FOUNDED in 2013 with the vision of offering equal opportunities to all children, the iLifa Group has partnered with the Small Projects Foundation (SPF) to bring quality physical education to rural schools in and around East London.
Both educators and passionate about physical education and the role it plays in a child’s development, the group’s founders, Hayden and Odette Buchholtz, decided to write a physical education programme of their own, namely the iLifa Sports Development programme.
“We were so inspired by the educators who teach in the no-fee schooling system. There are incredibly gifted teachers who are motivated to provide their students with the best possible opportunities,” Buchholtz said.
“However, these teachers are often limited by a lack of funds, facilities, equipment and in most cases parental support, yet they plough on and do the best they can.”
The programme simplifies the physical education element of the CAPS curriculum, making it easier to follow, and requires little space and inexpensive equipment, while ensuring maximum participation.
“We provide books, which include tests, equipment required for these tests and the rubrics required for assessment which are renewed every six months. We also provide training twice a term to all physical education teachers as well as weekly visitations.”
The iLifa Sports Development programme was initially offered to a few schools in Queenstown and Whittlesea, but the couple felt that the programme needed to expand.
In 2016 the iLifa Foundation was born, registering as a non-profit organisation with the intention of becoming more accessible and inclusive.
By January 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) included iLifa in their Quality Physical Education Programme.
Aided by SPF, the programme now operates in 14 schools in East London and two in Queenstown, allowing almost 11000 children to take part in physical education.
According to SPF’s Hilton Williams, sport and recreation is scarce in rural and township schools in and around East London.
“Children need to be exposed to sport and recreational activities from an early age and the iLifa programme is structured to meet all requirements of introducing physical education in schools. Both teachers and students are impressed with the programme.”