Believe it or not but Let’s Play celebrates its 10th birthday this year – on 5 November to be precise – how time flies! Z PR has had the privilege to be involved with this amazing initiative from SuperSport since it’s inception.
Over the past 10 years, Let’s Play has been established as the entity that empowers children to be sport active. Among others, Let’s Play won the ‘Youth Development Category’ of the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Awards 2015. This premier award on the CSI calendar was created 27 years ago to publicise the often unsung contributions to the future of South Africa and its citizens.
Broadly intended to get South African children active, Let’s Play has grown from humble beginnings and is now entrenched in schools, suburbs and townships across the country. To get an idea of its incredible scope, Let’s Play engages with hundreds of thousands of children every week, plus 2000 coaches spread across more than 2500 schools in nine provinces. By any measure, that’s an enormous reach and credit to Let’s Play’s energetic supporters.
Let’s Play’s continued success is due to a number of factors, not least the support of donors and sponsors. Moreover, endorsements from the Departments of Sport and Recreation, Basic Education, plus a vibrant working relationship with UNICEF, give it the muscle to reach its ambitions.
Vaughn Bishop, who heads up the campaign, summed up the rationale behind Let’s Play: “Children are faced with many negative influences due to a lack of social engagement and opportunities for play. I believe that sport can make a significant difference in lifestyle and behaviour change and provide both hope and purpose to the children of South Africa,” he said.
“It is clear, however, that no single individual or organisation has the ability to resolve the great challenges facing our children and, in this context, the importance of building partnerships and promoting strategic corporate investment in their development is crucial to making a lasting difference.”
In celebration of the 10 years of activating our children, Let’s Play launched the Schools Physical Education Challenge, which was arguably the biggest schools sporting event to date. The Challenge was a nation-wide event targeted at 10- and 11-year-olds initially from 500 of South Africa’s primary schools. The primary objective of the Challenge was to reinforce the instruction of curriculum-oriented physical education and to promote physical activity in all schools. 403 650 learners were exposed to PhysEd, while 38 297 learners competed in the Challenge.
On Let’s Play’s birthday, the 5th November, the fittest primary school per province will compete for the title with the grand prize a R1.2-million all-purpose, all-weather multi-use sport court to be built at the winning school. This will coincide with a live studio audience comprising Let’s Play partners and sponsors.
Five particular milestones highlight Let’s Play’s history:
- Winner of the Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Award 2008, 2012 and 2015. Winner Sports Industry Awards 2010 and finalist in 2014.
- Launched in Nigeria in 2011 and Kenya in 2014.
- Let’s Play presented as a case study at the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Sport for All in Peru in 2013.
- Let’s Play schools rugby project partners eight rugby unions reaching 450 primary schools and 15 000 boys and girls.
- Let’s Play presented as “best practice case study” on how to implement and sustain sport in schools, to the SASCOC national conference in 2015.
Such cases are measurable successes and proof positive of the power and goodness of the Let’s Play project.
Well done Let’s Play! We are very proud to be associated with you!