“It was a memorable experience. Who would have thought someone like me, coming from Manenberg, would travel the world at this age, because of my love for soccer?” These are the words of one participant upon her return to Cape Town last week, after attending an international soccer tournament hosted in the USA. The group of passionate players, consisting of both u.17 girls and u.19 boys, represented South Africa through Ikapa United Football Club at two different tournaments last month (“Soccer stars treated”, People’s Post, 20 March). The boys competed in the annual Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, while the girls’ team competed in the Dallas International Girls’ Cup. This marked the first time in history a girls’ team from Africa was competing.“We took 18 girls and 22 boys to compete in the USA. These girls and boys are from across Cape Town and play soccer in different local football associations. In this particular tournament, more than 126 teams from across the world competed and showcased their talent on this prestigious platform,” says Bradley Swarts, public relations officer for Ikapa United FC.“During the week-long tournament, both Ikapa teams had the opportunity to be scouted by the top college and university scouts from across the world which were present at all of the games. Despite the fact that the results did not go our way, there were a lot of scouts that loved the way our boys and girls played and showed interest in most of our players. We are in the process of sending their soccer profiles to the different colleges of which the coaches showed interest in.” Swartz says the girls’ team, as the first ever girls’ team from Africa, was awarded the stage at the opening ceremony to perform a cultural dance from South Africa, which was the highlight of the ceremony and the tournament and which the whole world applauded and enjoyed. Ikapa is planning a report-back meeting with all the players’ parents to give them a rundown of the tournament and where they can improve going forward. The meeting will take place within the next two weeks. V Continued on page 3.