The Goby en route to Durban with Vaughn Bishop on board (right).

Durban - On Mandela Day (July 18), at least 500 school children will get an opportunity to tackle the plastic waste issue on the Durban’s coastline through the Goby (Global Organisation 4 Brighter Youth) Environmental Project,which has international and local partners.

The aim of this project is to return local beaches to pristine condition, which also the objective of the city’s “Durban Regeneration Project 2022”.

Children who will be in the mix on the day will not only get to clean New Beach, the venue for the project’s launch, but they would also play games of beach cricket with re-purposed plastic equipment, soccer and cricket.

Members of the public will be encouraged to feed Goby, a 5m X 2M structure with plastic on the day. All the collected items will then be bound for recycling.   

Vaughn Bishop, who is the founder of the Goby Project said the event is not merely an opportunity for associated partners to get exposure but a concerted effort to clean-up local beaches.

And it will give children between the ages of 10 and 12 from 100 schools set in disadvantaged communities in KZN exposure to environmental and educational programmes and playing sustainable sport.

On the day, participating children, who have been encouraged to collect plastic bags, containers and bottle tops from their communities,will be shown how to make hand-made cricket sets, consisting of bats, wickets made mainly from bottle tops and balls made from plastic bags.

Bishop said: “We focus on promoting a healthier and active lifestyle while educating our youth on the issue of plastic waste. It’s fantastic to be able to engage with learners and show them how easy it is to make sports equipment from plastic waste. We look forward to providing kids from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to play various sporting codes on the beach and inland in line with the global sport partnerships, while at the same time the environment becomes cleaner.” 

Some of the project’s partners include UNICEF South Africa, FIFA Beach Soccer WorldWide Foundation, Federation Internationale de Volleyball and Hitachi Construction Machinery Southern Africa.

The event commences at midday.

Sunday Tribune