Sabi Sabi Commits To Another Year Of Dreamfields
In just over a year since committing to the Dreamfields project, Sabi Sabi's Dreamleague model has become a nationwide benchmark on how to
successfully run the programme. So says John Perlman, CEO of the Dreamfields Project.
"Could we possibly use the energy and excitement inspired by the first ever World Cup in Africa to generate sufficient resources to pay for soccer
facilities in needy South African schools, especially in rural areas and small towns? The Dreamfields Project was launched in October 2007 in an
attempt to do just that, and in Sabi Sabi we found an ideal partner. Now celebrating its second year The DreamLeague, created by Sabi Sabi,
was the first of its kind under the Dreamfields Project. We have learned a lot from this project and have begun encouraging other communities to follow
suit. There are now a number of DreamLeagues in different parts of the country following the Sabi Sabi model."
When the Sabi Sabi project was launched in July 2008 in conjunction with local communities, sporting opportunities were sparse and sporting equipment all
but non-existent. Drawing on their long experience of helping to uplift and empower the villages that are their neighbours, Sabi Sabi did more than
just provide the local schools with DreamBags of soccer and netball kit: they also set about organizing weekly league matches between the schools.
They intended to ensure that the sport played would achieve its most meaningful potential - creating camaraderie and positive exuberance among the
pupils, a joyous harnessing of and outlet for youthful energy, channeled into a healthy activity. They hoped to help encourage young people to get
involved with sport instead of being drawn into negative influences.
Thirteen schools - nine primary and four senior - from Lillydale, Huntingdon, Somerset and Justicia, participated in the inaugural league which
consisted of both netball and soccer fixtures. Each match was hard-fought, well supported by children and parents alike, and taught the players
invaluable lessons about competition, teamwork and sportsmanship.
According to Sabi Sabi group operations director, Rod Wyndham: "The Dreamfields project has created an enormous buzz amongst our staff, many of whom
have children or family members playing in the league. There is much competitive banter and excitement as match days draw near. One of the nicest
aspects is that the programme includes boys and girls, with both netball and soccer enjoying huge popularity amongst players and spectators. We are
really proud to be part of an initiative that creates so much positive spirit and are happy to announce that Sabi Sabi has committed to another year's
Local organiser Loderick Manyathele believes that from humble beginnings, the Dreamfields project can become a major force to be reckoned with.
According to Loderick, besides the excitement generated by the matches, the prizegivings and sports glory for the winners, Sabi Sabi has achieved its
objectives of providing much needed fun and games for the local youngsters through this Ximhungwe Circuit. Sabi Sabi is determined to grow the
tournament for years to come, which is wonderful for the local villages.
Whereas initially, Sabi Sabi became involved with Dreamfields simply to offer underprivileged school children a chance to get involved in team sports,
in reality, the programme has become much more. The hope is that with these happier, more focused children, the enthusiasm for learning in the
classrooms and subsequent schooling results will also improve.
The final words from Sabi Sabi marketing director, Jacques Smit, sum the project up perfectly: "While watching one of the key soccer matches a few
weeks ago, it struck me that this project is really all about people. It's not about marketing or sponsorship or business - it's about children playing
the sports they love, building relationships and learning about themselves. It is fantastic that we have this opportunity to be involved with
Dreamfields and hope that the many positive spin-offs will reverberate within the extended Sabi Sabi family for years to come."