From street soccer to Germany

2019-06-20 06:00

Asoccer initiative where goal scoring is secondary to empowering youths in formulating their own life goals, have paved the way for two young women of Uitenhage to attend an international soccer tournament in Germany.

Monique Mosi (26) and Schadeii Abrahams (20) from the Swift- response Community Empowerment Initiative through Soccer, have been invited to the Mehr Als Glanz Frauen Bolz WM, which will be held in Kassel, from 28th to 30th June.

“I am extremely excited. I know it will be a life-changing experience to learn from the best,” said Monique Mosi, a qualified educator.

“Sport is why I am. It is what I stand for. Education is not restricted to a classroom only, through participation in sport mindsets can be changed in a positive way.”

Swiftresponse, a non-governmental organisation that uses soccer to help with community development, was established six years ago by former professional soccer player Ade Ade-kunle.

“It not only is about soccer, we teach the great values of life, respect, discipline and gender equality,” said Adekunle.

“In keeping the young ones off the street, we offer them ‘to have a ball of a good time’ playing soccer.

The German sport club, Dynamo Windrad in Kassel, has been Swiftresponse’s international partner for the past few years. Its project manager, Helen Schönbrodt, has been in Uitenhage to experience how these life values are being implemented.

“The support from Dynamo Windrad is amazing. The best of all is that they value what Swiftresponse invests in the community through soccer,” said Ade.

“For us to have two of our soccer players being invited to an international tournament is absolutely wonderful. I mean, it is to Germany, the number one soccer playing country in the world!”

Schadeii Abrahams, like Monique, is a tutor with a passion for education and sport. She joined Swiftresponse since its first street soccer tournament in 2013.

“Back then we used bricks as goal posts and as training obstacles. Now, thanks to partners like Galaxy Bingo and the input of Dynamo Windrad, we have professional training equipment,” said Schadeii.

“I am looking forward to learn from our international partners and to implement it in Uitenhage.

“What is especially of interest to me is that they involve disabled persons in sport. It seems impossible, but they succeed in it. So, I want to learn from them and start a similar project in our community,” said Schadeii.

Both women not only play soccer, they also coach and officiate in this sport.

A total of 30 teams from various countries will participate in the Frauen Bolz soccer tournament and the Uitenhage women will play for the Dynamo Windrad team. Games are played on a small pitch and without a referee as it all is about fair play and having fun.

The tournament coincide with the Fifa Women’s World Cup which is being held in France from June 7th to July 7th.

“We are hoping that more luck might come our way, as it will be a once in a lifetime experience to attend the ultimate soccer event, the World Cup!” said Schadeii.

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