Help local talent to score overseas

2019-11-26 06:00
Mikyle Mamba and Caleb Philander PHOTO: RACINE EDWARDES

Mikyle Mamba and Caleb Philander PHOTO: RACINE EDWARDES

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Two Hillview residents have been given a not-to-be-missed opportunity to play in the Manchester Cup tournament. But they need help to get there.

The tournament will allow boys u.7 to u.16 and girls u.10 to u.18 to showcase their soccer skills in England and Dubai in April next year.

Astrid Abrahams, head of arts and culture at the Guardians of the National Treasure community upliftment project, says: “I’m so excited because this is a God-given chance. For people living in this area – with the drugs and the fighting and the shooting – even with all these things, we can still get some of these boys out of the road and build their dignity.”

Cousins Mikyle Mamba and Caleb Philander are both 15 years old and attend Steenberg High School. They also both play for Eagle Wings Football Club in Steenberg in the u.16 team, of which Mikyle is the captain and a top goal scorer.

The football duo showcased their skills at the trials for the overseas tournament in Lansdowne earlier this year and earned the opportunity to take their talent abroad.

“Soccer is my favourite sport and every time I play it, I feel like I can challenge myself,” says Caleb.

“We practice often to keep our stamina and our fitness up. We practice two days a week for two hours, but most of the time when I’m bored I’ll take the ball and start kicking it around,” he adds.

Both boys are eager to compete, excited for the chance to board a plane and to leave the country for the first time.

“When I found out, I was excited and I couldn’t believe it,” Mikyle says.

He adds that his father had been grooming him to play for the big leagues since the moment he showed interest in the sport at the age of four. “I like soccer because it’s the best sport in the world for me. My daddy, Matthew, helped me with my skills and showed me how to pass a ball and control a ball when I was four.”

Abrahams explains that the tournament would not only be a win for the boys but would also show other children that there are opportunities for them.

“We’re hoping that people are going to come on board. From this area, people think no one can get anywhere because of all the fighting, but there is light,” she says.

Abrahams and the boys held a fundraising dinner to raise the R48 000 needed for the trip, but they were only able to collect R8 000, including their parents’ contributions.

Caleb and Mikyle need your help to showcase their talents on a bigger stage.

V To donate to Caleb and Mikyle, call Abrahams on 061 720 9734.

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