Edendale soccer teens say their trip to Brazil changed their outlook

2014-07-18 00:00

ELEVEN days was all it took.

Six teens from Edendale said a short trip to Brazil for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, has changed their outlooks and their lives forever.

The six teens, who were handpicked as part of the Edendale Whizzkids United initiative, returned from their adventure rejuvenated and excited, ready to share their experience with others in Edendale.

They have now set their sights on Russia for the 2018 World Cup.

Fisani Mtambo (16), Nokulunga Mdluli (16), Sandry Dlamini (16), Sanelisiswe Mthembu (16), Sphesihle Dlamini (16) and Xolani Molefe (16) were chosen from a talented pool of individuals for their outstanding leadership potential.

Sanelisiwe from Plessislaer said, “We had the honour and responsibility of effectively representing not only Pietermaritzburg, but KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. We stayed at the Mont Blanc Hotel, one of the finest hotels in Rio de Janeiro.”

She said they were taken for an educational tour of a sports museum full of displays about Brazilian soccer legends and also went to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

“We came back definitely changed because we learnt the importance of not discriminating,” said Fisani, who lives in Ashdown.

She said the experience taught them that despite all the diversity in the world, people belong to one human race.

“We used sign language because we did not understand other languages spoken by the different nationalities that were there,” she said.

Although they were not fans of the food in Brazil, the group said they enjoyed everything else, including watching Germany play France.

They also played football 3, a soccer game that taught them discipline and discourages cheating.

“We set our own rules as there were no referees and the score was not the measure of winning, but how we conducted ourselves during the game,” said Fisani.

Nokulunga from Ashdown said she was impressed by the quality of hospitals there after being admitted for a short illness from which she has recovered.

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