Chess programme helping to keep kids off the streets

“Chess, as a sport, sharpens your mind and teaches you discipline,” said coach Petros Malemane speaking about a chess programme that he has introduced to keep children off the streets.

The aim of the programme is to keep children occupied and develop focused minds, he said. Malemane works with Makhulong a Matala to empower the children. More than 20 children from different extensions in Cosmo City, aged between 6 and 15, learn the basics of chess at Hlanganani Gardens from Monday to Thursday.

Coach Petros Malemane and kids

In an interview with Cosmo City Chronicle, Malemane said he brought the programme to keep youngsters off the streets.

“With the chess programme,” he said, “we need to enable children to make up their own minds, instead of being influenced by peer pressure. I teach them how the game is played, and how they can benefit from it.”

 “We want to push them very hard, especially those who are passionate about Chess,” he said. “Those who excel, we will get them participate in bigger chess competitions. I hope something positive, like ports scholarships will come through to uplift the talented chess enthusiasts.”

Under his mentorship programmes, Malemane does not only coach chess, but also netball, soccer (five aside) and fitness training. He also holds a youth interaction club, focusing on teenagers. He said he conducts the activities to inspire children and to keep them safe in the community.

“There are a lot of challenges that we face when we are mentoring the children,” he said. “Sometimes it is very hard to work with the parents. We also have a problem in terms of getting sponsors. We have a huge challenge of transporting children from one point to the next.”

SA’s Olympic, Paralympic athletes to receive the J&J vaccine

image of olympians from,

South African elite athletes will be vaccinated through the Sisonke Study ahead of international sporting events including the Tokyo Games kicking off in July.

This comes after the approval granted by the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to make available a “modest” number of the remaining COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine doses to support the nation before they expire.

According to the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the vaccination of these athletes, although not compulsory will take place at various vaccination sites throughout the country.

“After concluding the phase 3B open-label components of the healthcare worker study, the Sisonke investigators made an urgent application to SAHPRA requesting them to waiver the eligibility criteria to include persons of high priority to the nation, including the Olympic and Paralympic team to be allowed access to the Ad26 SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine,” said the council on Tuesday.

The SAMRC said the move to inoculate elite athletes was announced by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, when he launched the national vaccination rollout programme and supported by the Director-General, Dr Sandile Buthelezi.

SAMRC President and Chief Executive Officer, Professor Glenda Gray said, the athletes would have received the Pfizer vaccine.

However, Gray, who is also the national co-principal investigator of the Sisonke Study, said there was not enough time before their departure to complete the vaccination course of two doses.

“By them receiving the Sisonke vaccine, the Pfizer doses allocated to them will go to ordinary citizens of our country and thus will free up additional doses for our country,” said Gray, adding that all conditions of registration of the J&J vaccine will be observed for the vaccinated athletes.

“These include safety monitoring and reporting of the relevant safety outcomes to SAHPRA at specified intervals.”  

Co-national principal investigator, Professor Linda Gail Bekker said they are glad to be of assistance.

“At the end of the day these individuals are ambassadors for our country, they have to travel to do their jobs and they need to be vaccinated,” Bekker added.

Sisonke enabled government to make the J&J jab immediately available to healthcare workers using a research programme ahead of the third wave.

As part of the initial phase of the national vaccination rollout, 479 768 healthcare workers were vaccinated at 122 sites nationwide.

“This was necessary to safeguard the health system to deal with the third wave of COVID-19 infections and admissions and to vaccinate the rest of the nation.”

The SAMRC said sub-studies are ongoing to evaluate the vaccine further in pregnant and lactating women, in health workers living with HIV, older health workers and those with other co-morbidities. –

BA2 PELE soccer tournament held on Freedom Day

Cosmo City Local Football League partnered with B2P Funeral Services and hosted the inaugural BA2 PELE under 17 soccer tournament, at the Cosmo City Multipurpose sports grounds on 27 April.

A total of 14 soccer teams from Cosmo City, Kya Sands informal settlement, Msawawa informal settlement and from Malatjie informal settlement took part in the tournament, which started on Saturday 24th April with qualifiers and the quarter finals. Semi-finals and finals of the BA2 Pele Tournament were played on Freedom Day.

Inter Real Hustlers from Malatjie informal settlement near Lanseria, a new club that have joined the Cosmo City Football League edged out Cosmo City favourites Royal Gunners to win the final 5-4 on penalties after 2-2 draw during regulation time.

 Inter Real Hustlers walked away with a brand new soccer kit, trophy, gold medals and R1000 cash prize, while Tankiso Metlhare of Royal Gunners walked away with the golden boot of the tournament where he received a trophy and brand new soccer boots. We would like to thank B2P Funeral Services for the great prizes and for supporting such a great tournament while encouraging and inspiring our youth through football.

“I am very excited that we won BA2 PELE tournament,” said Inter Real Hustlers Coach Sammy Sebola. “Credit must also go to the boys. We lost two players due to injuries and came back to equalise. We kept on fighting until the last minute.”

The tournament was an opener for the 2021 Cosmo City Local Football League season after a long time without the youth being active on a football pitch due to COVID19. The tournament was also held to celebrate the heroics of those who fought for our country's Freedom through sports, which is a great unifier of the Cosmo City and surrounding communities.

 It was a challenge to organize such a great event particularly after such a long time without playing and with a new way of playing matches due to COVID19 regulations, said Cosmo City Local Football League Chairman Thulani Malebana.

“the tournament was a great success and was enjoyed by all players and teams that participated,” he said.

“As chairman of the Cosmo City Local Football League, I look forward to a great 2021 season as I have seen new and exciting teams which have joined our league and it promises to be a great season ahead as we continue with our fight to free our youth from the streets which exposes them to crime, drugs and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and other challenges faced by our youth. “

By Thulani Malebana - Cosmo City Local Football League Chairman

Karate sport reaches to Zandspruit

kwenzekile Soshuba

Martial Arts senseis from different parts of Johannesburg recently visited Zandspruit informal settlement and hosted an event to introduce basic principles of karate to the youngsters.

The event, which took place at Zandspruit taxi rank, saw different youngsters showcasing various techniques including striking, punching and kicking in their white gowns. 

The aim is to keep the children off the street and to provide them with an alternative to football, said Honeydew karate dojo founder Sensei Dumzani Mashinini.

“Soccer is the most dominant sport in theis community,” he said. “So we want to provide the children with something unique. The response from the youngsters is so overwhelming

Mashinini said that karate is beneficial to the children in different ways including improving self-control, building confidence, teaching respect, and defence. “We apply these teachings, which are good for the children’s development. We found that karate was beneficial to the families of the children, as the dojo provides a centre for the children to focus on positive things and not on the social ills surrounding them,” he explained.

With over 50 karate enthusiasts at the venue, all the children got the undivided attention from Mashinini and other karatekas who travelled from many parts of Joburg, including Soweto to help set the standard of karate in Honeydew.

As these kinds of workshops are expected to be held regularly, Mashinini hinted at entering some karate competitions in order for the children to compete on a professional level when they have perfectly mastered the dynamics of martial arts.

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