We would like to congratulate Bonolo Lelaka, 16, doing grade 11 this year, she has been chosen out of 2500 entries nationwide, as a finalist in the Miss Teen United Nations South Africa. Bonolo entered pageants at 13 years old and won her first pageant which was the Miss Curro Academy Soshanguve Pageant in 2018 and has been reigning that title ever since.
Bonolo has been doing such great work in her community, she is part of the charity drive committee here at school and outside of school. Keep up the good work Miss Curro Academy Soshanguve, we are so proud of you.
The Waterstone College’s Soccer Academy recently introduced the much-talked-of Playermaker technology and became the first South African football academy/school to have this innovative athlete performance tracking platform at its disposal.
Designed for football at every level, Playermaker consists of a smart motion sensor strapped to players’ boots which then detects valuable data to help improve a player’s game.
To read the data, the sensor must be removed from the boot and plugged into the sensor box. The data provides the players and coaching staff with insights on the technical, tactical and physical analysis.
According to Waterstone College’s Head of Soccer, Gavin Andrew, “this is a valuable tool to have in any soccer academy. Once the sensor is attached to the boots, it analyses various key performance Indicators and we have accurate data in Excel format. After training, each player receives his report/data on total touches, leg use percentage, distance covered, HID, intense speed changes and work rate.”
“Although players only get a summary of their performance, coaches get in-depth data on the players’ progress,” he adds.
Most football teams currently make use of technology such as GPS vests to analyse players’ performance. GPS vests mostly track players' speed, distance covered and heart rate. Playermaker does not record heart rate but various other tactical and technical data which is important for tracking the game of younger players.
“During the lockdown we were researching ways to improve our training programme by using technology and came across various tools. The aim was to find an in-depth tracking technology tool that will give us more insights about both the technical and tactical aspects and Playermaker was exactly what we were looking for. The footwear device is placed on over 100 players’ boots at the school and has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Andrew said.
Last week the Department of Basic Education announced that all contact sport in schools be suspended with immediate effect. This meant that the Waterstone College soccer team is yet to get a chance to have a competitive match since the introduction of the technology.
“We haven’t played other schools yet due to the lockdown, but our goal is to help improve our players' technical and tactical aspects of the game, to take their football knowledge to another level and to, where possible, help them obtain scholarships,” he concludes.
Jacques Nel, Executive Head of Waterstone College, adds, “the Playermaker is an incredible product and we are excited about the results. Not only does it improve the players’ skills, but it also improves our coaches' knowledge."
In a first for South African esports, a local group of learners will battle it out against an American school district in the world of Minecraft. The Minecraft Esports International Battle, will see a team composed of Curro learners, part of Curro Holdings, the JSE-listed independent school group, take on learners from the Fresno Unified School District in California, USA, to see who can construct the best 3D worlds.
The Minecraft match is set to take place this coming Friday, 4 June 2021, at 17:00, when the teams will meet online for a build-battle for the ages. Each team partaking in this friendly match will consist of eight learners, with the Minecraft match divided in two parts.
How the competition works
The first part is a quick-build round of 20 minutes, where the teams are tasked with building 3D objects in the Minecraft world around a topic that will be announced at the start of the event. This means learners must think on their feet and neatly plan out their best ideas to construct as quickly as possible.
The second part sees the teams engaging the world of Harry Potter, spending 35 minutes constructing anything from the Hogwarts Wizarding World. The teams were provided with this topic beforehand and they have been busy planning their builds for the past two weeks, ready to construct their 3D world as soon as the clock starts.
Scoring for the event takes place according to a rubric, with points awarded for, amongst others, the likeness of their build, productive teamwork, added aesthetics and environment, and the manipulation of the team’s 3D space through size and scale.
The event flowed from the highly successful inaugural Inter-Curro Esports Challenge last year, where Curro became the first academic institution to officially use Minecraft: Education Edition as an esports arena. Curro piloted the project for Microsoft, who owns Minecraft, to great acclaim. When the Fresno Unified School District heard about this, they asked Microsoft to facilitate an introduction to the Curro esports team to share some findings. This has led to an ongoing collaboration between the Curro group and Fresno, which has guided the global implementation of Minecraft esports.
With its league completed, the Fresno Unified School District’s team is composed of the winners of its local competition. Because this year’s Curro league is still ongoing, the Curro team consists of eight invitational learners, four from Curro Krugersdorp and four from Curro Aurora in Randburg. Magdeleen de Kock and Bertus Liebenberg, teachers at Curro Krugersdorp and Curro Aurora respectively, are coaching the Curro Minecraft team.
Catch the action here.