CAPE TOWN, 17 April 2009 â€“ The DLF IPL today launched an R8-million scholarship programme for schools and individual learners that will be among the largest community programmes in South Africa by a sport organisation.
The tournament’s Chairman and Commissioner Lalit Modi announced the programme today at a special event at Alexander Sinton High School in Athlone, Cape Town. The school became the first beneficiary of the Help Educate And Teach (HEAT) programme when headmaster Faziel Parker officially received R100 000 paid into a dedicated scholarship fund at the school.
The launch was attended by hundreds of Alexander Sinton High School learners who were joined for the occasion by captains and leading players of DLF IPL teams including Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen, MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly.
Modi told the learners that a good education remains at the heart of any effort to develop and uplift individuals and nations.
“Talented sports people can become big stars, but without a good education there is something missing from sporting achievement. And for those of us not blessed with outstanding sporting talent, our futures are built on ensuring that we stay in school and equip ourselves for a productive and successful life,” he said.
Modi said that the emergence of a modern and successful India in recent times has been built on a strong education foundation. “This emphasis on education is now paying off many times over as India has grown into an economic powerhouse far better equipped to lift people out of poverty.
“This experience and several similarities between India’s and South Africa’s programmes to address poverty were central to our decision to focus on education as the DLF IPL’s investment in South African communities in need,” said Modi.
The HEAT programme has two parts. In the first, four schools in need in the vicinity of each host city have been identified to receive R100 000 for a specifically dedicated scholarship fund. In all, 32 schools will benefit from this aspect of the HEAT programme. Each R100 000 is paid directly into a scholarship bank account in the school’s name.
Parents and school governing bodies will be encouraged to participate in decisions on how to allocate scholarships.
Players from all the DFL IPL teams will be involved in visiting the beneficiary schools to mark the occasion.
The second part of the HEAT programme will benefit individual learners attending DFL IPL matches. With the help of match television producers, five learners will be identified at every match and their faces flashed on the stadium screens.
Each of these will have R15 000 paid into their school fees account in their names.
“It is well known that many parents struggle with school fees while striving to ensure that their children stay in school and get a good education. We hope the HEAT programme will make a real difference in the lives of those who benefit from it,” said Modi.