The Khulasande Sports Development (KSD) organization was introduced to stakeholders and the media during an event at the Athenaeum on 7 February 2017. Springbok Assistant Coach and guest speaker, Mzwandile Stick, spoke about his early days as a member of a 14 person family in a three roomed New Brighton home – inspiring the children to use sport as a means to uplift and better themselves.
KSD was officially established in October 2016 by Thobela Thoba, a Provincial Athletics Coach and Sports Administrator. KSD is funded by Grassroots Youth Development – the Corporate Social Investment programme from Grassridge Wind Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, the 61.5 MW Grassridge Wind Farm between Motherwell and Addo.
Thoba started a career in sport and coaching in 1999, working hands on with athletes throughout Nelson Mandela Bay, from the Western Suburbs, Northern Areas and Townships. His dedication and passion for his work has produced three national champions and over 50 provincial champions between 2006 and 2016.
A total of 40 learners aged between eight and 12, 20 from Enkwenkwezini Primary School in Motherwell and 20 from Fikizolo Primary School in Grahamstown, are being nurtured and developed by Thobela Thoba and his team, which comprises of a Sports Psychologist, Dietician, two Caterers, six Coaches, four Academic Tutors and a Life Skills Coach who are working around the clock, creating a tangible future and career in athletics for the young athletes.
By adopting a holistic approach to the development of the children, KSD focuses on the athletic aspect of their development, but also places strong emphasis on academic development, through their academic excellence program, which provides the learners withaccess to skilled tutors. This provides learners with a platform to develop skills that would allow them to potentially build a career outside of athletics.
“I love coaching sport and I love working with the youth. I love seeing the development and growth of young people, allowing them to reach their goals. I am absolutely passionate about helping children to maximise their potential, particularly on the sports side. I believe that’s what drives me and what will drive me to grow the project further in the future.” said Thoba.
“I’ve mostly worked with athletes from the western suburbs where athletes are able to pay for coaching services. But I also see on a daily basis that there are athletes who are as talented as the athletes that I coach, but they just don’t have the means to access coaching. That was the reason for conceptualizing this project.” continued Thoba.
Grassroots Youth Development, a project managed by Sofisa Phillips Development Agency, has generously financed the operations of the project, and shares the same passion and vision to develop underprivileged athletes that Thobela Thoba does. The funding covers all the costs of the project including the cost of the athletes clothing, equipment, travel and nutritional requirements.
In addition, KSD has formed a meaningful partnership with Rhodes University’s Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department, which has granted the young athletes full access to their facilities at no charge. Virtucomp and eWaste Technologies Africa have generously sponsored KSD’s entire office computer and IT related facilities.
The goal for the KSD team is clear and concise; “develop young athletes to become provincial champions in three years and to make the finals at Nationals in 5 years. It is for this reason that KSD is calling on all stakeholders to come on board and support the initiative, through funding and resources. This will allow the project to expand and be of assistance to more underprivileged young athletes, who have the potential to make a career out of athletics.
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