Throughout the programming semester, PeacePlayers South Africa has a special Area-Based Activity (ABA) team working specifically on life skills events for our six areas throughout Durban. In addition to weekly life skills sessions facilitated by our coaches, the life skills event brings primary schools together from each area to enhance and highlight the knowledge that the participants have learned during the semester. Most importantly, it creates a platform where young kids have the opportunity to share and learn from each other and build relationships within and outside of their communities.
On September 12, The ABA team hosted a successful life skills event at Saphinda Primary school in Umlazi. The event had 59 participants from 3 different schools in the Umlazi community, Izwelesithembiso, Emthethweni and Saphinda. The theme of the event was “My life, My Game, My Success”.
PPI-SA traditionally has a unique life skills curriculum that focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and other pertinent issues affecting the youth of South Africa. A new concept that the life skills team has been developing and implementing this semester is integrating life skills and basketball. Basketball is a force in itself in developing skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication, dedication to a goal, and many, many other skills that can prepare you for life.
Thobani Khumalo, our life skills assistant, is always finding creative ways to show young people that the skills you learn on the court are the same skills that you need to succeed in your own life. Thobani knows firsthand what the game of basketball can do for young people, and he has dedicated himself to helping others using the sport he loves. The life skills event included one of Thobani’s own activities called “A Winner in Life”, where he made connections between successful basketball players and people who attain success in their lives.
“If you are able to play sports whole-heartedly, then you are able to chase your dreams whole-heartedly, that’s what I believe in,” Thobani explained, “Even if you don’t win the game, the effort and dedication you put in is shaping your character, and in the end, this will make you a winner”.