Empowered women, empower women

August 10, 2019

Women’s month celebrates one year of REN!

August 9, 2018 was the day we held our first hockey event in Khayelitsha! August 9 is also the National Women’s Day in South Africa! It is fitting to acknowledge all the women who have influenced our journey to this point. Every strong woman – and man of course – that I have met has impacted me in some way, and molded me into someone with strong vision and passion.

Physical sport is a male-dominated activity in the townships. Having worked in other township sport programs, I noticed participation was often 90% boys while the girls preferred to sit on the side. Because of this, one of my first goals was to encourage equal participation from boys and girls . We knew it could be a challenge, but it was important not to neglect virtually half of the community!

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

— Mahatma Gandhi

This quote “empowered women, empower women” has motivated me to focus on the continued improvement of myself in order to improve this community. To create the cycle of empowerment that we envision at REN Hockey, we must be the change that we want to see. As we aim to empower girls and all youth in Khayelitsha, it is important that we provide them with empowered leaders who can help them blaze new paths. In this respect, being a strong female who cares about the girls in this community has been one of the best things for REN Hockey. Girls are excited to come each session and with each session the fearlessness in them emerges. Around 60% of our participants are girls!

This month we celebrate women AND one year of REN Hockey. While we are making strides improving women’s participation in sport, our vision is for a more equal society to become a reality.  We will continue to celebrate our girls, our youth, and our Khayelitsha community every day of the year until inequality, in all aspects, has been addressed. 

Thank you! Enkosi!

Carenna

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