By Fleur Rollason
There is a lot more to Rhodes sports societies than meets the eye. Spectators only see the end result; they have no idea what goes on at a practice session or what Rhodes men and women do for our local community.
Whether it is the Health Suite organising aerobics marathons or spin-a-thons to raise money or the water polo club hosting swimming lessons for children in the township, sports societies help develop the sports stars of tomorrow.
The Health Suite also has two community projects. Members of the GADRA Blind Society train at the Health Suite twice a week with the help of staff members. Health Suite staff also take aerobics classes at the Somerset Place Retirement Village twice a week.
The Rugby Club coaches school children from the location every Friday afternoon. Other clubs such as Squash and Hockey have similar arrangements.
The Rowing Club are involved with Nemato Rowing Club in Port Alfred, according to Jonathan Handley, the club’s development officer. Club members help coach the children from Port Alfred’s Nelson Mandela Township and give them support at regattas. Handley says the club has started a new initiative concerned with indoor rowing, a sport that is quickly developing around the world. Club members coach children from Nombulelo Secondary School five days a week. The club is hoping there will be a strong team to take part in the first annual indoor rowing championships to be held in Johannesburg next month.
Rhodes’ sports clubs and their volunteers enjoy the community outreach work and they learn just as much as those being taught. The community outreach helps everyone in our community, young and old.