Sir Richard Branson Visits Lavender Hill


Sir Richard Branson is an internationally-recognised entrepreneur and the founder of the Virgin Group. He recently paid a visit to Lavender Hill Secondary School, which is situated on the Cape Flats. The Principal of the school, Faseeg Manie, is part of the Partners for Possibility programme. The school is also part of Virgin Active’s FUTURE CREW project.

FUTURE CREW is a project that targets challenged communities (high need schools in communities where gangsterism, violence and drug abuse is rife) and is spearheaded by Virgin Active South Africa. It is supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. The aim of this initiative is to empower learners through life skills training. Aside from providing schools that are part of FUTURE CREW with gym equipment (free of charge), it also aims to educate teachers and coaches, engaging the youth to become more active and employable and create future employment where the need is the greatest.

Sir Richard chatted to the learners about various things, including his path to success during a special assembly. He encouraged learners to strive to be all that they can be and to take control of their lives. He also visited the school’s gym facility, which was sponsored by Virgin Active.  He interacted with the rugby team and learners who had received provincial colours for body building. In addition to this, he also signed the mural in the gym and posed for photographs with the learners.  Ashwin Willemse, former Springbok player, was also present on the day as he is an ambassador for FUTURE CREW. He too addressed the learners, encouraging them to follow their dreams.

The visit was arranged by Virgin Active South Africa in association with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and Lavender Hill Secondary School.

Faseeg described Sir Richard’s visit to the school as “the biggest day in the school’s and his life.”

He sums up the success of the gym, “The kids love it. It is a wonderful facility and the learners are clambering to use it.  We have had to introduce a roster basis and also utilise the gym during the PT component of our Life Orientation lessons.  Every time I think of the gym it puts a smile on my face…we couldn’t wait for Sir Richard Branson to see and experience it.”

30 November -1, 00:00