Nike gets youth moving with Soweto active schools

The Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto was abuzz with activity as 2,100 children, all participants in the Soweto Active Schools Programe, experienced a special afternoon of sport and play.

Learners from Batsogile, Lulama, Motjoli, Nkholi and Welizibuko primary schools and their educators, together with Nike athletes including Comrades Ultra Marathon winner Charne Bosman, South African Footballer Amanda Dlamini, Alyssa Conley, Linique Prinsloo and Geraldine Pillay enjoyed football and running-inspired games and life coaching to inspire students to live more physically actively lives.

“I want to encourage every learner to get active every day, because if you are active, you stay out of trouble and you also perform better at school,” said Charne Bosman.

“Winning the Comrades Marathon was a big dream come true for me, but it took me 24 years to achieve my dream, and you must never give up on your dreams.  I want to inspire learners to believe in themselves, never give up and stay active.  Get involved in as many school programmes and running activities, so that one day we can have many more running champions.”

The Soweto Active Schools program is the latest community investment by Nike to encourage kids to get and stay active. Building on its partnership on Alex Butterflies in 2013, Nike is now working with the Gauteng Department of Education and Sportstec Foundations to train and support primary school teachers in Soweto to provide curriculum-based Physical Education (PE) and provide intra- and inter-school extra- curricular sports activities for the local primary schools. The objective is to make PE and sport self-sustaining in the schools, with an emphasis on creating more PE and school sport opportunities overall. To date, the program is being implemented at 17 primary schools, with 121 teachers trained and 5,100 learners reached.

“Our partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education has enabled us to build on a legacy of development work that we began in Alexandra three years ago, and bring it to Soweto where we are equipping schools with a training program to bring PE and sport to their students,” says Nike Africa General Manager, George Camara.

For the Sports Day, more than 65 Nike employees volunteered to create a unique experience for the learners. Employees escorted learners from their schools to the Nike Training Center and then helped coordinate games, activities and serve lunch to participants.

The world-class Nike Training Centre in Soweto where the Active Sports day was held has enabled more than 20,000 young footballers per year to develop their skills and has been the hub of youth soccer development in South Africa since its inception in 2010.