Eight people were killed in a recent weekend of violence in Capricorn, reported as taxi/gang warfare. One Capricorn primary child was killed, and Ukhanyo Primary lost a fine teacher and an enthusiastic volunteer rugby coach, Luvo Gcakeni. We mourned his death and celebrated his life on the field. There was a minute’s silence for all those who died as the festival started.
The violence left a pall over this festive day that celebrated holistic education with the sport.
Ukhanyo Primary felt that ‘Elvovo’ would want us to continue and celebrate his love for the sport by playing. Black armbands were worn by the Ukhanyo netball and soccer teams in his honour. The festival was organised by the Departments of Education and Sport/Arts and MasiSports. This was part of a pilot replication process that the organisers had been discussing, following on from a two-day workshop presenting the MasiSports/Ukhanyo model.
The festival was held on 4th October, at Lavender Hill CARES Complex, with its beautiful facilities. It was a highly successful day with the children from a variety of townships competing in netball and soccer. Ukhanyo won netball and got through to the semis in soccer. The talent, enthusiasm and teamwork from all 16 teams were excellent. It is the start of things, not merely a one-off.
MasiSports’ mantra is that generational change to develop positive, confident adults, year after year, requires holistic education including academics, life skills training and after-school sports/art etc. on the school grounds. This day-by-day contact, caring and sharing with children is key and is well illustrated at Ukhanyo Primary. For example, 10 Ukhanyo coaches and educators, including three MasiSports staff, attended the day – all are so involved and committed.
Ukhanyo had a boy in the netball team and two girls in the soccer team, as all its school teams, except rugby, are mixed gender on merit. Gender equality is encouraged with mixed teams. The day also fostered social cohesion as there were teams from Westlake, Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, Masiphumelele and Langa.