What is Aslan Hope in Sport and how can you get involved?
Who we are and how it all started?
ASLAN-Hope In Sport is a registered Christian non-profit company established in August 2015 which incorporates charitable work founded by South African Olympian Denzil Dolley in October 2014. This story began with obedience to a ‘whisper’ from God, which Denzil received at Holcombe Park, Kent, UK in January of 2007. Later this was confirmed by a vision at St John’s Church of England Primary School, Penge, UK in October 2010 while Denzil was leading an Ofsted observed PE lesson with a grade 2 class, coaching ‘Sofia’ the technical skills of doing ladder work. This developed into a clearer vision of starting up a Kick London like sports charity in South Africa. This became a vision that produced a passion in Denzil and just never went away. Through much discernment and godly counsel, and with support from Sutton Vineyard Church (SVC), Woking Men’s Hockey Club, Kick London and many amazing people, it became a reality. We were commissioned by SVC to implement this vision by establishing Aslan Hope In Sport in South Africa. By God’s grace and ever present unconditional love and strength, this God-honouring sports ministry was birthed in Cape Town in November 2014. Our first official Outreach Sports Project took place in the Township of Dunoon just off the N7 on 30 Jan 2015. Of the 32 young people who shared in this event, 22 found hope in Jesus that day, and made a decision to follow Him.
Our board of trustees consist of 3 members currently: Deon Morgan (RSA), Brian Durrant (UK) and Alozie Nwankwo (UK). We have 1 permanent full-time staff and 6 part-time staff coaches.
What are we doing?
- Aslan-Hope In Sport works with young people, many of whom are at risk of being excluded from schools, who are vulnerable to crime or gangsterism or are from communities that experience high levels of social deprivation.
- We provide succinct life-skills/values-based teaching integrated into sports activities.
- We provide opportunities for students to serve through volunteer/internship work in our sports ministry outreach projects in the local community, offering new experiences and the opportunity to gain new skills.
- We provide young people with coaches that are positive role models who will build mentoring relationships, self-esteem and a sense of purpose.
Why are we doing it?
- For all people to find hope, through sport as a tool, with the desire that all will hear the message of hope in the person of Aslan (Jesus is represented in CS Lewis’s Narnia stories by a lion of this name) and in how we, as Aslan staff, go about our daily jobs and lives. We believe that only Jesus transforms lives, not us – our part is to be obedient and show up, the outcome is His.
- To use sport to upskill young people with life skills and positive character qualities to show them that through applying the lessons taught in sport, they can apply them in all aspects of life (leading, team dynamics, discipline, integrity, respect etc.).
How do we aim to achieve our vision?
- By using sport as a tool to engage with young people in their communities with a planned agenda. We do this by combining sport and life skills, underpinned by Christian values
- By deploying qualified coaches to impart sports and life skills to young people
- By facilitating various sporting and life skills programs in communities
- By partnering with organisations and corporate companies to maximize each other’s strengths.
- Through nutritional feeding projects, sport camps/clinics and tournaments.
- By having enough equipment and training readily available to make maximum impact.
The impact of the charity:
- In 2017 our target was to reach communities with our Sports, Feeding and Values Outreach Projects and to complete 50 projects. We are thrilled to say we exceeded this goal with 72 relational connections made with young people and their communities.
- In 2016 our target was to reach communities with our Sports, Feeding and Values Outreach Projects and to complete 15 projects in 5 different communities. We exceeded our expectations and completed 31 projects in 9 different communities.
- In 2015 we reached 3 communities and delivered 9 Sports, Feeding and Values Outreach Projects.
- Since our launch in 2015 we have made relational connections in communities including Dunoon, Langa, Milnerton, Philippi and Nyanga, Brooklands, Dubanville Farming Community, Summer Greens, Ysterplaat and Edgemead High School.