Soccer gear for youth teams

2015-07-01 06:05
WINNERS of the Norman Smith Youth Cup, the Young Pirates from Greenpoint, with MEC John Block (third from the left). With the players are from the left Leanette Steyn (councillor), Young Pirates coach, Durlin Louw, and an official of the department,

WINNERS of the Norman Smith Youth Cup, the Young Pirates from Greenpoint, with MEC John Block (third from the left). With the players are from the left Leanette Steyn (councillor), Young Pirates coach, Durlin Louw, and an official of the department,

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THE MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, John Block, recently kept his promise to Greenpoint soccer teams.

Last week Thursday (25/06) Block handed over a floating trophy, soccer gear, soccer balls and 30 medals to the two u.15 finalist soccer teams, Greenpoint Celtics and Young Pirates, who participated in the Norman Smith Youth Cup that was played from 13 to 16 June in Greenpoint.

The final game, which saw Greenpoint Celtics and Young Pirates taking each other on, was played on 16 June.

The MEC also donated football gear to the Greenpoint High School on the day.

According to a community builder, Donovan Brown, who helped in coordinating the tournament, the department had sent an apology for not delivering the material on time due to the unavailability of the MEC, who wanted to do the handover personally. He revealed that the tournament, that started in 2008, was named after the only professional footballer from Greenpoint, Norman Smith.

According to the department, the handover was part of commemorating Youth Month. Smith, the Golden Arrows player who is still nursing an injury at home, expressed his gratitude towards the department for coming on board.

He said that being a role model in the area had shown him that Greenpoint needed such intervention given its poor background.

“I am sure it was also not too difficult a decision to deliver because of the evident support that came from the community.

“We kept in constant contact with the department after the tournament,” he said.

Block highlighted to the young players during the handover ceremony how substance abuse could prevent them from becoming professional soccer players.

“The best soccer players in the world manage to support their families.

“So we hope that you can listen to your teachers and principal all the time so that you can prosper in life,” said the MEC.

Mojalefa Mphapang explained that the initiative saught to work collaboratively with communities and the youth in improving the well-being of Northern Cape communities. “It also seeks to uplift and support disadvantaged community organisations, particularly those that assist the poor, destitute and vulnerable.

“Unlike those of 1976, today’s youth are faced with more complex challenges such as unemployment, drugs and alcohol abuse,” he added. The coach of the overall winning team Young Pirates, Durlin Louw, expressed his excitement for finally lifting the winning trophy.

Revealing that the u.15 team that won the tournament had only been formed three months ago, Louw said that was an indication that there was a lot of talent in the dusty streets of Greenpoint.

Regarding the tournament itself, the coach added that the tournament was a thirst quencher for the community as it got a lot of support, including from parents.

With the coach of Greenpoint Celtics, Gayton Brown, the two made a promise to keep the soccer momentum going in an effort to keep the youth away from substance abuse and crime.

“We were one big family during the tournament, so we will continue to be that one big family on weekends through soccer,” emphasised Brown. Brown added that they would take it upon themselves to encourage the formation of more soccer clubs so that they could form their own u.15 league

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