From left to right are Dr Keabetswe Modomoeng (Group Executive: Corporate Affairs & Stakeholder Relations), Fhulufhelo Badugela (CEO of MultiChoice Africa Holdings), the principal of the school, Mr Namadzavho Todani and Vhamusanda Vho Albert Todani. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.
Friday, 13 October, was a significant and joyous day for the learners and staff at Tshithuthuni Primary School, located in the Nzhelele area in Vhembe. The school received a state-of-the-art multi-purpose sports field from MultiChoice, Africa’s leading entertainment platform.
The school, founded in 1899, holds special significance as the alma mater of Fhulufhelo Badugela, chief executive officer of MultiChoice Africa Holdings. This marks the 11th Let’s Play field donated to schools by MultiChoice in the past 12 months.
“Let’s Play constructs these fields and equips teachers to inspire children to be more active and embrace sports. Some of these kids might even become stars on SuperSport one day! Until then, they’ll reap the benefits because increased physical activity leads to improved health, concentration, and ultimately, better academic performance. In collaboration with the Department of Basic Education, we are nurturing a healthier generation of young people,” remarked Badugela.
Badugela said that over the past 14 years, Let’s Play had provided young people with opportunities to participate in sports activities, investing more than R20 million to create a healthier youth generation. They have trained 315 schoolteachers in new physical education methodologies, impacting more than 1.6 million learners by reintroducing physical education curricula in schools and communities nationwide.
The Let’s Play sports fields project aims to enhance access to state-of-the-art sporting facilities for disadvantaged schools and communities across South Africa, with a specific focus on rural areas. Having access to a world-class sports field is a crucial first step in encouraging children to lead healthier and more active lives.
The students will now be able to enjoy a variety of sports on their brand-new Let’s Play sports field, including hockey, five-a-side soccer, tennis, volleyball, and netball. Additionally, the school has received Let’s Play kit bags filled with sports equipment and playing kits. Coaches responsible for sports at the school will also undergo training in the latest physical-education methodologies to ensure optimal utilisation of the sports fields.
“I’m immensely proud and honoured to return to my home and alma mater and contribute this sports field to the pupils. I fondly recall my days as a young girl here and the deep love I had for sports. I believe that many learners will benefit from this handover, which not only introduces new sporting codes but also promotes active and healthy lifestyles,” added Badugela.
The multi-purpose sports field will be used by Tshithuthuni learners, as well as neighbouring schools and community clubs. Badugela urged young people to make use of the resources, which are for their benefit, after all. She said that no proper sporting facilities could be found in the area, and the young people especially suffered because of this as they had nothing to keep them busy with after school and during holidays.
Badugela said the building of quality facilities ensured that the youth from disadvantaged areas could showcase their talents. “We are working closely with the Department of Education to ensure schools have the necessary sport infrastructure. Sport is important because it keeps our children occupied and keeps them away from negative activities. Students also perform better at school when they are active,” she added.
School principal Mr. Namadzavho Todani said that they were grateful to have such a facility. “Our children are special-needs pupils, and it’s important to develop their talents,” said Todani. He said the school was committed to using these new facilities effectively, and that many people would benefit from them.
The circuit manager of Nzhelele East, Mr. Humbulani Rampfumedzi, applauded MultiChoice for establishing such a facility. He acknowledged that serious challenges exist regarding sporting infrastructure in the area. “We do not have enough playing fields and indoor sporting facilities,” he said, adding that the donation would certainly enable them to unearth hidden sporting talents. “Our pupils will be able to compete with pride against other schools. The new facilities will also reduce crime as the children now have somewhere to play after school.” He appealed to the public to use the facilities in a proper manner.
Date:21 October 2023
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.