Monday, June 28, 2010

Skillz Star, Silumgile, Selected as Sony Flag-Bearer

At age 10, it might be hard for Silumgile to grasp the significance of being a flag-bearer in the first African World Cup. Silumgile is nervous because the whole world’s eyes will be on her, and she admits, “It is my first time being a flag-bearer.” Her mom, Nella, on the other hand, considers her daughter’s opportunity with the reverie of a miracle as she recalls the days growing up in Khayelitsha watching the local kids play “rag-ball.” When Silumgile walks onto the field she will see colorful fans and flashing lights; what her mom will see is a horizon of opportunities that her daughter's future promises.

The Sony ticket fund has provided 25 Skillz graduates, just like Silungile, with the privilege of carrying a nations flag at the 2010 World Cup. Skillz coaches select each flag-bearer based on their demonstrated leadership and courage during Skillz camps. These individuals embrace the values Skillz teaches by participating in critical discussions and encouraging teammates to follow suit.

One GRS program manager, Chris Barkley, believes that this opportunity will create a deeper connection between flag bearers and their communities, “Hopefully they will see themselves as role-models and grow into future leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS.” Silumgile will certainly draw the admiration of her peers, so it is important that the others understand that positive behavior is what made this opportunity possible for her. If this aftereffect occurs, it is a critical step towards a generation of resilient youth in local African communities.

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiration to the South African youth and the rest of the community. There's a need for someone to step up.