“I am delighted to be supporting this initiative by Hope Through Action. I believe this project will leave a lasting legacy after the World Cup and providing youngsters with good facilities, training and mentoring will motivate them to change their difficult circumstances.”


Matthew Booth, Ex South African Football National Team Captain.

“The Township of Mbekweni is full of people with great spirit and determination and they deserve the opportunity to develop the cricket skills which so many of them possess. More importantly, for the majority cricket will just provide a platform for them to discover self-esteem and grow as people. I can think of few more worthy causes and would urge you to provide the project with support in any way you can.”

Paul Collingwood, England ICC World Twenty20 winning Captain.

“I am delighted to support Hope Through Action as they develop sports and community based projects in South Africa. Both Hope Through Action and I recognise the need to mobilise resources to address social, health, educational and developmental problems. I wish them success as they bring resources from communities and organisations around the world to help the young people of our nation develop their potential“

F W De Klerk, former President of South Africa.

“I was honoured to open the Mbekweni facility on behalf of the Football League. In reality Mbekweni is all about community, sport, education, health, empowerment, improvement and self-confidence. Thank you for letting me be part of an inspirational activity. I look forward to continuing to play a supportive part.”

Lord Mawhinney, Honorary President of the English Football League

“The trust and solidarity that manifested amongst the WGILS did not manifest in isolation or in a vacuum, independent of external factors such as material conditions or infrastructure. The physical space of the MCSC and the actual WGILS programme created a climate where relationships of trust could manifest themselves”

Marizanne Grundlingh, Stellenbosch University Masters Student.

“It is encouraging to see preschool children actively taking part in sport, and, as Drakenstein Municipality, we pledge to support more of these initiatives.”

Executive Councillor Qebenya

“As we left the sophisticated confines of Cape Town little did we appreciate the impact that our visit to Mbekweni would have on parents, coaches and players alike. The sport was played in a truly Corinthian spirit. It was remarked upon how well the Mbekweni boys conducted themselves on the pitch….in stark contrast to what we witness from the touchlines at home. The quality of their coaching was obvious to see and the desire of the Mbekweni kids to learn and improve their skills was evident throughout.

The professionalism of the Score team and the partnership with the centre/Hope Through Action is truly impressive. The execution, delivery and impact of your strategy in the Community is demonstrable. What an exciting blueprint to roll out more widely!”

Julian Metherill, one of our supporters following a visit with a young cricket team from London.

I think the Centre is a good place for the people of my community, because it will groom champions for Mbekweni, it will also help to decrease the crime rate. I also think the centre is a safe place for the small children of my community. I even learned many things about HIV/AIDS because we don’t know many things about HIV/AIDS. I learned the way to communicate with other people outside South Africa.”

Mbekweni Community Sports Centre User

“Here at the Centre I have also met many people, people who enjoy sport. I also like sport and when we play together you get to know each other better. The sport we do here helps me to communicate and have fun with my friends, I have made good friends here.”

WGILS participant

“I am very grateful for this opportunity that Mbekweni Community Sport Centre has afforded us, now we can make informed choices in our career paths”

WGILS participant

“People used to discriminate against me because I’m disabled. I could never play football, but now I am playing with able bodied children too!”

Sinako participant

“I feel great that the sports centre was built here in Mbekweni because some of the youth that are using drugs are not using them regularly anymore. More people are now taking part in sport and when people play sport they are safe. They don’t do drugs and also don’t have time to do wrong things that they usually do, e.g. house breaking and stealing etc. We need to teach youth about drug awareness and also about things that are happening outside so that we can be great leaders for the next generation.”

Mbekweni Community Sports Centre User (age 17)

“I am very happy to be reunited with these boys. They were playing for my junior teams but left sport and experimented with different drugs, so it’s good to see them playing sport again”

Mzimkhulu Godlo, a HTA/SCORE Sports facilitator

“I was a former gangster, but since playing cricket I have learned respect and discipline. Now I play cricket and socialise. I am free.”

Mbekweni Cricket Club Captain

“The WGILS is something I really enjoy. I love sport and I love people. I come from a poor place and it is nice coming to the Mbekweni Community Sports Centre to do sport. I do sport because I don’t want become involved in doing bad things, things like drinking and using drugs, like some of my friends do who don’t do sport. On a Monday I know I come here, do WGILS and go home. What I learn at WGILS makes me think about my life and what choices I make… I want to make good choices”

Interview with a WGILS participant.