Egoli Squash is an outreach programme of Central Gauteng Squash, established in 2009 in South Africa, which uses the platform of sport as a catalyst to empower children to see opportunities outside of the cycle of poverty and crime in their communities.
Supported by the PSA Foundation – the charitable arm of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) – Egoli Squash helps people from the disadvantaged communities within the inner-city of Johannesburg, Soweto and Alexandra. Within these communities, the infrastructure is poor and many residents live in densely populated areas, amid high levels of poverty, crime, HIV/AIDS and unemployment. Amid such deprived conditions, youths tend to resort to anti-social behaviour and can fall into a cycle of HIV-infection, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and violence.
Despite the poverty and crime which is prevalent in the Chiawelo community of Soweto, for example, Egoli Squash is making transformation possible through the sport of squash. They can do this thanks to the support from Squash South Africa and with funding from SRSA (Government Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa).
Below you can see further the impact Egoli Squash has on the lives of special circumstance juniors, as they hosted introductory squash sessions to Sizwile School for Deaf Children.
Not only has Egoli Squash had success at changing lives at grassroots level, but they have also seen success right through the performance pathway up to the professional tour.
Back in February, the PSA Foundation supported their rising star Amukelani Zitha in registering as a PSA World Tour player. He then competed in in his first PSA Satellite tournament as a registered player, the Prince Open 2020 in Johannesburg.
Other initiatives of Egoli Squash include:
- Squash Mass Participation Programme – Nurturing talent & keeping the fun in schools sports
- Colts Future Champions Programme: Developing champions from disadvantaged communities
- Amaqhawekazi Women In Squash: Levelling the sports field and creating new opportunities for girls
- WE Can Academic Support Programme: Education access, beating poverty and unlocking prosperity
- Life Skills and Youth Leadership Programme
- Community Service Programme
- 30 players ranked in the top 10 in their different age group in Central Gauteng in 2019
- Their players have qualified to represent SA in the World Junior Championships in Poland and qualified to represent South Africa at the All Africa Championships
- In 2019, Egoli Squash extended its reach through the introduction of new squash programs in the inner-city of Johannesburg for new high school learners, increasing their reach of children by approximately 1,000.
- The addition of a squash court and computer room at the Gazankulu School squash centre, in Soweto. This is the first time in 25 years that a new court has been built in Soweto.
- Seven of their coaches have now attained SA Squash Level 1 qualifications and three of their coaches have graduated in the Laureus YES programme which aims to support youth leaders from Sport for Social Change (SSC) organisations.
- “Nathi Siyakhona” Adult Beginners Course: Defying Ageism Stereotype & Engaging in Life-long Activity. An initiative to use squash based activities as a stress alleviation and mobility improver for grandparents who have had to take guardianship of their orphaned grandchildren (30 take part regularly).
- Seven of the Egoli Squash 2018 members are now pursuing tertiary education as a result of their squash and academic abilities at The University of Johannesburg
Egoli Squash Ubuntu Food Drive
Ubunto translates into ‘a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity’. Egoli Squash have been hugely successful in making sure that the thousandso f families that take part in their initiatives have food on the table at the end of each day. Amukelani, the Egoli Squash rising talent was out delivering food to those in need.
How to Support Egoli Squash
You can donate to support the fantastic work of Egoli Squash here.
For more on the programmes that the PSA Foundation support, visit their website.