Helping kids through sport

2019-10-01 06:00
Shaun Petersen, a former Lavender Hill resident, is raising funds to host the second sports day for the youth of the Cape Flats next year..

Shaun Petersen, a former Lavender Hill resident, is raising funds to host the second sports day for the youth of the Cape Flats next year..

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After this year’s exciting Freedom Day Soccer Camp and Tournament for the youth of Cape Falts, Shaun Petersen is looking to do it all over again and has begun raising the money needed to make it happen.

Petersen has been living in New York since 2013, coaching soccer at the Young Men’s Christian Association Centres and directing the camp for the New York Boys Club. He saw his 40th birthday on 27 April as an opportunity to return home to help others through his non-profit organisation, the Shaun Petersen Sport Foundation.

The former Lavender Hill resident‘s birthday celebration took the shape of the tournament held for the benefit of children living in the Cape Flats.

The tournament took place at Steenberg High School, where Petersen matriculated. He says the event took nine months to plan and was able to reach about 100 young people from communities where drugs and gangsterism are prevalent.

While living in Lavender Hill, he had always been involved in youth development, orchestrating programmes to “give children time away from the troubles in their neighbourhoods”, he explains.

Petersen was able to raise a sizeable amount of money for the soccer tournament and to provide an escape for the children this year.

“Last year I raised about $2 205 (about R32 237 in December) which is not a lot of money, but we used it for the tournament.”

Next year, he’s hoping to go bigger and better for the children of Cape Town.

“The plan going forward is to host four tournaments a year and to recruit players to go to the United States of America (USA) to play in a tournament to get sponsorships and scholarships so we can change their lives.”

He currently has an active fundraiser campaign on Facebook, where about R4 079 of a desired R75 000 has been raised.

“I’m trying to raise more money for the next one, but it’s a little bit difficult,” he says.

He is also on the lookout for people who are willing to sponsor sports kits and equipment for the next tournament, which he hopes to host at the local sports field on Allenby Drive in Retreat.

In addition to the tournament, the philanthropist is also in the process of opening a soup kitchen in Pelican Park with the help of his mother.V To donate to the next Freedom Day Soccer Camp and Tournament, visit the fundraiser page: https:// tinyurl.com/y6lfwglm.

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