Young learners at MRP Foundation schools are learning to apply values learned through sports to everyday life situations in the classroom and at home.
In a world where social challenges seem to be increasing on a daily basis, youth need even more guidance and encouragement to deal with tough issues. Drugs, peer pressure, bullying and cyberbullying are just some of the troubling behaviours experienced in schools.
As part of MRP Foundation’s holistic School’s Programme, learners at Verulam Primary School and Silverdale Primary School in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, take part in physical education lessons that are merged with valuable Sports2Life values, which help learners deal with everyday situations at school and at home.
Implementation Partner, Sportstec, leads the physical education programme in MRP Foundation supported schools, providing learners with important life skills necessary in dealing with common social problems.
The six Sports2Life values that are taught during Physical Education lessons are:
Use Your Voice
Build Your Team
Stay in the Game
Come to Play
Prioritise, Goal-set and Plan
Look and List
Through these Sports2Life values, learners are encouraged to use their voices to make themselves heard, encourage team spirit, be persistent, actively participate in activities, plan, prioritise and set goals, and make informed decisions.
For 12-year old Silverdale Primary School learner, Kajal Sivai, the blending of sports and life skills is invaluable: “What I enjoy most about Sports2Life is that it teaches children lessons on how to manage life and real life situations like bullying.”
Verulam Primary School Principal, Mr. PP Pather, noted that the programme has yielded positive results saying, “I have seen such a big difference in the learners ever since the programme was implemented. There has been an improvement in attendance as learners look forward to coming to school on sports days.”
He added that the life skills taught through the programme has helped to instill discipline amongst learners. “Some of the practices the coaches have used are now being used by the teachers. There are a lot of positives, and as a principal I am greatly appreciative,” he said.
Ms ST Govender, an educator at Verulam Primary School, also welcomed the programme, “Learners are really enthusiastic. The types of games the learners have been introduced to are fun and entertaining, quite different from what we have done.” She added that learners are more disciplined because of this programme and are now taking initiative and contributing to lessons and discussions. We as educators wish we could have these lessons more often.
Sportstec facilitator, Xolani Banda, who has been with Sportstec since it began said, “We have heard positive feedback from educators in the classroom. The system is not only used on the ground, learners are applying it to the classroom too. They try to work as a team, with a common goal. This is the reason it is called Sports2Life. They take principles they learned in sports and apply it to everyday life situations in and out of the class.”. Sportstec is the implementation partner for the physical education component of MRP Foundation’s holistic school’s programme.
About the MRP Foundation Schools Programme
The MRP Foundation’s holistic Schools Programme promotes the concept of “healthy body, healthy mind,” through physical education at these schools. The programme also empowers educators to effectively implement the physical education (PE) curriculum, as well as provides basic sports equipment to the schools. The programme focuses on four key areas: parent and community involvement; school management and leadership; learner development and educator development. The model is designed for learners to unlock and develop their full potential through quality education including: Physical Education, Maths, Science, English, Life Skills and Environmental Awareness programmes.
Through the MRP Foundation’s partnership with school leadership and management, educators, parents, the community and learners of each school, the programme aims to transform schools to prepare learners for the future and empower school management and educators. The model is active in selected primary and high school clusters in low-income communities across South Africa.
Thus far, the MRP Foundation’s schools programme has been implemented in 98 schools across KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Western Cape and Gauteng. The Foundation plans to scale the number of schools reached significantly within a five-year period in various regions throughout South Africa.