The first eSports scholarship in South Africa, and the continent, has just been launched by Centennial Schools, with three scholarships on offer to the total value of R750 000, for three keen Grade 6 to Grade 9 South African student gamers.
This first of its kind opportunity for young gamers ties into the school’s ethos of re-imagining today’s schools for the 21st century, and has the potential to substantially set up eSport students’ futures.
Founder and CEO of Centennial Schools, Shaun Fuchs, explains: “eSports have become more inclusive than other sports, with boys and girls able to play on the same teams and participants coming from various social groups and demographics.”
“At Centennial Schools we have built the largest eSports arena of its kind in Africa, which offers individual gaming stations, spectator stands and a lounge area. eSports is incorporated into our overall approach to education as it teaches students valuable skills beyond the classroom.”
Fuchs notes that eSports is on the rise, not only internationally, but locally as well. In fact, the industry is currently worth $268 billion, and the latest data indicates that there are three billion active gamers globally.
“2018 Pew Research found that 90% of teenagers play video games. For boys between the ages of 13-17 that rises to 97%. eSports is already part of Gen Z’s lives, but it’s not only about the games.
“Players who participate in eSports programmes are found to have a higher interest in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) subjects. Research shows that children who play video games have a far better chance of navigating through complex psychological issues compared to those that do not actively participate in video games,” he says.
In addition, playing video games can make students keener and more employable across a wider spectrum of careers including the medical field, engineering, remote flying, and computer sciences.
“eSports can boost children’s strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership and performance. It has also been shown to boost confidence building skills.” Fuchs says.
In the USA more than 170 colleges have eSports programmes and are offering around $16 million per year in scholarships. College eSports tournament organiser Tespa says its competitions attract more than 1,350 schools and in excess of 40,000 players.
About the Centennial Schools Scholarship:
Aligned to its competitive spirit, the scholarship will take the form of a gaming competition.
- Entries for this unique competition open on 25 January 2023 and participants will be required to compete in several games, including Minecraft, Aim Labs, Overcooked and Superliminal.
- Entries close on 28 February 2023.
- The winners of the competition can win one of three scholarships to Centennial Schools. Scholarships of R300,000*, R200,000* and R150,00 000* will be awarded to any student from Grades 6 to 9.
- The scholarships are in partnership with:
- Cooler Master, a leading global gaming brand, will be providing gaming equipment to the approx. value of R25 000.00
- Asus, a leader in gaming hardware, will be providing laptops to the approx. value of R30 000.00 to the scholarship recipients.
- BRUSA Sports, an organisation which assists aspiring young athletes to get hold of scholarships in the USA, will assist students with a discounted facilitation rate for scholarships to America.
- Entries must be submitted via the following link https://centennialschools.co.za
*The scholarship is subject to T&C’s which can be found on the above link.