Sport has taught the kids lots of discipline, responsibility, sharing, and generosity (looking after one another), and team work, and brought them joy. When you talk about sport they all smile. Sport has allowed the children that have never really achieved to experience a sense of mastery, which has impacted their behaviour positively. Achievement also improves their self esteem.
Sport has levelled the playing field in that they competed with others on an equal platform and their achievement has been theirs to own which instils a sense of pride and ‘I can do it’. It has also taught them how to compete in a positive way. Everyone has one goal-to win.
Sport teaches them courage-some kids will say 'I will not play again because I don’t want to do what I did the last time'-blaming themselves for the loss of the game. But then they return to a training session and work towards learning from their mistakes. They want to be taught new skills to win - it gives them strength and courage to face their opponent/reality. There will be people watching and they have the strength to say 'watch me do this'.
There are many children that become fearful when they see the crowd, because they are scared to make mistakes, but with time they become confident.
Looking back from 2001, Kids Haven has achieved a lot in the following sports: wrestling, soccer, badminton, table-tennis, and cricket. We have children from Kids Haven that have represented the country. This is a huge achievement for the organisation, and gives the organisation a good image.
SA wrestling champions: 1 of these is coaching at club level
A child played professional soccer under 23-representing South Africa
A child coached a Chilean National team in cricket
Another child coached an English College in rugby in England
Children in general are gifts but Kids Haven’s children are precious gifts. It’s not easy to deal with the kind of children we work with, and achieve so much with them. The community kids will do something to impress somebody but at Kids Haven they are doing it to achieve for themselves.