Goal of tournament to rebuild

2018-09-12 06:00
Freddy Kenney, managing director of the Kenworth Group. Photo: Teboho Setena

Freddy Kenney, managing director of the Kenworth Group. Photo: Teboho Setena

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The Lemo Mall Schools Cup tournament continues to consolidate the participation of youth in the greater Bloemfontein.

This year’s edition of the football competition was launched at a function held at the Louis Botha Technical High School (THS) in Bloemfontein on Friday (07/09).

Featuring 24 secondary schools, the competition has been divided into six groups, thus making participation possible for over 500 learners.

Schools compete on a round-robin basis for the first prize of R20 000 plus a floating trophy.

The runner-up and third-place achie­vers are guaranteed R10 000 and R5 000, respectively.

The semi-finals take place at the Louis Botha THS today (12/09), culminating with the final on Friday (14/09) at the same venue.

Inaugural champions Louis Botha have showed their pedigree qualifying for the semi-final.

The reigning champion will take on Atlehang while Brebner will battle it out with Tsoseletso in another semi-final match to determine two finalists.

Louis Botha scooped the 2017 cup after they outclassed rivals Navalsig with 2 – 0 in the final. The defending champions have thus far proven their worth reaching this stage of the competition.

This year is the second edition following the success of its inauguration last year. The competition is sponsored by Lemo Mall owned by the Kenworth Group. The company is staging the tournament in partnership with the Free State Department of Education.

Freddy Kenney, managing director of the sponsoring company, said the competition was part of a dream he had to invest R4 billion into Mangaung, having started with the revamping of the shopping centre in Rocklands, Bloemfontein, and venturing in property.

Kenney maintains the annual tournament consolidate efforts to rebuild a caring generation, create a better future and curb the complex social challenges of which gangsterism involving youth, remains the big threat.

“What is needed is to change the mindset as much as we try to change the face of Mangaung. We need to understand that if you have no respect for anything, including yourself, we can forget rebuilding Mangaung into a vibrant, investor-friendly and crime-free place.

“I believe this tournament is one of the elements needed to instil respect and confidence,” said Kenny.

“We are fighting with government spheres, including the local city council, which is failing to spend a minimum portion of its budget to scrape dusty fields where youth can play, yet we expect the youth to actively participate in different sporting codes.

“Neglect of sport fields is not creating an enabling environment for the youth to participate in sport. Dusty fields have for decades remain fundamental in our local communities to nurture talent and mould leaders. Such fields create opportunities for investors.”

He said the decision to continue sponsoring the competition was taken by business associates and his family in the best interest of reinvesting in Mangaung to uplift the people.

“It would have been unwise of me to invest in another province when Mangaung is in a dire situation,” said Kenney.

While the tournament will see more than 500 players in action, Enoch Molefe, respected and retired Fifa assistant referee, said a total of 18 match officials (referees) per match will be involved as part of holistic advancement of the development of football.

I believe this tournament is one of the elements needed to instil respect and confidence – Freddy Kenney

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