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Laureus Summit interview series: United Through Sport, South Africa

Copyrights: Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

Laureus Summit interview series: United Through Sport, South Africa

Nosipho ‘Spakes’ Xapile, General Manager of United Through Sport, speaks about the importance of collaboration between sectors. recently attended the Laureus Summit in Paris, where more than 130 organisations from all corners of the globe – all funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - gathered to share best practices and discuss the future of sport for development. We spoke to five projects about what they do, and what they gained from the Summit.

sportanddev: Tell us about your project.

United Through Sport (UTS) is a development through sport organisation, and there are three main ways which we use sport as a tool. The first is through the direct benefits of sport, so health and the soft skills which come with coaching kids outside, including leadership, communication and discipline. In South Africa, physical education is not a stand-alone subject in schools any more, so kids really do need that opportunity to play sport. The second way is by tackling critical social issues, so we have a big focus on HIV, Aids, gender equality etc. The third way we use sport is to create educational pathways to success, so we have got quite an inclusive academic programme, so UTS is a holistic programme.

What is the benefit of attending the Summit?

Laureus provides a good platform for networking and meeting other likeminded organisations, but then we have focused topics like inclusion and gender equality. It gives a platform to share best practice and find out from other organisations how they are doing in their different countries and see how we can share knowledge on that.

What would you like to see happen in the sport for development sector over the next five years?

I think connecting a bit more, especially within the countries. We might be working as a solo organisation instead of forming a network, forum or coalition where we find out who is doing what and where. It’s possible that we are going to the same schools but we actually don’t know, so there could be a duplication. Working together a bit more could really help the sector. Also particularly in my country, we work within the school system a lot and it feels like the Department of Education doesn’t really have an input, or there is a disconnect, with the NGOs and that department, and the Department of Sport or Department of Health. It would be good if there was more collaboration and understanding of the benefits, then they could use us.


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Simon Lansley


Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 10:14

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