Songo is a youth development programme based in Stellenbosch's Kayamandi township. We use education and sport to provide opportunities for children to learn, play and grow while instilling the necessary life skills needed for a brighter future.
While we have a well-established programme for school-aged children, there is a need to teach riding skills to younger pre-school children, especially in Kayamandi, where few families can afford bicycles. Songo Tots gets children from local crèches onto balance bikes, under the guidance of experienced coaches.
This is our contribution to early childhood development (ECD).
Pre-school children between the ages of two and five years old learn to ride bicycles under supervision from professional coaches. In time, they will also participate in some ECD activities directed by an Occupational Therapist.
The main objectives are to teach children:
- Motor skills
This is done through the use of balance bikes, which promote symmetry, particularly with the upper body having to hold the handlebars steady whilst the lower part of the body is able to move freely and evenly. Balance, postural control, and symmetry all help children develop the basic skills for any future physical activity. Pedal bikes are introduced when the children are ready to safely ride them.
Currently there are two groups of approximately 10 children per group at the clubhouse twice a week. Each visit comprises a 30-minute session for the children, after which they are given a snack before being taken back to their nursery school/crèche.