SA Charity Wins Laureus 'Sport for Good’ Award | Inspire
SA Charity Wins Laureus 'Sport for Good’ Award

SA Charity Wins Laureus 'Sport for Good’ Award

Waves for Change teaches disadvantaged youngsters from Cape Town townships to surf. The thriving outreach programme has now been internationally recognised for the outstanding social change it effects. At the prestigious 2017 Laureus Awards on 14 February in Monaco, Waves For Change scooped the Sport for Good category. We take a closer look at this South African charity.

It's a Friday afternoon, and despite the sandblasting wind and a fresh influx of stinging bluebottles, Monwabisi beach on the outskirts of Khayelitsha is awash with kids in wetsuits.

The founder
Waves for Change is a not-for-profit surf school founded by social entrepreneur Tim Conibear. Besides surfing lessons, the children get a meal and the opportunity to talk to peers and a social worker about their problems in a safe environment. 

The foundation
An organisation like Waves for Change can't exist without backing. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa supports 16 projects including Waves for Change, and since its inception has raised more than R50 million.

The funder
Foundations need funding. Mercedes-Benz partners with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and invests in their work. Chairman Morné du Plessis says of the partnership: "We share the common goal of wanting to inspire young people and address social issues in disadvantaged communities through sport."

The kids and their coaches

Waves for Change employs 16 coaches who work with around 250 kids weekly. Nolwazi Makhuluphala, one of the programme managers, explains they are all working together to change attitudes and families. Oyathando Waka (11) and his mother Vuyo can attest to that. "Thando comes twice a week," says Vuyo. "It gives him confidence and keeps him out of trouble."

"It's incredible to witness a project where kids in tough circumstances get to have fun in the sea. I'm impressed by how sustainable Waves for Change is and how it offers a complete solution."

Laureus ambassador Sebastian Steudtner

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