Following the death of a Hillview resident who was loved by the community for his great deeds, residents decided to come together and play ball games in memory of him and all others that have died due to gang violence and crimes in their area.
The community memorial soccer and netball sports day was organised by the Guardians of the National Treasure (GNT), a non-profit organisation in Lavender Hill.
The organisation helps underprivileged children and families on a daily basis with food, education, clothing, sports, and other activities in Lavender Hill and the surrounding areas.
Coming together at Blode Street on Sunday 3 March there were various teams battling it off. The idea was to remember those that have died because of violence and to spread a message that united, locals are a strong front. This was prompted by the death of Bradley Arendse that was shot and killed in an alleged robbery. His death left the community torn apart (“A community in pain”, People’s Post, 19 February).
Ralph Bouwers from GNT says the loss of Arendse who was one of their own left a huge void hence the need of the memorial sports day. “The aim was to say they might be gone but they are not forgotten. We had to unite in sport and show those few people that want to make our community a bad place that we are strong and we will win this war. As long as we do a lot of activities and keep our children busy there is no chance to recruit them into gangs,” he says.
Bouwers says that though their area is still struggling with gang fights and other issues being active is a deterrent. “No one can attack a crowd of people. The more we organise these games and adopt the spirit of sport there is little that the gangs can do. We will continue to be busy with the youth in the area and we are positive that more good counters all the bad,” he says.