Afrika Tikkun is one of our key outreach partners and we have been holding events together since 2015. We also collect sports equipment and clothing which is donated by both our Jewish community as well as the broader community on an ongoing basis, which we hand over annually to the Afrika Tikkun Centres in Alexandra, Braamfontein, Diepsloot and Orange Farm. We are honoured to be able to make a small contribution to the highly impactful work that Afrika Tikkun does, and in particular their sports programme which is a valuable platform for teaching life skills and empowerment.
Following a difficult year for most, the goal for this event was to provide the children with an opportunity to play sport and have fun in a safe environment. Our Sports Director Jarred Gronemann, together with Afrika Tikkun’s Thomas Taole (Subject Matter Expert, Sport) were responsible for putting it all together. Thomas also used this opportunity for Afrika Tikkun’s Young Urban Man and Woman Programme to work together with a youth soccer club from Hillbrow to organise elements of the day. A key outcome for such activities is for the young adults and children to take responsibility for their lives, which includes exercising and eating healthy. “Healthy people become productive citizens’’, explained Thomas.
The Sports Day included action soccer, cricket and netball matches, as well as a short cricket skills lesson for those who have never played before. Thomas purposefully includes both boys and girls ages 9 – 17 in every team, which facilitates teamwork and communication. The matches were supervised by the Young Urban leaders, who in addition to the sport treated the group to a drumming, violin and spoken word performance, which was outstanding and enjoyed by all.
We are very grateful to Sandton Action Sports Arena for sponsoring the event and giving us access to their very well run facilities, all in accordance with Covid protocols. Action Sports is a member of Maccabi SA’s commercial partner programme.
Following the games, Maccabi SA’s Youth Committee Convenor, Riley Freeman and Thomas held a meaningful discussion with the group about Maccabi SA and Afrika Tikkun’s shared values. These include the principles of teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, integrity, compassion, self-discipline and good citizenship. The impressive responses from the children included how sport has taught them about gender equality and respect for women; how they have learned to support and motivate each other; and how sport has improved their goal setting, teamwork and communication.
The event concluded with Maccabi SA Chairman, Clifford Garrun officially handing over the donated sports equipment and clothing to Thomas, including items for cricket, soccer, tennis, swimming, cycling, hockey and golf. “It is always an honour to work with Afrika Tikkun. Today’s event was a great success and we are pleased to be able to make a small contribution to their very effective sports programme which continues to deliver excellent results. It was very encouraging and uplifting to listen to these children describe the benefits of sport and to hear how they have given much thought to how it has impacted their lives. I would like to thank the legendary Thomas Taole; Ashley Kotzin and Grant Webster from Sandton Action Sports Arena; my Maccabi SA team; and also a big thank you to all the persons from the community who donated items,” said Garrun.
Afrika Tikkun was founded in 1994 with the goal of developing and uplifting young people in under privileged communities in South Africa. They work to end child poverty and youth unemployment through their Cradle-to-Career 360° model, which includes a comprehensive sports programme. The Young Urban Programme upskills young adults to work in the community and provides further education and leadership experience.