As the old adage goes – children are the future. So let’s start by giving them a leg up, today.
At Jacaranda Children’s Home and Louis Botha Children’s Home, roughly 350 kids are being cared for. The homes provide their children with a stable environment as far as possible and through their various initiatives help kids grow into strong, independent adults. One of these projects is their sports development centre.
Recognising the needs around us, SEESA became involved with Jacaranda Children’s Home and Louis Botha Children’s Home where we donated R20 000 towards the kids’ school stationary supplies for going back to school and cycling gear for their cycling project.
Since SEESA’s management and staff are no strangers to the benefits of cycling for holistic wellbeing, we recently became involved with this project to provide the participating kids with helmets, gloves and other safety and cycling gear they need to ensure kids are safe on the road.
The outdoor Multi-Disciplinary Development Centre (MDDC) just north of Pretoria provides opportunities for the children from the Jacaranda- and Louis Botha Children’s Homes to learn about the environment, develop their personal skills and to overcome their personal challenges.
Sports development projects offered at the MDDC include scuba diving, Taekwondo, angling and cycling.
The Cycling project is aimed at creating a positive environment where children can perform and develop personal skills. The project allows them to be part of a team and children are encouraged to take responsibility for their equipment, to accept set rules and conduct themselves with respect in all activities. In this sense, the psychological impact of physical training is beneficial to all participants. The children participating in this programme has shown improved academic performance and often take up leadership positions in their schools and social structures. The project has shown positive results for the participating children. The children who takes part in this initiative often obtain podium placements in local races.
Since the project’s launch about 15 years ago, it has developed to accommodate children from 8 to 18 years through fun rides, competitive challenges, road cycling, track cycling and mountain biking. The programme is structured in three phases – “learn to ride”, “recreational ride” and “licenced to ride”. Children are developed through these phases to finally compete in official races and even preparing them for a professional cycling career.