Youth uplifted through football

2018-02-21 06:00
Young soccer players between the age of nine and 18 proudly display their brand-new soccer kit during the Surprise Ralani Football Tournament earlier in January. With them are Surprise Ralani (left, Kimberley-born international football player, who now plays in the PSL), Brenda Mafunisa (project manager and also a professional football player in the Sasol League) and Phillip Maribe (Absa provincial manager).

Young soccer players between the age of nine and 18 proudly display their brand-new soccer kit during the Surprise Ralani Football Tournament earlier in January. With them are Surprise Ralani (left, Kimberley-born international football player, who now plays in the PSL), Brenda Mafunisa (project manager and also a professional football player in the Sasol League) and Phillip Maribe (Absa provincial manager).

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Football players between the age of nine and 18 proudly displayed and put to the test their brand-new football kit at the Surprise Ralani Football Tournament in January.

The children, some from the Thusong Centre and some from the inner city, form part of Sol Plaatje University (SPU) community project called Bana Bokamoso.

The players, of the junior and the senior division, received sponsorship of their official football kit from Absa Bank in December last year.

They are being coached by local former professional football players Norman Smith (Golden Arrows), Thembile Kanono (Orlando Pirates) and Daniel Thlageng (Dalton Brothers).

Eight officers of the South African Police will also impart their skills.

According to Brenda Mafunisa, project manager and professional football player, the initiative is aimed at alleviating poverty and eliminating criminal activities undertaken by youths.

“They are labelled as vandals, thus we are trying to take them off the streets through programmes like these, where the student representatives get the Thusong Centre to help them with homework,” said Mafunisa.

“And we can proudly say that their numbers have decreased at robots.”

According to Mafunisa, the children have a full weekly programme for different activities.

“They go for football practice on Tuesday and Thursday, and for aerobics and other sporting activities and performing arts on Friday.

“And on Monday and Wednesday they get involved in the homework assistance programme with SPU students.”

According to her, they plan on expanding the programme to other districts throughout the province in April.

They will therefore need more stakeholders to partner with.

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