Youth Sport Initiative presents ‘special’ poster at Community Interaction Symposium
“We are a special place.”
These words were part of the opening speech Prof Julian Smith, Vice-Rector: Community Interaction and Staff, delivered at this year’s Community Interaction Symposium on 6 September at the Academia Hall. And indeed, not only at Stellenbosch University, but also at the Youth Sport Initiative (YSI) of its Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI) ‘we are a special place’. How special the YSI is was proven with a unique poster as part of the official poster competition at the symposium.
Lorenza Williams and David Kappel represented the YSI team at the symposium which had the theme “Conceptualising Community Interaction for the 21st century University”. The interesting and interactive day started with a presentation by Dr Lis Lange (University of the Free Ftate), who explained the developmental stages of the university. Referring to South Africa, she highlighted that the country has achieved a lot but still has a long way to go. A speech by Prof Catherine Odora Hoppers (UNISA)advocating the ‘rethinking of education’ was read by one of her PhD students, because the Ugandan expert had suffered a stroke in 2010. Yet, this didn’t stop Prof Hoppers from motivating the audience that African wisdom can’t be neglected in the modern society. “Our attitude determines our action and that is why people in whichever role and position should listen when Africa speaks,” she explained. Prof Ronelle Carolissen (SU) discussed the conceptualisation of community and summarised that our view of the concept influences our approach and implementation of community interaction. Dr Antoinette Smith-Tolken (SU) and Ms Barbara Schmidt (UCT) spoke about the “Science Shop” model and its implementation as well as successes in Australia (Smith-Tolken) and in Cape Town (Schmidt).
The day was concluded with a cocktail function and a motivating speech by Prof Russel Botman, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. He stated that community interaction is the responsibility of the whole institution and not just of one division.
It was after this speech that the YSI’s delegates ‘hijacked’ the Rector and his Vice-Rector to introduce their poster to them. The concept of the poster was based on the children’s game snakes and ladders, where they portrayed the Youth Sport Initiative and linked it with the context of a 21st century University as well as the HOPE Project in a playful manner.
“It was a great experience and a very fruitful symposium. Indeed a good day’s work. We met a lot of interesting people and our poster was a great success. Even the Rector was very impressed with our work.” (Lorenza Williams)