“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.” Nelson Mandela, 25 May 2000
Inspired by Madiba’s words and legacy, Imperial Logistics devoted its Mandela Day 2017 to cricket and children. The group’s heart-warming activities included a busy day spent with the people of Alexandra, the Alexandra Cricket Club and the Gauteng Cricket Board, as well as at the Zitha Primary School in Evaton.
“Our 67 minutes in Alexandra included activities like planting trees, creating a vegetable garden and painting the clubhouse,” reports Imperial Logistics chief strategy officer Cobus Rossouw. Alexandra’s children joined in the Mandela Day festivities, and singing, dancing, eating, learning and a game of cricket were also on the packed programme. The children enjoyed food packs, and received beanies to keep them warm.
Cheered on by hundreds of spectators, an Imperial team took on the Lions in a highly contested Mandela Day cricket match. The supply chain and logistics leader also handed over a cheque for R100 000 to the Alexandra Cricket Club. “This money will ensure that the youth teams have both food and transport to their weekend games,” says Rossouw.
Imperial’s Mandela Day activities in Alexandra also included a road safety programme. “Together with the Active Education team, part of our Mandela Day celebrations involved interacting with over 250 young citizens of Alexandra on how to stay safe on our roads. Singing and dancing made the learning seem easy!”
Rossouw comments that, like the great Nelson Mandela, Imperial Logistics believes in the transformative power of sport. “It has the power to unite people and ignite in them a shared passion and common purpose. Cricket can bring the youth of a community together and teaches them life lessons about team work and healthy living. The Alexandra Cricket Club is in the heart of Gauteng, where we have several operations and staff, and it was fitting for us to support this well-established club which has a thriving youth programme.”
Going forward, Imperial plans to extend its partnership with both the Alexandra Cricket Club and Gauteng Cricket. “We will seek out opportunities where we can actively support them and young cricket players.”
In Evaton, around 80 Imperial Logistics staff members went to Zitha Primary School to celebrate Mandela Day with children from the school and the surrounding area. Imperial upgraded the school’s Grade R facilities with a new Wendy House, astro turf, a new sandpit, jungle gyms and a traffic area for the children to ride their bicycles around. Two classrooms were also refurbished, with new floors, paint, posters and furniture. Imperial also did a major clean up, and stocked the classrooms with new books and games. The Mandela Day activities at Zitha Primary were not all work and no play, however. The Imperial volunteers organised a sports day for the 200 children and staff, with fun races and prizes.