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Inaugural Sport for Social Change Africa Awards held

Author: SSCNA
Copyrights: SSCNA

Inaugural Sport for Social Change Africa Awards held

The Inaugural Sport for Social Change Africa Awards were presented on 22 November, and was broadcast live by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The Awards Ceremony, held in partnership with the Leading Like Mandela Foundation and the African Union Sports Council, recognised the work of sports organisations and individuals in using sport as a driver of social change across the Continent of Africa.

Leading Like Mandela Award 

The Leading Like Mandela Award is a bronze statue of former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, designed by sculptor Andre Prinsloo, taking inspiration from the statue of Mandela that dominates the Union Buildings grounds in Pretoria. The award is presented to an individual who has made a major contribution to the Sport for Peace and Development in Africa.

In 2000, at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards, Nelson Mandela, declared that: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” The Leading Like Mandela Award recognised a sports leader on the continent using the power of sport that Nelson Mandela spoke of to change the live of African youth.

The inaugural award was presented to Charles Nyambe from Namibia for his work in advancing the Special Olympics movement across Africa. Charles is Regional President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Africa, overseeing operations in 38 countries, a journey he started with the movement in 1998 when he first joined as a volunteer coach.

In receiving his award, Charles spoke of how the Special Olympics movement had broken the chains of young people with intellectual disabilities, enabling them to become valued members of their communities. Due to the stigma of intellectual disabilities, parents often hide their children away, even chaining them up so that they do not wander far from their homes while parents worked.

African Union Regional Awards

Five African Union Regional Awards were presented to organisations, whether members of the Sports for Social Change Africa Network or not, in recognition of the contribution being made by sport towards the development goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. These awards were presented in conjunction with the African Union Sports Council.

The awards went to the following organisations:

  • North Africa: The award went to Moroccan non-profit organization, TIBU Maroc, which uses the power of sport to design social and innovative solutions in the field of education, empowerment and socio-economic inclusion of young people and women through sport.
  • West Africa: The award went to WhizzKids United a community-based non-profit working to provide health, educational and empowerment services to disadvantaged youth in Tamale, Ghana.
  • East Africa: The award went to Esperance from Kigali, Rwanda, who work with youth from the streets to integrate them back into their families and society. They use football programmes and facilities developed with FIFA, Generation Amazing and others as a means of building social cohesion amongst youth.
  • Central Africa: The award went to Malaika,  a non-profit organization that empowers girls and their communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through education and health programs at their community centre, built in partnership with FIFA.
  • Southern Africa: The award went to the Grootbos Foundation, who have been impacting the lives of the Overstrand community in South Africa since 2003, expanding from their conservation program to include youth through sports, where 2000 children attend the Grootbos Foundation sports programme every day.

A further eight awards were presented to members of the Sport for Social Change Network Africa who had demonstrated best practice in using sport to deliver against the following development goals:

  • The Good Health & Wellbeing Award went to Waves for Change (South Africa) for demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, to improve the general health and overall wellbeing of the individuals involved in their surfing program.
  • The Safe Sport Award went to the School of Hard Knocks (South Africa) for demonstrating excellence in creating safe, inclusive, and enjoyable environments where best sporting practice can be engaged in their Rugby based program.
  • The Gender Equality Award went to United through Sport (South Africa) for demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, to further the cause of gender equality and female empowerment throughout Africa.
  • The Inclusion Award went to Balamu Community outreach Program (Uganda) for demonstrated excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, through the inclusion and integration of the disabled community or other underrepresented groups throughout their communities.
  • The Quality Education Award went to Altus Sport (South Africa) for demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, to promote an exemplary and sustainable standard of lifelong learning and skills development.
  • The Social Cohesion Award went to Youth Sport (Uganda) for demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, to promote social cohesion in communities by helping build peaceful, inclusive, and equitable societies.
  • The Environment Award went to I Am Water (South Africa) for best demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, to act in protecting the environment, promoting sustainable consumption, or combating climate change and its impacts.
  • The Economic Empowerment Award went to Society Empowerment Project (Kenya) for demonstrating excellence using sport, physical activity, or physical education, by promoting economic development and productive employment in the communities in which they work, through programming that addresses employability, access to higher education or entrepreneurial skills.

SSCN Africa Executive Director, Allan Williams, said: "We are incredibly proud of the outcome of the evening. [It is wonderful] to be able to recognise African organisations that have demonstrated excellence in using sports, physical activity, or physical education to contribute to development and peace on the continent. These individuals and organisations contribute immensely towards the goals of Agenda 2063, which is the African Union’s strategic framework for inclusive and sustainable development, as well as the UN’s sustainable development goals."


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Monday, November 28, 2022 - 11:03