Primaries spurred to greatness

2016-03-17 06:00
 Lwazi girls team (green) faced the Lehlohonolo team during the launch of the Spur Masidlale Programme on Wednesday.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Lwazi girls team (green) faced the Lehlohonolo team during the launch of the Spur Masidlale Programme on Wednesday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Primary schools in Gugulethu will once again test their mettle with the resumption of the Spur Masidlale Programme next Wednesday at the NY49 Stadium.

Around 200 boys and girls will take part in the programme which is a CSI project for the restaurant chain.

It started life as 12 one-day soccer clinics involving 10-12 year olds, but has now grown into a fully fledged annual soccer league in the main metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

The 10 primary schools involved this year are Lwazi, Luzuko, Lehlohonolo, Ilitha, Mseki, Vukukhanya, Sokhanyo, Sonwabo, Vuyane and Xolani.

The school has both boys and girls teams that play each other in a league format with the winners receiving the honour of being ball boys during a PSL match and a charity prize of R10 000. Khakhi Diala, marketing manager at Spur, told City Vision that the programme was more than just a competition but was a great way to teach life skills to the young pupils.

“It doesn’t stop at us providing a facility to compete on the soccer field but there are also life skills programmes which are critical for young children of this age. They are thought how to deal with issues such as peer pressure, self confidence and good decision making,” said Diala.

Fifty mentors per league meet with their groups every two weeks to explore essential skills needed to excel in life.

“The mentors teach self-esteem, positive behaviour changes and wise decision making. They equip the children beyond the sports field into home and school life. 20 girls and 20 boys are then chosen for further mentoring,” he added.

He also noted the importance of coaches in the programme. “To ensure the lessons go further into the schools, Spur has a Masidlale Coaching Programme for the school coaches. These are run by accredited coaching facilitators who train 30 coaches from four provinces,” he said.

The programme has already seen more than 30 000 pupils come through since its launch in 2005. The finals which take place on 18 May in Cape Town.

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