Football with Whizzkids by Sophie Tepler `14

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Saturday was national youth day in South Africa, commemorating the Soweto uprising 1976 where many young people were killed by the police for their nonviolent protests against the apartheid. Whizzkids was part of a tournament to commemorate this day. It was held in a large field Pietermaritzburg, right next to the site of the Whizzkids health clinic. As part of the event, Whizzkids held HIV/AIDS testing centers. Our van was even used for counseling. The GFA students spent a lot of time playing football and taking pictures with the kids at the tournament. Following the tournament we went to Marcus’s (the director of Whizzkids) house for a potluck dinner where we met almost all of the Whizzkids staff.
Sunday we attended a Whizzkids football tournament with two Sunday schools from two different townships outside of Durban. Staring out, everybody was broken into four different groups focusing on different areas of football to teach different life skills. Persistence in the face of challenges was taught by an activity where each player had to dribble the ball around a series of cones. Another station conveyed the importance of setting goals in life by a pointless game of football without any place to score. Awareness about gender inequality was taught by a game of football where only girls could score goals, even if the boys had done all of the work. Teamwork and working under pressure was taught by a series of relay races where everyone was trying to win for their team. The day concluded with a series of football and netball tournaments followed by and awards ceremony. It was interesting to see aspects of Whizzkids in action and we are all excited for tomorrow when we will be able to see a full session.

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Football with Whizzkids by Sophie Tepler `14

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