Get behind a star

2017-11-28 06:01
Tasneem Cookson is set to represent Ikapa United in USA next yearPHOTOS: aishah cassiem

Tasneem Cookson is set to represent Ikapa United in USA next yearPHOTOS: aishah cassiem

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A 16-year-old girl from Hanover Park is on her feet to ensure her future as a soccer star materialises.

Tasneem Cookson, a Grade 10 learner of Groenvlei Senior Secondary School, is set to compete in an international girls soccer tournament in the United States in March next year.

The soccer player from Athall Walk aims to inspire other youngsters in the gang-ridden community, saying there is more to life than gangsterism and crime.

Her mother, Shireen Wilson, says Tasneem first started playing soccer at the age of nine.

“By the age of 12 my daughter had already been in a trial for Safa in Cape Town. At the age of 15 she again went for Safa trials and succeeded. Tasneem went to Durban earlier this year to represent the province at the South African school sports tournament and brought home silver medals,” she says.

“In order to make her way to Dallas, Texas she would need to produce R26 000. Half of that package needs to be paid by the end of this year. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a girl from Hanover Park and we hope the public will open their hearts to make this trip a reality.”

Wilson says she hosted various fundraising events for her daughter since hearing the news but has only managed to raise less than R2000.

“I told my daughter no matter what your situation is or where you come from, never let anything stop you from reaching your goals. I promised her that I will do whatever I can to raise that amount for her,” she explains.

“We hosted a karaoke and plan to host more fundraisers in December. The community is really excited for Tasneem and the kids in our street are all behind her.

“Tasneem has been going through a tough phase since her best friend was killed when he was caught in a shootout last year. This happened seconds after they spoke to each other after school. She has been taking it very hard and always says she is chasing her dreams in honour of him.”

Tasneem will represent Ikapa United u.17 at the tournament and says she first joined a local soccer club after realising her passion.

“I was always the only girl amongst the boys who played soccer. We used to play street soccer until Hanover Rangers soccer club was started.”V Continued on page 2.

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