While some of my good friends prepare to take it easy and slow; to be with family and become jumping castles for grandchildren I am going the opposite direction. For the past four months I have been training for a race that’s going to happen at the end of January 2012. The Shanduka Coal Middleburg fun run is a 5km race that will mean a lot for some really deserving children...
When I first heard about the race I approached a few of my corporate friends and they generously agreed to sponsor me by donating a R5 000,00 for every kilometer I finish to my district’s art and sports committee. That was the initial deal, which changed about a week ago when they saw some of the athletes in action. The current deal is that they sponsor my team, which includes 10 athletes, and for every kilometer the kids finish – in a timely fashion – the corporates will donate a kit to the clubs and teams that are part of the programme on top of the agreed upon money to be given for every kilometer and/or finish.
So, if all 10 runners finish the race with the top time all the five arts and sports divisions will get kits. Excuse me while I grin like a Cheshire Cat.
It was very important for me that the children understand where their effort and hard work will be going; it would have be easy to get the corporations to sign up as sponsors with no effort from the children. I call this teaching them to fish. As a way of proving to them that there are people out there who care, people who are willing to meet you halfway.
I think it is time that we start rewarding good behaviour, dedication and hard work. It’s important to teach kids the rewards of working for what you need, the difference you feel when you enjoy something you have earned instead of something you were given.
Sure, in an ideal world these children would not have to work in order to get a kit or to have their grounds and rehearsal spaces fixed, but we can’t let their talents go to waste while we wait for the ideal world to become a reality.
Some food for thought: What are you doing to reward ‘good behaviour’?