.

As a young soccer player, Thandeka was never taken seriously by opposing teams because she was a girl. But that attitude never deterred her and Thandeka proved to be as good as, if not better, than some of the boys.

She was once on the Othandweni boys team when they played against another children's home in Soweto. Everyone expected their opponents to win because the team had beaten Othandweni twice in a row.

But Othandweni was determined to win and put the record straight once and for all. Othandweni played their hearts out and won 10-2. Thandeka played brilliantly. She scored two goals.

Everyone was very impressed with Thandeka's performance and the judges agreed that she was the player of the match.

Sports and many of the after-school activities have a healing effect on the children.

Gardening, for example, helps the children develop patience because it takes time for a seed to grow into a plant.

Children learn that this also applies in life and that hard work pays off in the long run if one is patient. This is a valuable lesson that Thandeka and all the other children in the sports teams have learnt.

Dettol is giving away hampers worth R500. SMS the word "Dettol" to the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society on 38008. SMSes cost R10, of which R5 is donated to the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society.


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