Girls get to mix with soccer heroes

2009-06-16 00:00

TWO lucky Pietermaritzburg girls were all smiles yesterday, having been part of the ball crew at the opening match of the Confederations Cup.

Zanele Khoza (16) and Londiwe Sokhela were two of 26 children from SOS Children’s Villages around the country who were part of the ball and flag crew.

Zanele and Londiwe had to throw the soccer ball back into the field when it was kicked out.

Both girls’ faces lit up as they recalled the experience, especially the opportunity they had to meet players from the South African and Iraq national teams.

“Teko Modise is my favourite player in the country and I was so happy to see him in the locker room. Even though we never got a chance to speak to the players, it is still a moment I will never forget,” said Zanele.

Londiwe flashes a shy smile at the thought of having been so close to her hero, Bafana Bafana striker Bernard Parker.

Both girls started playing the game at an early age and now play for the Maritzburg City under-16 team.

“I started playing the game because I wanted to show the boys that soccer is not just for them, it is for everyone,” said Zanele.

When asked if they will be watching the rest of the soccer tournament, Londiwe said they will be glued to the TV screen for every match.

“I love Bafana Bafana. I wish they could win. But I think it will probably be Brazil, Spain or Egypt that will take the cup,” said Londiwe.

Londiwe who is in grade 8 at Alexandra High School, said she has not decided if she wants to continue with football after finishing school.

Zanele is doing grade 11 at Marion High School and said that although she loves soccer, she hopes to be a chartered accountant one day.

SOS Village Pietermaritzburg director Weekend Ngubane said he chose Zanele and Londiwe because they are passionate about soccer.


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