Bullied and on the sidelines, Bradwin Louis felt alone. His classmates were merciless, making fun of his ears and the birthmark on his face. His self-confidence was shattered. But all that changed when he joined CoolPlay. Through our program Bradwin absorbed life lessons that have left him brimming with a newfound resilience. Watch the video (left) to find out more, or listen to him in his own words below:
"My name is Brandwin Louis, I am 16 years old and I attend Sarepta High School. Coolplay started at my school in March last year. Before CoolPlay I felt all alone like an outcast. I was a boy who never wanted to mingle with others, because of my appearance - I have a bad mark on my face and other kids used to make fun of me. This took all my self-confidence away. Ever since CoolPlay jumped into my life it all changed.
Coolplay has brought out the real lion in me and Coach Luke has played a big part in that. I've begun to think anything is possible as he told me about his own life story and what his struggles were and what he did to overcome them. My self confidence is so high and doesn’t matter how I look or where I come from, I feel alive now. The best activity or my favourite life skill in a CoolPlay session is the Web of Connection. I used to love the foundations one too - the Human Pyramid - but after I got my foundation right in life I started to focus on my responsibility and through the Web of Connection I understand it much better. It really helped me focus on what I need to do in school and at home.
So I have a message to the youth out there: we all have something small we don’t like about ourselves but sometimes it's there to build our character and to make us stronger. It doesn’t matter what people think of us, what matters is our character and what we do with it. Through CoolPlay, I have learnt this much.
When Cassidy started in July 2017 she used to call children names, disturb Champion Grace's sessions and be rude to her and the girls.
Cassidy stays in Ocean View in a very gang affected block of flats with her mother and step- father. The community is often disrupted by gang violence and sessions are often cancelled for safety reasons. Despite this, and thanks to the dedication of Grace, Cassidy has become an integral part of her team - she has started working with other kids, attending every session and helping with setup and kit.
She was recently made Captain of her inspiring mixed race team at Kleinberg Primary, and she looks forward to continuing her CoolPlay experience at Ocean View high next year
Claudia Mans is a 17 years old at Sarepta High School. Here is her story:
I would like to share with you about how CoolPlay and netball changed my life. I started with Netball last year, and at first I was a bit hopeless - sometimes sport codes at the school just stop but CoolPlay soon showed me that they are here to stay.
Before I started with the program I had a huge anger problem, I would snap for just anything, the reason is that I come from a background where I have to fight for whats mine and I must protect myself. I am person who does not trust people easily but then again CoolPlay showed me how to trust and to care for others.
Coolplay came with an angle that turned my life around. I remember when Coach Luke told us about the “Do over”. He said in life we all make mistakes but the big question is how we change our mistakes into success. Well I thought about what he said and it made me think, if I never forgive myself and put my mistakes in the past I'll never go forward in life as a person, and that is when I told myself anything is possible. He also taught us that life is more then just playing Netball it’s about setting goals and having the right values, what we do on the court we should do off the court. I really look up to coach Luke his like a father/brother/Hero to me. He keeps his word and always opens up to us.
So Coolplay thank you for what you have done here at Sarepta High, I hope that this is just the beginning and that we will have more memories to share and we say here at the school THE BEST IS YET TO COME!