Addressing drug use in Soweto

In South Africa, Premier Skills community coaches have reached an impressive 3,556 young people through community projects in two years, over half of whom were young women and girls.

Nomonde Mashabane is a Community Coach in Soweto who embarked on her training with Premier Skills in 2014. Working for the Soweto Local Football Association (LFA) and studying Sports Management at university, she realised she was increasingly interested in the potential for community development projects.

I loved being on the pitch, more than being in the office and Premier Skills was an opportunity to learn the principles and the basics of coaching. I thought: ‘I don't want to know the fixtures or who is leading the leagues, I want to know how the kids are developing, how well the coaches are doing, do we have enough coaches, enough players playing, are we making progress?

Nomonde Mashabane, Community Coach, South Africa

Drug use is a significant issue among adolescent boys in Soweto and children as young as ten have been treated for addiction. Nomonde has begun weekly sessions with children and teenagers to address this. "I live in a community that is stricken with poverty and drugs. We are reaching out to kids to say “there is an alternative. Once a week, come to my sessions.”

Training and developing female Community Coaches also strengthens the involvement of women in decision-making within communities, as well as offering numerous benefits for the young girls the coaches often go on to work with.

It inspires schoolgirls to take up the game. We grew up in a town where sport was for boys and me being there gives them a sense that this is a place for them, too. It gives them a push to take part in a sport they wouldn't have before. You become a role model without even noticing.

Nomonde Mashabane, Community Coach, South Africa


Sunday, 21 July, 2019 - 22:34