Tuesday, 15th April 2014
Among the several charity and sporting initiatives that Kemtek supports is Central Gauteng Squash Youth Development (Egoli Squash), run by a team of dedicated volunteer professionals who take disadvantaged children off the streets, introduce them to the game of squash and help foster in them a love of sport.
Ken Spellas (commercial director of Kemtek Imaging Systems) recently presented a cheque for R10 000 to Glenn Lazurus, Egoli Squash programme director. The money raised will assist in funding the organisation’s various sports and education programmes such as squash training (including the Colts Future Champions programme), youth skills for life, community service, a peer leadership programme and much more.
‘We feel passionate about the ability of sport to change lives and it’s only because of the patronage of individuals and companies like Kemtek that we have managed to work towards achieving our mission,’ states Glenn.‘To date, some 2 000 kids are training on Thursdays and Saturdays at centres in UJ (Doornfontein), Wits University (Braamfontein), Wits Educational Campus (Wanderers) and at three sites in Soweto (Pace, Gazankulu and Pimville).’
Some of the programme’s sporting highlights from 2013 include 16 Colt players ranking among the top ten Central Gauteng Juniors, 18 Colt players qualifying for the inter-provincial tournament and two players qualifying for the SA national under 13 tournament, ranking them among the top ten in their age group.Several players have also appeared on popular sports TV and radio shows such as SABC 1’ Sports Buzz and Sports on Fire radio programme with Graeme Joffe and the programme itself is affiliated to Super Sports Let's Play initiative and the President’s Award Youth Empowerment Programme (Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award).
Building a better future
On an education and social upliftment level, two Egoli Squash players matriculated last year with outstanding achievements and are currently preparing for university and three players have received academic bursaries in 2013.
Programme coordinators have also recently taken ownership of a mobile squash court, which is being used in schools without squash facilities to promote the game of squash, plus two libraries have been established by volunteers in the inner-city and Soweto.
One squash coach has attended the Basic Sign language Course at Wits University, enabling the introduction of hard of hearing learners from Sizwile School for the Deaf in Dobsonville, Soweto to squash. Furthermore, 25 sports coordinators have completed the Coach the Coach course (Level 1) and three coaches have attended the Personal Fitness Trainer course at the Institute of Fitness Professionals.
‘We’re more positive than ever about the future and the great impact we can make in the world by using the sport of squash as a catalyst to curb the vicious cycle of poverty and crime in our communities,’ adds Glenn. ‘We see tremendous opportunity for all the children who enter the programme and look forward to continuing the journey with Kemtek.’
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