Covid-19 halts kids’ initiative

2020-05-14 06:02
Founder of Onesimo Soccer Academy Zukiswa Simelukane.

Founder of Onesimo Soccer Academy Zukiswa Simelukane.

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The national lockdown does not only have a negative impact on the economy, it also has adverse effects on the poorer communities.

This is the view of Onesimo Soccer Academy founder Zukiswa Simelukane.

The academy is based in Crossroads.

It was established at the beginning of last year to keep young boys off the streets. It has about 120 representatives from different age groups from u10, u12, u14, u16 and u18.

“Some of our boys were gang members in the area before they joined the academy and since they joined the academy crime rate has decreased rapidly in our community,” said Simelukane.

She is now concerned that all the good work done by the academy is on the verge of going down the drain.

“Now it seems some of them went back to their old habits because they have nothing to do,” Simelukane said.

“Our aim is to ensure that all the youth in Crossroads is involved in sport. And by doing so we are building their future to be better people.”

Last season the academy was affiliated to the Mitchell’s Plain Local Football District and are now under the Crossroads Local Football Association.

She said the plan is to revive local sport so that local teams can invite teams from other areas.

“There was a football association in Crossroads but it became dysfunctional just after the 2010 Fifa World Cup because of infighting among committee members. We are intending to re-register the league under Cape Town South African Football Association,” she said.

She said she decided to establish a soccer academy because most people in the townships could relate to it.

Simelukane said her goal is to change bad perception about Crossroads.

She said they are intending to initiate weekly programmes to keep the children active.

“We want to do things in line with the lockdown regulations. So, we are planning to start our programmes when the lockdown is on level two,” said Simelukane.

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