Apish Blogs on Laureus Visit
Greetings world! My name is Apish Tshetsha born in Eastern Cape and raised in Western Cape. I live in Masi shortened from ‘’Masiphumelele’’ meaning we should succeed, Masi is a township about 40 kilometers from Cape Town. It is a multiracial township where people are moving in different directions in terms of lifestyle. Masi is a friendly place but we are facing a lot of challenges including drug abuse, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, gangs and mostly hiv.
Coming from a peaceful side of the country which is the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape was quite challenging. I came for a better education but today I have to be conscious by avoiding some bad habits from my peers. I decided to play soccer until I met Waves for Change who introduced me to surfing. Being from a Xhosa culture was another challenge because of the traditional believes about the sea which is an unknown environment to us.
Today I am proud to say I am a head coach with Waves for Change. At Waves for Change we use sport (surfing) as an integrated form of learning to teach teenagers more about hiv, life skills, the ocean, to encourage teenagers to make good choices and to be young role models in their community. As a head coach I have to make sure that other coaches are prepared to deliver the lessons to the teenagers and also make sure that relationship between coaches and teenagers stays healthy.
Being a head coach to me means I have to be honest to the teenagers and to myself. I have to walk the talk, meaning that I have to lead by example because most of the teenagers that are involved in the Waves for Change programme are from the township that I also live in. It is a challenge to live a purely true life but I hope I am able to influence the teenagers to do the same.
Recently Waves for Change was visited by our main sponsor ‘’The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’’ and that was epic. Being a young leader from an underprivileged township, and sharing a stage with the former manager of the national rugby team ( Morne du Plessis) and the star player of the national rugby team (Bryan Habana) was a magnificent and motivating experience. Mike Horn, global explorer and a laureus ambassador, and 35 young explorers from all over the world were the guests of honor.
We played some of the Waves for Change lifeskills games, we shared traditional food, we danced to the tune of the marimba band and, of course, we surfed. To me it was an unforgettable moment. I felt so motivated, inspired and encouraged. It is so awesome knowing that there are people who support us and believe in us. It keeps me going to see that people love what we do through sport, and how we use sport as a tool to create discussions about serious issues facing our community.
Thanks to Laureus and I look forward to the next time.