The Kruger National Park (KNP)'s head of people and conservation, Helen Mmethi handed a complete soccer kit for school children to the sports coordinator, Annah Milazi of Alexandria Lower Primary School earlier this year.
"When the KNP adopted the school in 2007, the school had no adequate necessities such as water supply system and sanitation, learner support material and proper sport fields" said the KNP's head of public relations, William Mabasa. "I believe it is important for South Africa to have sport development structures in place if we want to succeed in sports and those structures should start at the primary school level".
"Soccer is a good platform for the school children to discover their talent and to expose the various skills that they have," explained Mabasa.
"The situation in some of these schools is critical. The KNP's people and conservation staff members have told me about learners who are orphans or whose parents are unemployed; having some of these necessities at school makes a huge difference in their lives and help them pave their way to success.
South African National Parks (SANParks is in constant contact with the communities bordering the park. Together with a non-profit organization called Dreamfields, the department has implemented a project, "Wild about Soccer" which encourages sports to the primary and high school learners in communities.
It has also established various community forums which allow healthy dialogue and joint-ventures and has resulted in a number of successful ventures, including curio shops at Numbi, Kruger, Phalaborwa, Punda Maria, Phabeni and Crocodile Bridge entrance gates.
Alexandria Fast Facts
- The school lies within the Mathibela Tribal Authority and falls under Lehukwe Circuit at Cunning Moore in Bushbuckridge.
- The school starts from Grade R to 4, has 18 classrooms, 14 educators, one clerk and two general workers.
- In 2010, the school registered 465 learners.
- It is a very old school which was built from mud blocks when it opened in 1956.
- In 1986, volunteers from abroad built more classrooms; there have been no renovations until recently. The Department of Public Works started building new modern classrooms at the school.
- Kruger National Park adopted the school in 2007.
- To create environmental awareness amongst learners, the park's people and conservation department introduced a greening initiative at the school; it now boasts a vegetable garden which provides fresh vegetable produce (according to seasons) for the kids.
- In 2010, Alexandria Primary School Soccer Team competed in the Danone soccer competition, winning games at local, regional level and advanced to the provincial level.