The vision of the Gansbaai sports programme is to give young people who are deprived of sporting facilities the opportunity to play sport, learn about the environment and integrate – as team-mates – with other communities on the sports fields.
Situated in the heart of the world renowned Cape Floral Heritage site, Gansbaai comprises three communities, historically segregated along racial and social lines, who live and move in three clearly separated areas of the town. That was the situation until recently; today the white, black and coloured communities of Gansbaai are drawn together by the one common denominator: Sport.
Uniquely situated on land in the middle of the 3 communities, therefore serving as the perfect catalyst for social integration, is a multi-purpose sports facility, the showpiece of which is a third generation (3G) FIFA standard artificial football pitch. This has been made possible by the Overstrand Municipality, ABSA, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Grootbos Foundation and the English Premier League.
The Football Foundation’s sports development programme comprises training five days per week, with games, tournaments and coaching clinics taking place on weekends. Dedicated coaches and volunteers run football, netball, hockey and cricket coaching sessions and education lessons for the youth in the Gansbaai area, developing boys and girls from the age 6 through to 19. Holiday programmes are a highlight on the Foundation’s calendar, and attract children from the entire community for weeks of fun, games and educational activities. Awareness programmes are launched around important days in South Africa like Youth Day, Women’s Day, Human Rights Day and World Aids Day. The children learn about significant events in history as well as social and environmental issues pertinent today. The Foundation also extends its reach to the broader Overberg area, conducting coaching clinics and holiday camps in neighboring communities.
A crucial part of this development plan is the Under 19 volunteer group which has the potential to form the backbone of such programmes, and effectively place the future sustainability back in the hands of the community. The programme reaches the four schools of Gansbaai, developing boys and girls from the age of 6 through to 18. The Foundation also extends its reach to the broader Overberg area, conducting coaching clinics and holiday camps in neighboring communities.
Looking to the future, the Foundation aims to identify a suitable University to partner with the Gansbaai project in order to enhance the professionalism and sustainability of the project.
We hope to use this as a basis to extend our contribution to sport and social development in other parts of South Africa.