Earlier this month, a delegation of 32 business leaders from Guernsey’s financial services community visited Cape Town, launching a partnership with the local sport-for-development charity, CoolPlay.
The captains of industry attended a mini netball and soccer tournament at one of the 21 CoolPlay partner schools in Cape Town, where they had the opportunity to meet the players (ranging from age nine to 13) and CoolPlay Champions, presenting them with sports kit. The Champions are coaches, who CoolPlay have trained to have meaningful conversations with their learners and impart valuable life skills through sport.
Having seen CoolPlay in action on the ground and learned about the organisational structure and governance, the delegation has set plans in motion to develop a long-term relationship.
Through this partnership, CoolPlay and We Are Guernsey aim to raise the necessary funding to deliver projects that will leave a lasting impact in the communities of District 6, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Kuilsriver, Stellenbosch, Ocean View and Masiphumelele. Over the course of five years, CoolPlay will create personal connections between funders, other organisations and the communities so that donors see the impact of their investment.
CoolPlay Chief Executive Tori Gardner said: “Finding sustainable funding is the greatest stressor for not-for-profit organisations like CoolPlay. Lasting and meaningful impact is made on the ground when long-standing partnerships are made and nurtured. This is what we hope to achieve with this group of generous businesses.”
We Are Guernsey Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant said that as an organisation tasked with promoting and connecting Guernsey around the world, We Are Guernsey is committed to lend its support in a practical way: “The links between Guernsey and South Africa go back over many years and as an organisation dedicated to being a good global citizen, the team at We Are Guernsey wants to give something back. CoolPlay is an inspiring charity and to have had 32 industry professionals in District 6, against the incredible backdrop of Table Mountain, was wonderful.
“Everyone there was so impressed with how the learners interact with their coaches. For us, coming from Guernsey, it’s been great to visit such an iconic area as District Six and to see how the charity works.”
During the trip, delegates also attended a gala dinner, organised by CoolPlay and We Are Guernsey, which raised more than R380,000 for the charity.
The dinner was in remembrance of the late Scott Campbell, a well-known and highly-regarded member of the financial services industry who passed away in 2021. His family nominated CoolPlay as the benefactor of the delegates’ charitable giving whilst in South Africa.
Guests at the dinner included sporting legends such as former Springbok Schalk Brits and Canadian Rugby legend Gareth Rees. Internationally renowned golfer, Ian Poulter delivered a personal pre-recorded address on the power of sport, which concluded with a thank you to We Are Guernsey for “showing support for this organisation that provides kids from disadvantaged communities around the Cape with skills they need for life. These skills are taught using sport as the vehicle, and what an impact it can have.”