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Alexandra Township Trampoline Club

Photographer: Kim Ludbrook

 

Despite being one of the poorest urban areas in the country the Alexandra Township or 'Alex' today is a vibrant and colorful township with a lively atmosphere. Alex was once the home of late Nelson Mandela, when he was studying at the University of South Africa.

 

Children play soccer in the streets between shacks, with open sewers running nearby, as others spend their leisure time on an open field of dirt. Meanwhile, other children have found entertainment as they gather to play on trampolines. The new activity can be seen in Alex as twisting bodies, from the Alexandra Township Trampoline Club, jump on two huge trampolines set between two blocks of flats.

 

Hudson Nxumalo, coach of the Alexandra Trampoline Club, watches the children closely, while giving instructions. He has produce some stars already like regional champion Phaphama Nxumalo (13). Six gymnasts of the Alexandra Trampoline Club have been selected to represent South Africa at the 2014 Indo Pacific Championships.

 

It is all about trying out new moves. Jumping offers the children a moment of joy and an escape from their harsh daily lives. There may not always be perfect somersaults, but joyous expressions reflect the fun, excitement and the hope to break free and fly.