A learner from Mitchell’s Plain has been selected by the South Africa Schools Football Association (Sasfa) to compete in an overseas tournament in April next year. Elijah Trout (13) is one of 18 learners selected by Sasfa to take part in the TTD Super Cup Dubai and Manchester, in the u.14 division.“They told us on the same day as the trials,” Elijah says. Elijah, a self-professed avid sportsman, is a Grade 7 pupil at Pinelands Primary School, where he participates in soccer, hockey, cricket, and athletics. The talented young football player from Portlands will be playing as a midfielder at the tournament.“I started playing for a club, Mowglies FC, at the age of six,” says Elijah. To participate, Elijah needs to raise R48 000. This will go towards travel expenses, accommodation, tournament fees, his playing kit and visa. “My goal is to become a renowned soccer player and a beacon in my community,” says Elijah in a personal message appealing for donations from the community towards making the excursion a reality. “This tournament is a perfect stepping stone to achieving success in my future career,” he says. Thus far, R2 515,95 has been raised through an online fund-raising campaign. “The donations will allow me the opportunity to represent my school and my district and give me the platform to display my talents and abilities,” Elijah elaborates. “Without financial assistance, it will be challenging for me to make the deadline and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”No-one is prouder of Elijah than his mother, Marion Trout, who says she is “chuffed” over her son’s selection.“It has opened my heart to other parents and their kids when they do fundraisers,” Marion says. “It’s a catch 22 for parents whose kids are talented and get selected for a unique opportunity.” Marion feels that the community can help residents to empower each other when taking the perspective that “my child is your child”.“Our kids cannot achieve their dreams because of financial constraints,” says Marion, who is a tutor in Mitchell’s Plain. “This has placed in my heart to give even more back to the hundreds of young people I work with.”According to the BackaBuddy page established for Elijah, the funds collected are sent directly to an account allocated to the soccer player – specifically created for the tournament donations. The TTD Super Cup Dubai and Manchester is an international youth soccer tournament taking place in Dubai from 6 to 9 April 2020. V Visit www.backabuddy.co.za/elijah-trout.