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Reflections on Cape Town

06 October 2022

Written by Rupert Pleasant Guernsey Finance

In early September, Guernsey Finance led a delegation of Guernsey captains of industry to Cape Town. There they met representatives from a learning through charity, CoolPlay, to see first hand how it transforms the lives of youngsters through sport. Here, WE ARE GUERNSEY Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant shares his reflections on the trip

It was an absolute pleasure for Guernsey Finance to lead a delegation of 32 Guernsey finance industry leaders down to Cape Town at the beginning of September. We had all our leading industries represented, including investment management, banking, funds, trust and fiduciary, insurance, legal and tax advisory from large international firms to more bespoke Guernsey companies. The whole theme of our trip was giving back – Guernsey being a responsible global citizen and a force for global good. 

Following a large number of business meetings, the highlight of the trip was on the Thursday where the delegates actively engaged with our chosen charity for the trip – CoolPlay – an amazing sport for development charity that works with underprivileged communities based in the Western Cape. They provide a safe space after school for learners (age six to 18) where they have access to positive adult role models (CoolPlay coaches), constructive peer relationships and a space to take on new challenges and develop valuable life skills through a specialised curriculum that intertwines social and emotional learning into sport.

We travelled to the famous District 6 area of Cape Town, under the beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain, where we had the opportunity to meet the players and their mentors/coaches. Many of us actively participated in the netball and volleyball training, culminating in a mini tournament against the players which was hugely rewarding and great fun. It was very humbling to see the charity at work first hand and just how engaged and happy the children were learning life skills in such a safe and constructive environment. We also had the opportunity to present the players with sports kit that we had brought over from Guernsey.

In the evening, the delegates were joined by over 250 leading sports and industry figures at Kelvin Grove in Newlands for a charity gala dinner. I had the privilege of addressing the dinner where it was very apparent that there has been a long and extremely strong bond between Guernsey and South Africa for more than four decades with Guernsey being the conduit for many billions of Rands of investment into South Africa and the African continent as a whole – providing value, job creation and tax revenue.

I am also delighted to announce that we raised almost R400,000 for CoolPlay that evening, which will be used by the charity for funding further initiatives in District 6, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Kuilsriver, Stellenbosch, Ocean View and Masiphumelele. The sense of giving something back into a very rewarding enterprise has been very humbling - especially by Guernsey Finance and the Guernsey financial services industry being able to lend its support in such a practical way.

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