Ajax joins police in street soccer initiative

2018-01-30 06:00
Soccer coaching clinics take place once a week as part of a street soccer initiative in Tafelsig.

Soccer coaching clinics take place once a week as part of a street soccer initiative in Tafelsig.

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A partnership between police and local soccer club Ajax Cape Town is set to get children off the streets on owning their own spaces with the help of community coaches made up of police officers, teachers and residents from Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.

The role of the coaches is to perform in Ajax Hotspots.

“The definition of a hotspot is a area within the community, a mere open space which the police identifies. Here the youth congregate between 17:00 and 19:00 engaging in unsociable behaviour. The community coaches then get divided up and assigned a hotspot where they engage the community in physical activity in an attempt to reduce crime, increase community confidence in the police and embed sport as a tool to build community cohesion,” says community scheme co-ordinator Riyaad Khan.

Police identified the tarred park in Tafelsig across the large field in Kilimanjaro Street where children have participated in this clinic since school started.

“We launched the street soccer project on Thursday 18 January where the children from Tafelsig West had the opportunity to receive top notch soccer coaching and thereafter could play a game of soccer. The project is taking place in a section that has become known as a crime hotspot due to recent shooting incidents in the area,” says police spokesperson Captain Ian Williams.

As part of the initiative, police will continue to identify hotspots.

“Our hopes are to have a positive influence on the youth of Cape Town providing them with hope and opportunities to ensure they participate in positive activities and not revert to unsociable behaviour, crime etc,” says Khan.

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