Published On: Mon, Oct 5th, 2015

IT meets sport in youth empowerment drive

CHILDRENJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ABOUT 500 South African schoolchildren will benefit from a training programme merging sport and informational and technology.

Dubbed the SAP Africa Kick and Code initiative, it aimes to empower boys and girls aged 8 – 15 and activities through soccer training from UEFA A-licensed coaches from Germany and South Africa, South African Football Association grass-root coaching license training, as well as software coding workshops by IT experts from SAP Africa.

Said to be a first of its kind globally, the innovative program leverages the interface of shared value and encourages strong business networks partnerships through popular sporting activities such as soccer.

Launched in Pretoria, where the youngsters have been drawn from 35 schools, SAP Africa Kick and Code is part of Africa Code Week, a continent-wide initiative running from October 1 to 10 across 17 African countries.

The latter aims to spread digital literacy and simplify access to software coding education for young people.Gideon Sam, President of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) said this was an exciting era of digital skills evolution for youth in Africa especially with soccer being the language of unity spoken across the entire African continent.

“Bringing sport and coding together to teach digital skills to under- privileged youth in a fun-filled fashion will positively impact the lives of youth and local communities,” Sam said.

A team of SAP local and international volunteers together with Eintracht Frankfurt Soccer coaches from Germany will support this initiative.

Uwe Mueller, team manager for Eintracht Frankfurt, said the team was proud to partner with SAP in this ground-breaking initiative to help develop both digital and soccer skills in South Africa, where sports and technology could be fused in such a way that children learn life-skills whilst having fun.

“The Digital Economy presents exciting opportunities to close the digital divide and it is through initiatives such as this driven by companies like SAP, that the future of software coding is made a reality,” Mueller commented.

Mehmood Khan, Chief Operation Officer at SAP Africa, said SAP committed to continue investing towards developing local ICT skills to help South Africa and the entire continent remain both competitive and relevant.

“It is evident that analytics-driven innovation is transforming industries across the board, including sports and technology plays a crucial role to effectively enable this transformation.

We are proud to contribute to the joy of the whole soccer experience as well as help equip our youth with the necessary skills to become relevant in the cut-throat job market,” said Khan.

– CAJ News

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