Soccer legends warn youth to choose sport over crime

2019-08-28 06:00
Soccer legends Benson Mhlongo, Joseph Makhanya and Patrick Mayo showing the MTN 8 Trophy at Zonke Superspar.Photo:SELBY MADIKANE

Soccer legends Benson Mhlongo, Joseph Makhanya and Patrick Mayo showing the MTN 8 Trophy at Zonke Superspar.Photo:SELBY MADIKANE

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SOUTH African soccer legends, Patrick ‘Naughty’ Mayo, Joseph ‘Dukuduku’ Makhanya and Benson ‘Younger-younger’ Mhlongo, paid a visit to Zonke SuperSPAR in Motherwell during their MTN 8 Trophy Tour Roadshow on Friday.

Before the visit, they conducted coaching clinics at Khanyisa Special School in KwaDwesi and at Ikhwezelihle Primary School in Motherwell.

Managing director of Grind Public Relations, Miranda Lusiba, revealed that MTN, in partnership with MTN 8 football legends and ambassadors, Mhlongo, Makhanya and the Eastern Cape-born legend Mayo, had been embarking on the tour, incorporating a coaching clinic campaign, in PE and East London.

The three legends gave tips to the learners and the youth on how to be a successful player. Mayo, who played for local side Michau Warriors and Kaizer Chiefs, stated that football kept the youth busy.

“The youth should play football and other kinds of sports. Sport keeps the youth off the street, where they (may) start to abuse drugs. Sport helps the youth to stay away from crime.

“Sport pays. Crime does not pay at all. I want to warn the youth to refrain from doing crime. They must rather take sport seriously. The youth must study their books and drugs must be their enemies.”

Mhlongo stated that the standard of football was dropping because of the number of challenges that the youth were facing.

“Alcohol abuse, drug abuse and video games are the challenges our youth are faced with. Players must train very hard every day in order to achieve their goals.

“The players fail when they do not train. The youth must focus on training and playing games but drugs jeopardise their future. I want to appeal to them to make the right choices for themselves all the time,” said the former Orlando Pirates player.

Makhanya, who also played for Orlando Pirates, stated that players should have a passion for football.

“The first level is grassroots soccer. Players should dream big but they should take grassroots football seriously.

“There are lots of distractions today but the youth do not see that their future is bleak. Drugs are the biggest challenge today. I see that the passion for sport gradually disappears. Drugs affect the health of the youth that is why I urge the youth to refrain from abusing drugs and alcohol,” said Makhanya.

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