Eight legends honoured

2018-07-18 06:02
The first eight soccer legends were honoured by the Sol Plaatje Masters League during a banquet at the Mayibuye Centre on Sa­turday (14/07).

The first eight soccer legends were honoured by the Sol Plaatje Masters League during a banquet at the Mayibuye Centre on Sa­turday (14/07).

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A stronger partnership was emphasised by different speakers in an effort to strengthen the recognition of soccer legends on their home ground.

This took place at the Mayibuye Centre on Saturday (14/07).

It follows the successful hosting of the first banquet where the first eight soccer legends were honoured by the Sol Plaatje Masters League.

The league promises to honour more legends in the next three years.

According to Archie Jack, secretary of the Masters League, the initiative was set to commence in 2017 but failed due to the lack of funding.

This time the success is thanks to the partnership between the provincial Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, and the Francis Baard District Municipality.

“We still have a lot to do to recognise our legends by honouring our players who are 60 years and older, including players of the Dalton Brothers who were registered in the league,” Jack said.

The event was used as an opportunity to highlight the plight for better development in soccer and the legends were urged to assist with their soccer wisdom.

“Please do not criticize the young ones and brag on how well you were doing in your time. Rather support them as we can no longer watch you play, but we instead invite you to come and watch them play,” pleaded Winston Mondela, secretary of the South African Football Association (Safa) in the Francis Baard District.

He highlighted the legends’ ability to become role players at developmental level.

Mondela said he is proud of being a product of some of these legends.

“Some of you, of whom many passed on, groomed me as I was in the Sol Plaatje Local Football Association where you encouraged me to dream and eat soccer.

“We need to build a stronger partnership with different stakeholders to make this a recognizable event with a strong passion,” he said.

Pledging his support towards the expansion of the ceremony, David Lesetedi, the sport manager of the Francis Baard District at the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, wished for a bigger and better event next year.

“We need to start knocking at different doors to sell this idea as from today.

“We need to have a red carpet just as at the Durban July, and incorporate female legends, where we will expand it to other districts,” Lesetedi said.

According to Lesetedi, this type of local events should be the one that feeds the provincial sports awards with nominees, which will be held in August.

“Our children need role models like these to look up to.

“We still observe our motto at the department of ‘a child in sports is a child out of court.’

“If they observe role models in sports they would not be running in the township, proudly carrying bottles of looted alcohol.

“This province created good products in soccer. We will continue to live up to our mandate of building a cohesive society towards building up a better nation,” Lesetedi said.

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