On Wednesday, 19 January 2011 the UJ Varsity Cup Squad began the day with a mission. However, they were not looking to score a touchdown but rather to score points in the fight against women abuse when the squad decided to use available funds for extra-rugby investment to upgrade a women’s shelter in Vosloorus.
In support of the People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) initiative, UJ students, Quintin Minnaar and Yssel Swanepoel headed up the community outreach and approached the shelter’s manager for a list of their most important needs.The enthusiastic sports players grabbed brooms, mops, tools and various other cleaning and repairing materials and headed off in busses to do their bit for charity. Not even a 6am fitness session and the notorious Johannesburg peak hour traffic could dampen their altruistic spirits.
The boys were soon in action; unpacking the new beds, painting the interior and offloading toys to add some colour and fun to the lives of the women and children finding refuge at the shelter. The UJ team also focused on toys that could also be utilised for counselling sessions with the children if required. In line with the UJ Varsity Cup Squad’s mission of quality the work and determined focus, they started by cleaning walls and then split up in teams. So while some cleaned the premises others painted, renovated doors, replaced broken items and fixed leaking toilets.
The rugby boys were dedicated to the task at hand and didn’t stop until everything was finished. Some even took some time to play soccer with some of the kids. Within a space of four and a half hours, the Vosloorus POWA shelter was equipped with new beds, freshly painted rooms, properly locking doors, new bibles and a lot of great toys!
This was a great opportunity to give back to the community and to demonstrate that the sometimes mean-looking, strong rugby boys really do have hearts of gold! The counsellors, social worker and residents at the shelter were deeply appreciative of the unexpected gift. They will hopefully attend every one of our home games now as they definitely feel part of the UJ family.
A big thanks to everybody who was involved in this project.
Article by UJ
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