More than 300 young people from 16 different schools experienced a day full of handball, education, inspiration and empowerment at the PlayHandball Supercups in South Africa.

Another series of the unique PlayHandball Supercups kicked off in Johannesburg on 24 February, shortly followed by the Cape Town counterpart on 9 March. In the Supercup series, the 11 to 14-year-old girls and boys not only competed in exciting handball matches, but also learnt about recycling and how waste can pollute our soil and thus affect the quality of our food.

The aim of the tournament is to bring young people from different backgrounds together to play handball and at the same time promote environmental awareness and interest among our youth. The tournament was organised by PlayHandball ZA (PHZA) in collaboration with Waste-ED, the German International School Johannesburg, the Sport Initiative Projects in Daveyton and the Observatory Junior School in Cape Town. The competition was supported by Sales-Lentz

The PLAY HANDBALL Supercup is unique in its kind and has been the only handball and environmental tournament series in South Africa since 2016. The theme of this year’s tournament series was “Waste to Food – Healthy Food Choices”. The school teams prepared colourful and educational posters with their views and ideas on this topic and brought them to the tournaments.

“Play Handball believes that sustainable living and a healthy lifestyle are important. This includes not only sport and exercise, but also healthy eating and environmentally friendly habits. Every young person has a right to grow up in a healthy environment, but also a responsibility to contribute within their means, regardless of their social background. Awareness-raising and education are the basis for making this possible,” says Nicola Scholl, founder of PHZA, explaining the educational idea behind the school competition. “What’s more, the tournament is not just about winning on the pitch and scoring the most goals. We have integrated some social rules to ensure that the teams always play in mixed teams and that every child has a chance to play.”

An essential part of the Supercup is the Eco-Trail. At four different stations, the teams learnt about recycling, waste separation and about the importance of water for the body. The tournament was organised as a zero-waste event. And the trophies were also made from recycled plastic waste. The recycled trophies, plastic bottles filled with non-recyclable plastic – so-called Ecobricks, were mounted on silver cans and looked very similar to real trophies. In Cape Town, the Eco-Trail was organised by Waste-ED our waste-management and educational partner who has been part of the tournament since the beginning. We also had a team from DOOIY, the first open-sharing do-it-yourself platform with and for people in underserved communities, join us with an educational station in cape Town.

A total of 31 teams from private and public schools and community organisations from all over Gauteng, Cape Town, Darling and Piketberg took part in the two tournaments. The teams in Johannesburg came from seven schools: German International School Pretoria, German International School Johannesburg (DSJ), Dumehlezi Primary School, Kgalema Primary School, Ekurhuleni Academy, Barnato Park School, Madingoane Primary School. In Cape Town, in total nine schools participated: Observatory Junior School, Rouxville Primary School, Essenhout Primary School, Steynwille Primary School, Buckroad Primary School, Darling Outreach Foundation, Schotschekloof Primary School, Highbury Primary School and German School Cape Town.

Johannesburg results: The teams from the two German International Schools dominated the handball competition in Johannesburg. In the final of the U12 mixed group, Team II from the DSJ won against the first team from the same school. In the U14 mixed group, the German International School Pretoria triumphed over the two teams from the DSJ. The teams from Barnato Park School, Ekurhuleni Academy, Madingoane Primary School, Kgalema Primary School took fourth to seven place in the U12 and U14 competition.

“Handball is a sport that has long been part of German culture and is therefore also taught at the German International Schools,” says Silke Trummer, coordinator for additional programmes at the German International School Johannesburg, explaining the good performance of her teams. The provincial coach and coordinator of the sports initiative projects, Bongani Mdlalose, is very satisfied with the tournament: “We have seen some very nice games, there is a lot of talent on the field. We have just started handball again in the schools in Daveyton. So I am not surprised about the results of the schools. But the most important thing is that all the teams enjoyed the day and the children had fun. After the Supercup we will be starting a league in Daveyton with six schools from the local area taking part. At the next Supercup, the handball competition will certainly be more balanced. ”

Watch the video of the tournament in Johannesburg: click here.

Cape Town results: The German School won the U12 final, followed by Essenhout Primary School and the Schotschekloof School team in third place. The teams Essenhout II, Rouxville and Buckroad took fourth to sixth place in the U12 tournament. The U14 tournament in Cape Town was won by Observatory II. Second and third place went to Essenhout and Observatory I. The teams Steynville, Schotschekloof, Darling Outreach Foundation, Highbury I, Buckroad and Highbury II took fourth to eighth place.

Watch the video of the tournament in Cape Town: click here

The tournament series was launched in 2016 as a cooperation project between the PHZA and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) to raise awareness of climate change and promote environmental education and cohesion through sport. Since then, PlayHandball has organised eight Supercups and reached over 1500 young people aged 10 to 16 in South Africa and Kenya.

The tournament would not have been possible without our partners and numerous volunteers who helped with organisation and different tasks on the day, such as refereeing, assisting with catering and eco-trail and others. Our appreciation goes to the German International School Johannesburg, the Observatory Junior School, Waste-ED, DOOIY, the Gauteng Handball Association, the Lambano Academy, Bo-Kaap Handball Club, Spartans Handball Club, Cape Stars Handball Club and other helpers. We would like to thank the tournament sponsor Sales-Lentz for making this educational and fun event possible.

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