Kick-and-code brings skills to kids
Soccer/computer crossover stimulates minds
SOCCER and computer skills may seem worlds apart, but this week both, along with lessons in coding, were used to stimulate young minds in Cape Town.
A group of 85 children aged 8 to 15 spent four days at a kickand-coding camp, held at the German International School in Cape Town.
Another 150 children from Gugulethu and Manenberg will join in the fun today, as the coaches move to the safe hub at Nyanga Junction to teach the art of coding.
The organisers said the “kick” part of the event offered young people the chance to have fun and enjoy a game of soccer.
They receive quality training in soccer skills from qualified coaches.
For the “code” part, they are trained in MIT’s scratch coding, to introduce them to the language and logic of computer coding.
“Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations,” 10-year-old Arun Mueller, a Grade 4 pupil from Green Point, demonstrated to Weekend Argus.
He demonstrated how to create an app to command movement on a compuer screen.
He took his app home at the end of the camp.
Elke Simon-Keller, of Africa SAP Innovation Lead, said the this week’s school camp was part of the Africa code week programme, due to kick off officially on October 15.
That programme targets 150 000 children and youth across 30 countries.
“The aim of this camp is to create active young bodies and minds.
“That is why we combined soccer with ICT.
“We want kids to know how to code because there is a great need for people to know how to do programming,” she said.
Moritz Bottcher, project co-ordinator for the Eintracht Frankfurt sports club in Germany, said soccer was a major drawcard for the children.
“We offer them skills training, goal training as well as co-ordination training. But we understand that soccer on its own won’t make children sustainable, so that is where SAP comes in,” he added.
Today’s festival in Nyanga Junction is part of their “outreach programme for less privileged children”, said Simon-Keller, adding the aim was “the integration of cultures, as people from varying backgrounds will be involved in teaching one another different skills”.
“We have experienced coaches who are retired football players to assist in the soccer, while we also have the coaches from Gugulethu and Mannenberg who will be part of today’s event,” she said.
By the end of today, more Cape Town kids will be well equipped with coding as well as sporting skills.
Former German international football player Manfred Binz during the Kick and Code Camp at the German international School in Cape Town.