Launched in 2018, The Hood sought to include children from the Salt River neighbourhood we are proud to call home.
Through this programme we engage with children, aged 6 to 17 years, on a weekly basis, teaching various circus disciplines in a novel, safe and fun environment – at the Zip Zap Academy right on their doorsteps! The programme aims to develop physical skills, improved self-esteem and self-confidence, and to teach the value of teamwork. It allows children to have fun and to meet other children from the neighbourhood, forge new friendships, and create a sense of kinship and belonging. Parents also welcome the opportunity for their children to attend a free after-school activity that removes them from the day-to-day dangers prevalent in the area. The much-anticipated “Show & Tell” event at the end of each year showcases previously hidden talents and greatly enhanced confidence.
During 2022, The Hood programme engaged 27 children from the Salt River neighbourhood Zip Zap calls home. Through 25 workshops during the programme year the children were able to play, learn and develop – physically and creatively. All of the children reported having grown stronger during the time spent in the programme. Physical assessments, completed 3 times during the programme year, helped instructors to assess the capabilities and progress of the participants, and helped to inform effective programme content to meet programme objectives. Most of the children (60%) also demonstrated improvements in teamwork since having joined the programme. Overall, all the participants displayed improvements in confidence as a result of having participated in the programme. Healthy relationship-building, as an antidote to social isolation, is an important component of the programme, and all participants reporting having made friends through the programme. Another important focus of the programme is creating positive associations regarding gender roles, and there was a marked positive change among the participants in viewing genders as equal. This was further displayed in the positive representation of female participants within the programme, at 46%. Despite the demands of school, extra-mural activities and family responsibilities the programme still had an attendance rate of 66%, which displays the participants’ resilience and perseverance.
All participants confirmed having enjoyed their time during The Hood workshops!
Coaching Support (2 Alternating)
A Rising Star
Sumayyah Asmal is 9 years old and attends Mountain Road Primary School, in Woodstock, Cape Town. She likes watching the participants on the triple trapeze in action, and those performing on the aerial scarf. The discipline that she is best at is aerial scarf, and she admits that she struggles with mini-trampolining because it seems too big in comparison with her tiny frame.
Sumayyah has found role models in the triple trapeze performers. She aspires to perform in Zip Zap shows one day. She works very hard, maintains consistent progress, and perseveres until she achieves her goals.
All her efforts were rewarded when she was awarded the Shining Star Award, for outstanding performance in The Hood programme, at the Zip Zap Programmes Show & Tell event in October 2022.