Lavender Hill FC’s u.7 team returned from Rygersdal’s five-a-side tournament with their heads held high.
The team finished as runners-up in the division, but it was not the finishing position which made chests burst with pride, but rather the way in which the team represented their community and enjoyed the experience.
“Our boys are beyond the halfway mark in the local soccer league in the u.16 and Senior divisions. The test is real and we are going uphill soon to reach the summit. Everything we worked so hard for is now bearing the sweetest blossoms. Our juniors played their first away tournament and outperformed till into the finals,” says the team’s coach and mentor Ralph Bouwers.
He acknowledged Durbanville FC and Table View FC for their support during the tournament and thanked them for helping forge a friendship between the respective clubs. “Rygersdal was the perfect host to a wonderful tournament well organised. Our u.7 match against Rygersdal FC saw us to the semi-finals, surprising even me,” adds Bouwers.
Unfortunately, when Lavender Hill clashed with Hellenic FC in the final, a brave performance would see them on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline, but there was no shame in the result either.
“It was an absolutely amazing team (Hellenic) to win the 20th Rygersdal Junior Tournament flanked by us with silver proudly taken home to Lavender Hill. Chairperson Mark Nicholson loves these kids like his very own. The day was filled with excitement watching all the kids play awesome soccer,” Bouwers says.
Sanjay Adonis, affectionately known as “Bullet” stood out for Lavender Hill.
Bouwers, who also heads up the Guardians of the National Treasure (GNT) movement in Lavender Hill, says they will be using the community’s passion for sport as a diversion to counter unwanted behaviour.
“The rest we leave to the law and those upholding order, this five-year plan could shape the future and heal the Cape Flats only if help comes on board,” he explains.
The aim is to centralise the kitchen used in their feeding scheme, while servicing their satellite soup kitchens in the area, which allows them to have an element of control over the progress and development of the youth. Other services which are being carried out is their domiciliary service for the elderly.
“School dropouts is high on our priority list and netball was launched and we are into our third month after a successful Cafda and GNT Youth Day Cup netball and soccer tournament. As part of community building we are inviting the neighbouring communities to close the gap created by the territorial divide. Our young need boarded support and navigation through this traumatic and confusing time and we will walk them till into the clear,” says Bouwers.