‘The Witness’ and United bring smiles to aspiring soccer stars

2010-02-23 00:00

THE Witness, in conjunction with Premier Soccer League team Ma­ritzburg United, brought smiles and hope to local school pupils aspiring to become professional players when they conducted coaching cli­nics at Ashdown on Friday afternoon.

Despite the intense heat, the pupils from Siyahlomula Secondary in Ashdown and Mbali’s Zibukezulu Technical showed enthusiasm as they were taken through their paces by revered development coach Katz Naidoo.

Naidoo brought along Maritzburg senior players — midfielders Jabulani “JB” Ncube and Lindokuhle Zamisa — to conduct the clinics.

Witness human resources director Thakane Motebang says the company is committed to uplifting the community and that through school sports she feels it is moving in the right direction.

“We felt that, as a company based in Pietermaritzburg, charity must begin here at home; hence the partnership with Maritzburg United. We are also committed to helping out communities in need,” said Motebang.

Motebang added that they have come to the aid of both schools by buying them playing kits.

“Our focus is on soccer development and we strongly believe that both schools and football can work together in alleviating the social ills currently ravaging our communities. We want to spread enthusiasm among the youth with the 2010 World Cup being around the corner,” she said.

Said Zibukezulu Technical School assistant coach Sandile Dube:“For the pupils this is an eye-ope­ner and an awesome experience. It’s not often we see our kids being offered such opportunities.

“Today they feel valued after seeing their role models taking time out to be with them. This will go a long way to inspiring them.”

Siyahlomula Secondary principal Bongani Sibiya was full of praise for the event on Friday.

“Ever since The Witness came on board, there have been good results. The schools reached two major finals in the Metropolitan U16 and Schools Confederations Cup last year. The financial aid by The Witness has alleviated the parents’ burden as they did not have to buy their kids playing equipment …”

Phelelani Cholo, in grade 11 at Zibukezulu Technical, said: “By being here at these clinics, I feel I have been saved from getting involved in some sort of mischief … at the clinics we were taught respect and the importance of playing as a team.”

Siyahlomula High pupil Nhlakanipho Mchunu said: “I feel privileged to have been playing alongside someone I normally see on TV. Today I was exposed to the right way of trapping the ball, picking your team-mate for a pass, and the right technique for shooting for goal. I will treasure this for a long time and use it in my school team.”

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