At Plant A Ball, our mission is to provide footballs to NGOs across South Africa, providing a means to elicit social change through sport. This is only possible thanks to our sponsors; lead by Totalsports and supported by Fives Futbol & Picup.
However, one thing that may interest many people about our work is what happens after the balls are delivered. We recently sat down with Babes Govender, head coach of the Durban Africa Sports Club, to talk about how Plant A Ball’s delivery of 215 soccer balls helped their work, as well as their plans for the future.
As Govender explains, the Durban Africa Sports Club revolves around all types of sports, but mainly football and netball. The majority of their work is with underprivileged schools, orphanages, and special needs children, but they also offer senior network clubs for people 25-55. On top of servicing around 120 children from the area, they also work with a variety of other initiatives, including:
Another goal that they have is to help empower the coaches. All 12 coaches are accredited with SAFA (South African Football Association).
While “the club is passionate to do development through sports,” as Govender puts it, he recognizes that there are barriers in some of these communities, whether it’s lack of technology, resources, or potential distractions. Working with Plant A Ball helped support their mission to use sports to create better role models for the community. Along with the social aspect, there’s also the development aspect as well. Playing, at any level, helps children grow mentally. Physically, it provides an opportunity to develop untapped talent for those who may consider going professional.
Govender notes that the timing to work with Plant A Ball to provide more footballs was perfect. As the sport grows in popularity in the areas they service, they are currently planting the seeds for a program to try and get more girls to play. Reliant on occasional private donations, with no corporate sponsors, the extra balls played a key part in being able to get the ball rolling on this. Govender notes that this is their first year working with Plant A Ball and that he and the club are “excited to continue the relationship.”
A continued partnership also features well into their future plans. Along with addressing the gap in girl’s football in South Africa, they are looking to try and expand operations, which means working with more schools and getting more people involved. One major issue they will start working to address is logistics. Many of these schools are located in remote areas, so some sort of transportation plan will be needed.
The ultimate goal, according to Govender, is to create a larger, fully-developed sports centre, with the ability to serve 300-400 children at once. Being able to provide a full set of services is essential to help children. As Govender notes, though, as partnerships like Plant A Ball bring more awareness of their organization and their mission, it will be easier to get the financial support they need to work towards those goals.
Be sure to follow the Plant A Ball website for more features and updates about our mission and work.
Durban Africa Sports Club, Executive members, BABES GOVENDER