THE Vuthela Stars soccer team from Ntembisweni lived up to their name recently when they were crowned the champions of the 2019 Ubumbano Tournament. The Stars took home a new soccer kit, trophy, gold medals, and a cash prize of R5 000 for their victory at the final event that was held at Pietermaritzburg’s Alexandra Park last month between two teams from the uMzinyathi District. With this event, Sakhumnotho Development Services from the uMgungundlovu District, in partnership with the Imfundo Yethu Foundation, took another step in rebuilding sport for the youth of uMzinyathi and other districts in KZN. The Imfundo Yethu Foundation is a non-profit organisation that operates under the uMzinyathi District with the goal of bringing change and integration in society. The spokesperson for the foundation, Mxolisi Kunene, said: “It was a programme that required consistency and commitment from everyone who was the part of the 2019 Ubumbano Tournament. “We hosted local tournaments for both districts to choose the two best teams per district to go and compete in the final tournament, that was held in Pietermaritzburg.”He said the organisation’s mission is to help young boys realise their dreams of becoming professional soccer players. “For that reason we would like to challenge all the relevant institutions to take part in this programme. The prizes we offer them when they become champions are not enough because what we are building here is the future for these young stars and we aim to take [the competition to] another level [this year]. The champions of 2020 are going to win a trip to visit one of the professional clubs in the PSL so that they will be able to observe the team and get some coaching from professional coaches and players. This programme aims to build positive relationships and unity between the uMgungundlovu and uMzinyathi districts.“We would like to thank Plusone and the Department of Sports and Recreation for supporting this great initiative because, at the end of the day, sport is the key to keeping youth safe from negative activities such as crime, drugs and alcohol abuse,” he ended.