It’s a game changer at Oval North High

Pupils strike a pose after their dance class at Oval North High School in Beacon Valley.

Oval North High School was a hub of activity at the launch of the After-school Game Changer programme this month when pupils participated in sport and fun activities such as cycling, gymnastics, dancing and yoga.

Oval North will now be hosting a range of activities, in collaboration with the MOD centres, for Mitchell’s Plain pupils, twice a week.

Oval North High School principal Na-eem Cassiem said the pupils will be occupied with activities from 3pm to 6pm.

“This is one of the Premier’s projects that we are implementing and it is amazing to see the interest of pupils. There are so many things that pupils can participate in such as sport and art.

“The aim of the programme is to keep our children off the streets. “If you look at it, where would our children have been between 3pm and 6pm? Would they have been doing something constructive. As we know our children are faced with challenges such as gangsterism, drugs and are dropping out of school. So, because we do not want them to get involved with any of these social ills we thought that we would implement it as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr Cassiem said he hopes to motivate pupils to become active and make use of this opportunity. “Back in my day we were not exposed to opportunities like this – in other words their lives should be better than mine. I also would like to thank those who are involved in the project, taking their time to teach and engage with our children,” he said.

Dance coach Jonathan Munnick said he was overwhelmed by the interest and participation of the pupils. “The one thing that stood out for me were the smiles on the pupils faces while doing the routines. They enjoyed it and seeing them happy is an achievement. Our children have so much talent and they don’t even know it.

“I will be working with these pupils weekly, doing a range of dance styles. This includes hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. I also would like to thank my assistant coach Nadia Sables, for helping me out in sessions,” he said.

Oval North High School pupil Yaseen Darries, 18, said he looks forward to the sessions because they are interesting and fun. “I love dancing! I never thought the school would offer these sessions but I am glad they have. Dancing gives you an awesome workout, and I get to mingle with my friends,” he said.