Oct 26, 2020

Read Time IconRead time: 3 mins

The JP21 Foundation: Investing in Local Communities Through Sports Initiatives

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Sport is viewed as a catalyst for social transformation, positive change, and development efforts throughout the world due to its unique ability to transcend national, racial, and religious divides. It plays a crucial role in helping build stronger relationships by uniting people from different age groups through physical activity and uplifting previously disadvantaged communities. Recognising the meaningful impact sport can have on all aspects of society, it’s therefore vital to develop successful sports initiatives to create powerful social bonds and foster inclusion.

Former South African international cricketer JP Duminy believes that “if anyone wants to start any kind of developmental programme or sporting clinic, they need to have a vision in mind and there needs to be an end goal”. His foundation, the JP21 Foundation, strives to provide opportunities to children in underdeveloped communities and schools by making the game of cricket accessible to all learners across South Africa.

Watch this video to hear more from Duminy as he talks about his foundation and the key aspects to developing a successful sports initiative in local communities:


Duminy also serves as a subject matter expert on the University of Cape Town (UCT) Sports Management: Business Principles in Sport online short course, which covers fundamental business competencies focusing on managing people and companies effectively, as well as the theoretical, structural, and practical facets of the sports industry.

The importance of development through sports

Sport and recreation activities play an integral part in a child’s physical and mental development. They lay the foundation for adequate growth and lifelong engagement in professional or leisure sports. In South Africa, local sports development initiatives are put in place to improve the health and well-being of the population, maximise access to sport activities, and nurture aspiring talent.1 This is done through targeted after-school and weekend programmes, which serve as an attractive way for learners to pass time and avoid negative influences.

Here are some of the other benefits of sport intervention programmes:

  1. Physical well-being: Regular exercise can help control weight, improve cardiorespiratory fitness, and reduce the chance of developing illnesses such as obesity and heart disease.2
  2. Mental health: Research shows that physical exercise can increase self-esteem, and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression in early childhood and in adolescents.3
  3. Community engagement: When participating in a team, friendships often form and a sense of togetherness is created. Sports development projects unite a variety of people from a range of backgrounds, providing them with the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons from one another.4
  4. Economic development: The sports industry contributes an excess of two per cent to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).5 This sector boosts the economy through job creation, indirectly reducing crime and healthcare costs due to a healthier population.6

The economic impact

Physical activity is a powerful tool that can be used to combat socio-economic issues. A study conducted by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) indicates that sport has contributed R8.8 billion to the province since 2012. Whilst the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and the realities of social distancing have negatively impacted performance of the sector, DCAS reveals that sport and recreation is still an important, and often underestimated, economic contributor.7 However, improving socio-economic activities is not solely the responsibility of the government, but a collective effort that requires the involvement of entrepreneurs, companies, volunteers, and citizens.

Inspiring meaningful change

Duminy is playing his part in developing the next generation of South African athletes through sports development initiatives by bringing the game of cricket to underprivileged communities. He is an example of how role models can have an astonishing effect on children’s lives, and are able to shape a child’s view of how they see the world while instilling good morals, values, and behaviours.8

Intervention programmes such as the JP21 Foundation are an effective way to positively influence children’s behaviour and choices, allowing them to develop into healthy and functional adults. Investing in local communities through sports initiatives creates opportunities for children to showcase their talents in an increasingly complex world. Strategic partnerships, both locally and internationally, come with a wider range of resources and expertise, so establishing more of these partnerships will not only benefit children and adolescents, but will also benefit the economy as a whole. 9

Starting your own sports development project doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There’s a wealth of information readily available for you to learn about the business aspects of sports and stay ahead of industry trends. Gain the sports management skills you need to develop an initiative in your community on the UCT Sports Management: Business Principles in Sport online short course, and learn from Duminy and other renowned guest experts.

Ready to make meaningful change in your community?
Learn to effectively start and manage your own local sports initiative.