The Eastern Cape Department of Education in partnership with Shell King William’s Town hosted a soccer and netball tournament for Circuit 5 high schools in the BCM (Berlin, Ndevana, ILitha, Fort Murray and Phakamisa) at Berlin Primary School sports ground.
This annual tournament aims at encouraging learners within these communities to participate in extramural activities and to eradicate substance abuse and other social ills. Six high schools participated in the tournament and the winners were awarded with a full sporting kit for each player in the team including a trophy by Shell KWT.
Shell KWT Manager Onesimo Ntsila said that they noticed a high drug usage in the KWT surrounding areas which then urged them to partner with the Department of Education to minimize drug abuse.
“We believe that by creating these educational and healthy extramural programs for learners, children will have something positive to look forward to after school and in their spare time, and move away from drugs and alcohol and eliminate many social issues”, said Ntsila.
He added that it is their wish and aim to see more schools participate in the next tiournament.
Zanempucuko Senior Secondary School (from where) came in first place for the soccer and won a full soccer kit, and Nosizwe Senior Secondary (from where) took the first prize for netball.
“Our mission is to redirect the huge interest children have in drugs and alcohol and help them make better choices and give them an alternative. We want to give them something better to occupy their minds and time with” said Buffalo City Circuit 5 Manager Nomfuneko Dziba.
She also said that since the initiative had been implemented there have been less cases rereported, “We will be introducing more sports like rugby, and implement this program to primary schools so that children can develop the love for sports at an early age,” said Dziba.
Unam Meli who is a grade 12 learner from Berlin High School said he was very grateful to Shell KWT for their sponsor and to the Education Department for the initiative.
“I know that substance abuse has been a challenge at my school and community and I believe that the tournament will help my peers to stay away from crime, alcohol and drugs and focus more on training and being healthy sportsmen/women.
This will also help us in being more aware and productive in school” concluded Meli.