Inaugural Golden Lions Rugby Union GASP Event

Written by Hannes Nienaber

GASP School of Rugby | Inaugural Golden Lions Rugby Union GASP Event - School of RugbyThe GLRU Rugby GASP™ (Get Ahead Sports Programme), hosted at the Jabulani Technical High School, Soweto, Johannesburg is one of several planned talent-advancing Events scheduled in 2017, across SA. The strategic importance of these initiatives is to transition physically literate young children into long-term development sport structures, soonest. The Event takes place on Friday, 24th November from 08H00-16H00.

Initiatives such as this demonstrate the commitment needed to realize enduring and visible transformation in and across National Sport Federations. So much talent lies unnoticed and regrettably, without opportunity, change is not realised despite the educational reform promised in our recent history. Most especially children in non-fee paying schools remain marginalized unless interventions, such as the Quality Physical Education solution called Move-It, Moving Matters™ and its related GASP™ initiative, reaches and is applied in these schools.

GASP™ Events are not only designed to create fast tracking access systems for talented children into sport, but they also demonstrate the immense potential for social change resulting from participation in sport.

The six Cs – camaraderie, commitment, competence, care, courage, and confidence are outcomes of these initiatives. It is hoped that Events such as these, which enable and empower sport-gifted children advance on a new pathway will translate into careers, medals and a better life. It is further hoped that these GASP™ Events are replicated, in many other communities, districts and across regions.

The GASP™ focus this month is Rugby: Golden Lions Rugby Union is the appointed sports partner. This Event involves 340 children. 10 learners have been selected from each of the following schools: Bafikile, Ekuphumeleleni, Elsie Ngidi, Ikwezi, Hitekani, Igugu, Molaetsa, Isiseko, Isu’lihle, Dumelang, King Zwelithini, Lekang, Tshebedisanong, Mambo, Mara, Mohato, Montshiwa, Moriting, Mochochonono, Sediba-Thuto, Phutalushaka, Sefika, Tshilidzi, Usindiso, Vukazenzele, Zola, Rutegang, Makola, Leitsibolo and Merafe Primary Schools.

A further 10 pupils from each of the Johannesburg schools - Yeoville Boys Primary, Yeoville Community School, Salvazione Primary and Houghton Primary - have been selected to participate in this inaugural inter-schools competition.

The learners are aged 12-13, in Grade 7, and are currently participating in the Move-It, Moving Matters™ quality physical education programme, thanks to CSI funding received from Total SA, (Schools in Soweto) and Life Healthcare (Schools in Yeoville).

Golden Lions Rugby Union, has invited high performance coaches from across the rugby community to facilitate the day’s programme. This programme has been developed with the invaluable input from Clint Van Rooyen, from GLRU.

The goal of GASP™ this year is to:

• Commence a rugby talent pool, starting from primary school
• Demonstrate that public private partnerships work! (City + Sport + Education + Private Providers + Private Funders = Community Development, Social Cohesion and Personal Growth.)

From South Africa to beyond

At the Jabulani Technical High School, on the 24th November 2017, 340 talented Grade 7 learners, their respective educators, key stakeholders in education and Sport, and VIP guests representing the many public/private partnerships needed to sustain initiatives such as this will gather to commemorate, recognise and celebrate this opportunity, game of rugby and the pathway set for these and many other selected children who will have been exposed to GASP™ this year.

Our committed coaches have keenly contributed to this GASP™ Event. The inspiration on the Event day and the sessions that follow, demonstrates their commitment to harvest and nurture girl players and boy players with talent into networks which accelerate the development of the player in the junior ranks especially those less privileged. Their efforts, together with the Move-It, Moving Matters™ intervention and the talent advancing programme, GASP™, are the unique the transitioning systems needed, in combination, to “level the playing fields” across South Africa.

This GASP™ Event is a fine example of how the Move-It, Moving Matters™ programme equips intermediate-phase learners (Grade 4-7) with the technical skills and physicality necessary for access to competitive sport through a carefully-designed progression of learnings and subsequent talent harvesting. The Move-It, Moving Matters™ programme aims to propel the noticed GASP™ learners forward on a pathway to success.

Furthermore, this Event shows how a powerful public-private partnership, with education, the private sector, national sports federations and local government can bring opportunity and positive change in communities. It also provides partners, role-players and stakeholders an opportunity to examine their return on investment and witness the skills of a sample of noticed, talented children as consequence of access to and participation in the Move-It, Move-It, Matters™ Physical Education Programme. In Soweto, none of this would be possible without the generous commitment from Total South Africa, who have ensured that 12 500 children are active participants in the Move-It, Moving Matters™ Initiative and consequently future, healthy citizens. The best of these are channelled into the talent advancing programme, GASP™, which we are witnessing on the 24th.

The Move-It, Moving Matters™ programme and GASP™ system is holistic in the way that entire communities are empowered by the “knock-on” effect which ensures positive changes in health, creates excitement in communities and results in active citizenship. All this is through the medium of sport.

It is Move-It, Moving Matters™ and GASP™’ hope that, through sport, learners will grow and prosper into brighter, engaged and peaceful future in which equal opportunity exists for all to access participate in indeed excel through and within sport.

“The Move It, Moving Matters™ Programme together with the GASP™ Programme were initiated as capacity building interventions designed to address the lack of physical education in many schools, especially those located in challenged and impoverished communities, where, regrettably, the delivery of education and sport remain compromised. Without additional resources and interventions such as this, many children with talent would remain undiscovered, motorically limited and unnoticed,” says Dr Claire M Nicholson, Director and Expert Advisor of the Move-It, Moving Matters™ and GASP™ Initiatives.

Nicholson goes on to say, “It is our hope that this initiative commences a pipeline of talented children who, by choice and with support, will get ahead in life and set off onto new trajectories towards new destinations through regular participation in sport. Without the guidance and support through the GASP™ programme, and the commitment of this high performance rugby academy, these children would not have had the opportunity to be seen and or advance into the National Sport Development networks.”

Another purpose of this Event is to recognize individuals, organisations and corporates who have contributed their time and funds to make the Programme possible and to inspire others to achieve the best that they can be. Their investment in the Move-It, Moving Matters™ and GASP™ Initiatives is the key starting point. We hope others will help us mobilise and advance many more children, soonest.


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