Starting sport where there was none before

Main goals are to produce quality individuals and make a visible impact

Determined to promote sporting prowess in underprivileged township schools, East Londoner Tina Somzana has founded a youth-owned, non-profit organisation to mould youngsters into future cricketers, soccer stars, athletes and netball players.
The organisation, Lubanzi iQhayiya, will take in 200 potential sports stars.
Somzana, 31, who works as an office manager at a local law firm, said after realising that a lot of talent was overlooked in township schools due to lack of resources, she decided to do something about it.
“The talent is there. I know this for sure but unfortunately there are no resources to harness and support it,” said Somzana.
After registering the NPO, Somzana got the ball rolling last month by hosting a sports fun day attended by hundreds of children at AW Barnes Primary School in Parkside.
Somzana said so far, the organisation had included three schools in its programme – AW Barnes, Nompumelelo and Makinana Primary, located in Ziphunzana in Duncan Village.
With the help of a group of equally determined coaches, the organisation holds two practice sessions and one game every week at these schools.
Somzana leaves her desk during her lunch breaks to coach her netball team.
“One of our main objectives is to produce individuals of a high calibre and make a visible impact in our society. We intend to achieve this through quality sports programmes to uplift the children, with no intention of making a profit.”
While most of the organisation’s committee members were fortunate enough to have attended former Model C schools, where top-class facilities afforded them opportunities to excel, most children at underprivileged schools were not afforded the same opportunity.
“There are township schools that have no sports facilities. If there is a netball court, chances are there are no poles or no lines.
“With most of the learners also coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, you find that the majority of them do not have sport shoes to play in.
“We are left with no choice but to ask the few that have shoes to take them off to give everyone an equal advantage,” she said.
Somzana said they were planning to maintain existing sports facilities at least once a month and also supply some equipment.
The organisation intends to adopt a fourth school during the course of the year and hopes to expand their programme throughout the province in the next five years.
In terms of funding, Somzana said they currently knocked on doors to ask for sponsors and potential donors.
“Funding is a challenge that we definitely have to work on but I believe it’s possible with the amount of passion we have,” she said.
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