Kids get better soccer field

2015-05-05 06:00
A young soccer player from Langa, 15-year-old Mivuyo Dwadwa, warms up before practice starts at Clyde Pinelands FC. 

PHOTO: 
astrid februarie

A young soccer player from Langa, 15-year-old Mivuyo Dwadwa, warms up before practice starts at Clyde Pinelands FC. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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Clyde Pinelands FC has been restored to its former glory after its premises fell into disrepair several years ago due to financial difficulties.

A previous report indicated the club was “in danger” of closure after being targeted by criminals and facing mounting debt (“Club struggles to stay afloat”, People’s Post, 26 June 2012).

At the time it was reported that Clyde Pine­lands FC, formed in 1898, owed about R167 000 in water, electricity and rates bills and claimed it could not pay the debt due to a lack of income.

The club had also been vandalised and burgled on a number of occasions because its clubhouse and fields are easily accessible.

However, People’s Post later reported (“Soccer club turfed out”, 2 October 2012) that the City of Cape Town announced that it would take over the soccer club premises.

Councillor Tandeka Gqada, mayoral committee member for community services, said in a statement at the time: “The director of sport, recreation and amenities is concerned about the management of the Clyde Pinelands sports ground, particularly the ­recent vandalism of the clubhouse.”

She said a senior official of the department had met with the spokesperson of the club “and explained the process that should be followed”.

“In the interim, the department is taking over the sports ground, which will be closed until further notice,” Gqada said.

Club chairperson Stanley Stephanus says they are grateful to the City for taking over the sports ground and restoring the clubhouse and field.

“We provide a service to the wider community and it would have been sad if the club had to close its doors as this is one of the only outlets for many children who come from disadvantage communities,” he says.

Stephanus says the club’s motto is “community at play” and that it is used not only to teach children soccer skills ,but to help them grow as individuals too.

“We want the children who play for the club, many of who come from Athlone, Bokmakierie, Bishop Lavis, Khayelitsha and Milnerton, to be taught life skills and ­encouraged to take the knowledge back to their communities and implement it there,” he says.

Stephanus says many of the children are frustrated with their living conditions and tend to be aggressive. The club gives them the space to grow and realise their dreams can become a reality.

“We encourage them to open up about their feelings and aspirations in life to help guide them in the right direction. In this way we change mindsets,” he says.

The club now boasts about six registered junior teams ranging from U7 to U11, while the senior team is made up of U13s, U15s and U17s.

“We are growing day by day and we urge the players to invite their friends from their respective communities, who are interested in soccer, to join the club,” Stephanus says.

The club is also looking at ways to raise funds by hosting events since many of the children who are members of the club cannot afford the club fees.

“We do no turn anyone away as this is part of community upliftment and we want to ­ensure the children can be part of the club despite their own or parents’ financial difficulties,” he says.

Stephanus says the club welcomes any ­donations as many of the children come to the club on an empty stomach and go home where there is little to no food on the table.

“We urge the community to come and visit us and meet the young boys in whom we ­invest our time and skills,” he says.

Anyone interested in donating or finding more information about the club can contact Stephanus at stanley5206@gmail.com or 021 483 7817

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