The pioneering mental health initiative launched by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in August 2023 in collaboration with leading mental health organisations, entered its second phase this month.
The project was launched with a three-day training course in Pretoria in August 2023 and will see the training of a minimum of 200 coaches affiliated with CSA’s development Hub programme over a four-year period.
20 Hub coaches from the Gauteng province received training aimed at enabling them to provide appropriate support to underprivileged communities that are struggling under the burdens of mental health, substance abuse and other social problems.
These coaches are currently participating in monthly supervision sessions in order to further develop and refine the skills acquired during their training.
The overall aim of the project is to employ mental wellness and addiction recovery as drivers to address systemic issues which afflict our communities, with the ultimate aim of making a profound and sustainable positive impact at the heart of these communities.
The project’s focus now moves to the Western Cape, where the second cohort of 27 coaches received training between 08-10 November 2023 at the iconic Newlands Cricket Ground.
The three project partners, being CSA, the Ubuntu Addiction Community Trust (U-ACT) and The Corporate Butterfly, have all been encouraged by the positive results that are already evident, and are looking to carry the momentum from the first phase throughout training.
CSA Chief Executive Officer, Pholetsi Moseki, said;
“CSA is committed to addressing youth development at grassroots level in our communities.
“This initiative embodies that commitment, which enables us to create proud, homegrown leaders whilst addressing the mental wellbeing for communities grappling with mental health challenges, substance abuse, and various social issues.
“We firmly believe that by empowering coaches with the necessary skills and knowledge, we can create a lasting positive impact within our cricket pipeline and community at large.
“CSA, together with our partners, are working tirelessly to address systemic issues and bring about transformative change in the pipeline,” said Moseki.
Roselle Gowan of The Corporate Butterfly, said; “After the first phase in Gauteng, the tangible outcomes are evident, showcasing the positive effects of the project and the dedication invested by our coaches.
“Witnessing these transformations firsthand has been incredibly inspiring. I look forward to observing the initiative’s impact in the Western Cape and, in the broader context, across South Africa.
“The commitment of these coaches is truly making a difference and shaping a brighter future for our communities,” said Gowan.
David Collins from U-ACT said: “The crucial realization is that the issue often isn’t with the storyteller but with the listener’s ability to truly hear the narrative.
“This initiative provides a safe environment where individuals are genuinely listened to, acknowledged, and respected. We are fostering a space where everyone’s story matters, ensuring they are not just heard, but truly understood.”